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Loops - Wrapped

Free instructions in how to make a wrapped loop with jewelry wire using common jewelry making tools:

Earrings made with a wrapped loop of jewelry wire made using common jewelry making tools.

Instructions for making a Wrapped Loop in jewelry wire using common jewelry tools.

The wrapped loop is one of the more important skills involved in the wire working technique called "Wire Wrapping". This technique is important because it allows us to make a loop in jewelry wire that is as strong as if it were cast or soldered.  This is very important for making beaded chains and for connecting wire components into chains that are very strong.  You can view a wrapped loop at right.  This technique can also be used to make a bead dangle using a head pin as shown at left.  Please visit our free WigJig Video on "Making a Wrapped Loop" by selecting here.  The steps involved in making a wrapped loop bead dangle are described below.

Jewelry Making Supplies Required:

Jewelry Making Tools Required:

  • 18, 20 or 22 gauge jewelry wire
  • Round Nose Pliers
  • Flush Cutter
  • Bent Chain Nose Pliers

Jewelry Making Skills Required:

  • Ability to cut jewelry wire using the flush cutter jewelry tool.
  • Ability to bend jewelry wire using the bent chain nose pliers jewelry tool.
  • Ability to make a loop in jewelry wire using the round nose pliers jewelry tool as described here.
  • Ability to wrap jewelry wire around itself to make a permanent loop in jewelry wire as described here.

Step-by-step instructions for making a wrapped loop in jewelry wire using common jewelry making tools:

Step 1:  Depending on what you are trying to accomplish you might start this jewelry making task differently.  If you are trying to make a bead dangle like the one shown above left, begin by sliding your beads onto your head pin all the way down.  While holding the head pin upright, grasp the jewelry wire immediately above the beads with your bent chain nose pliers

Step 2:  Bend the jewelry wire over to an angle of about 90 degrees.  Ensure that you have about 1" or 25 mm of wire on the now horizontal wire segment.

Step 3:  Grasp the horizontal jewelry wire segment in your round nose pliers on the horizontal segment, but as close to the 90 degree bend as possible.  Grasping the wire close to the tips of the pliers will make a small loop.  Grasping the wire closer to the hinge makes a larger loop.  For beginners, it is better to make larger loops until you become more proficient in this jewelry making skill.  For this reason, grasp the jewelry wire closer to the hinge of your pliers and further from the tips.

Step 4:  Using your thumb, push the jewelry wire up and over the jaw of your round nose pliers as shown below-right. 

Instructions for making a Wrapped Loop in jewelry wire Step 1 showing gripping the wire in common jewelry tools.

Instructions for making a Wrapped Loop in jewelry wire Step 2 showing measuring the wire.


Instructions for making a Wrapped Loop in jewelry wire Step 3 showing griping the wire in jewelry tools.


Instructions for making a Wrapped Loop in jewelry wire Step 4 showing shapping wire using jewelry making tools.
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4

Step 5:  At this point you will need to re-orientate the jewelry wire in the jaws of your pliers so that you can complete the loop.  Re-grip the wire as shown below-left.

Step 6:  Complete the loop by pushing the jewelry wire as shown below center-left. 

Step 7:  Remove the jewelry wire component from your pliers.  At this point we need to inspect the loop to see if the loop is centered over the vertical wire (the longer wire segment through the beads in the picture shown).  If the loop isn't centered (which happens most of the time), slide one jaw of your round nose pliers all the way into the loop so that the entire inside of the loop is touching the jaw of your pliers.  Then grip the loop and twist it slightly left or right so that the loop is properly aligned so that the vertical wire points to the center of the loop like the handle on a lollipop.  For the loop shown below, you would twist the loop slightly clockwise as we are looking at it to center the loop over the jewelry wire and beads below it.  

Step 8:  Now we are ready to connect this loop into your jewelry component.  This obviously must be accomplished before wrapping the loop closed.  If you are connecting to another closed loop as shown below-right you can see that you must make the connection then wrap the loop closed. 



Instructions for making a Wrapped Loop in jewelry wire Step 5 showing gripping the wire in common jewelry making tools.


Instructions for making a Wrapped Loop in jewelry wire Step 6 showing shaping the wire using jewelry making tools.
Instructions for making a Wrapped Loop in jewelry wire Step 7 showing wire shape after removal from jewelry makng tools.

Instructions for making a Wrapped Loop in jewelry wire Step 8 showing connecting wire components.
Step 5 Step 6 Step 7 Step 8

Instructions for making a Wrapped Loop in jewelry wire Step 9 showing gripping the wire component with jewelry making tools.Step 9:  With your loop connected as described above, grasp the loop using your bent chain nose pliers.  Grasp it firmly.  We aren't trying to crush the loop only to make sure that it doesn't move.  To be able to accomplish this step, as shown at right, you need one of two things --  Either you need pliers with jaws that are thin so that you can grasp the loop and still have room to wrap the loop closed, or the other alternative is that you need to make a larger loop in steps 3, 4, and 5 so that you will have room for the jaws of your bent chain nose pliers.  We have worked with manufacturers to develop bent chain nose pliers with thinner jaws called our Bent Chain Nose Pliers.    If you don't have these pliers, make a larger loop, so that you will have room to grasp the loop with your pliers.  Grasping and holding the loop while you wrap the wire preserves the round shape of your loop.

Step 10:  Wrap the jewelry wire around one, two or three turns according to the needs of your project.  In general, it is good to wrap as many turns as necessary to cover the wire between your loop and your beads.  Try to be consistent and use the same number of wraps each time.  While wrapping the wire, keep the wire tail that you are wrapping perpendicular to the wire that you are wrapping it around.  It is important whenever you are wrapping jewelry wire to keep the wrapping wire perpendicular to the wrapped wire at all times.

Step 11:  When you have completed your wrap, you will need to cut the excess jewelry wire.  Do this with your flush cutter, holding the flat side of your cutter toward the finished piece as shown at right. 

Step 12:  When you have cut the excess wire, you will have a very small wire tail that will stick out at the cut end of the wire.  If done correctly it will only protrude about 1mm, but even this small amount is too much so we need to squeeze and twist this wire tail flat.  This is done by holding your loop in your bent chain nose or fine chain nose pliers as shown and using a second pair of chain nose or flat nose pliers, squeezing and slightly twisting, so that the small wire tail will lay flat and not protrude.  When done correctly, the small wire tail will disappear as shown at below-right. 



Instructions for making a Wrapped Loop in jewelry wire Step 10 showing wrapping the wire.
Instructions for making a wrapped loop in jewelry wire Step 11 showing cutting the wire with jewelry making tools. Instructions for making a wrapped loop in jewelry wire Step 12 showing gripping the wire with jewelry making tools. Step 12B to instructions for making a wrapped loop in jewelry wire showing using common jewelry making tools.
Step 10 Step 11 Step 12A Step 12B

Finished wrapped loop in jewelry wire made using common jewelry making tools.This completes your wrapped loop.  These same steps will apply if you are using this loop to connect a bead dangle and head pin in earrings and/or necklace, or if you are making a wrapped loop as a component in a chain.  If more detailed instructions would help you to better understand this skill, we suggest purchase of our "Wire Design Basics" online book.  You can find this book in our online store here

 

Please select here to return to our beginner's jewelry making skills web page.

 

 



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