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Caged Beads Earrings 2

Instructions for making the Caged Beads Earrings using WigJig jewelry tools, jewelry wire, beads and common jewelry supplies.


A "Cage" is a jewelry wire pattern around a bead.  The pattern is based upon spiraled wire wrapped around a bead held on either a head pin as shown at right or around a wire similar to a wrapped bead link.   

Jewelry Wire Cage made using beads and common jewelry supplies.   
Cage Over 6mm bead


These earrings are a quick jewelry making project and are rather unique.  The finished product emphasizes the cage and the jewelry wire and de-emphasizes the beads themselves. 




Jewelry Supplies:

Cages Earrings made with WigJig jewelry tools, beads and jewelry supplies.  Cages Earrings jewelry making project made with beads and common  jewelry supplies.
Cage Earrings 2 views

Jewelry Tools Required:

  • Round Nose Pliers
  • Flush Cutter
  • Chain Nose or Bent Chain Nose Pliers (2)
  • Any WigJig jewelrytool
  • Spiral Maker for jewelry making jig
  • 2 metal pegs and one 1/4 or 5/8" Super Peg
  • 30 minutes of free time

Jewelry Making Skills Required:


Step 1Cut and straighten a piece of 20G soft jewelry wire 5" long.

Step 2:  Using the WigJig Spiral Maker tool, make a spiral in 1/2 of this jewelry wire.  When the spiral is completed there should be a wire tail 21/2 inches long. The spiral will appear as shown at right (the center wire tail of the spiral is pointing away from the camera in this picture.)  Video instructions for making a spiral with the WigJig Spiral Maker tool can be found here.

Jewelry wire spirals used in the making of Caged Beads Earrings.   

Step 2 Spirals





Step 3:  Now make another spiral with the wire tail.  When making this spiral, the center wire of the spiral should point in the opposite direction from the first spiral and the spiral should spiral in from the end in the opposite direction of the first spiral (if the first one is clockwise, then the second is counter-clockwise).  When completed the two spirals should appear as shown at right. 

Step 3 to instructions for making Caged Beads Earrings using WigJig jewelry tools and jewelry wire.

Step 3 Top View
 Side view of Step 3 to instructions for making Caged Beads Earrings using common jewelry supplies.
Step 3 Side View



Step 4:  Now, by hand, continue wrapping the smaller of the two spirals until it completely overlaps the other spiral.  The two spirals should be flat like two pancakes stacked one on top of the other, with the center wires pointed in opposite directions.  The picture at right shows how this should appear.

Step 4 to instructions for making Caged Beads Earrings using jewelry wire and WigJig jewelry tools.

Step 4 Overlapping Spirals



Step 5:  At this point you can easily see the advantages of using the WigJig Spiral Maker jewelry tool to make this cage.  The two center wire tails become natural handles to pull the cage apart, making a figure as near to a sphere as possible.  Try to space the jewelry wire loops evenly. 


Step 5 to instructions for making Chaged Beads Earrings using common jewelry supplies.

Step 5 Pull Apart Cage


Step 6:  Now we need to open the cage so that we can put a bead in the center of the cage.  This is done by hand, pulling apart two sides of the cage as shown at left. 

Step 7:  At this point we need to cut the wire tails off using our flush cutter.  This leaves us with an open clamshell of wire. 

Step 8:  In the center of the clamshell place a 6mm bead.  Thread a 2 or 2.5mm metal bead onto a 2" head-pin and thread the headpin into the hole of the 6mm bead. 

Step 9:  Now close the cage by hand and thread the head-pin completely through the 6mm bead and the opposite center of the cage.

Step 6 to instructions for making Caged Beads Earrings using jewelry wire and WigJig jewelry tools.

Step 6 Open Cage

Finished caged bead made using jewelry wire and common jewelry supplies. 
Step 9 Finished Cage


Step 10:  To finish this earring, attach the head-pin to the ear wire with a wrapped loop.  For this earring, I made an ear wire with a wrapped loop

Finished Caged Beads Earrings jewelry making project
Step 10 Finished Earring

Summary of jewelry making instructions:

Making cages out of jewelry wire is not a new jewelry making technique.  The old method of making cages out of jewelry wire has been around for perhaps thousands of years.  The new technique for making a cage described above uses our WigJig jewelry tools to make cages in an manner that is much easier than the ancient technique prior to our WigJig jewelry making tools.  If you can follow the above instructions you will find that it is easy to make cages consistently.  Cages make an interesting jewelry wire component.  You will find that people who see your cage earrings for the first time, won't be able to understand the magic which allows the bead to be encased in jewelry wire.  That fact alone should be enough to convince you to make your own cage earrings. 



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