How To Wire Wrap A Briolette

The following page gives step by step instructions on a simple, yet great technique for jewellery making - wire wrapping a briolette. This technique requires a little perseverance to produce neat and consistent results, but on the whole it is an easy process to master and requires few tools. 

The end result allows you to create beautiful and elegant gemstone jewellery. Wire wrapping a briolette is very similar to wire wrapping any other bead, but with a briolette you can choose whether you would like to continue to wrap the wire down the top part of the bead to form a cap.

Tools Needed: 

Side Cutters

Round Nose Pliers.

Components Needed:

Metal Wire ( we recommend 0.3mm gauge as in general, this fits through most briolette holes) 

Gemstone Briolette.

We Have Used:

0.3mm Sterling Silver Wire

Aqua Blue Chalcedony Briolette

Using this tutorial we then attached our wire wrapped briolettes to some sterling silver large kidney wires to create some gorgeous earrings. 


Step One

Using side cutters cut a length of wire approximately 15 - 20cm long (it is easiest to have a little extra wire than you will actually use, as it gives you more to hold onto and grip whilst wrapping the wire). Slip the briolette onto the wire around 3-4cm down.

Step Two

Ensuring one side of wire is longer than the other - pinch both ends of the wire together at the top of the briolette to form a triangle shape and check that the briolette is centred.

Step Three

Hold both sides of the wire with your round nose pliers and bend the longer length to a right angle. At this point work half way up the plier nose to ensure you allow yourself enough room for a good wrap. 

Step Four

If necessary use side cutters to cut the short side of wire so that it stops at around the same point as bend on the longer side of wire. This will determine the length of your wrap.

Step Five

Use your round nose pliers to form a loop with the longer side of wire by bending it to a right angle and wrapping it around the tip of the pliers. Make sure the loop is above the end of the short side of the wire and centre of the briolette.

Step Six

Hold the loop flat between the tips of your snipe nose pliers. Take the long length of wire between your fingers and holding it taught, start wrapping it around the stem of the wires -starting at the base of the loop and working down towards the bead. 

Step Seven

To help keep your wire wrapping tight you can use the tips of snipe nose pliers to gently squeeze the coil together.

Step Eight

Continue to wrap until you reach the top of the bead. You can finish your wrapping here or you can continue to wrap around the top of the bead to form a cap.

Step Nine

When you are happy with the length of your wrap bring the wire up and around toward the loop.

Step Ten

Use side cutters to cut the wire as close as possible to the coil.

Step Eleven

For a neat finish use snipe nose pliers to squeeze the end of wire into the coil.

Finished!

Your briolette is fully wrapped and ready to be incorporated into your design!

Jewellery Design Examples and Projects

Wire wrapped briolettes can be incorporated into such a variety of designs. Here are just a few examples of what you can create with them. Some of these designs are jewellery making projects from our Make The Look category. Click on the links for more information on how to make these designs.

These earrings where the design we created after completing this tutorial on two aqua blue chalcedony briolettes. They are simply hung on large sterling silver kidney ear wires.

These gorgeous earrings incorporate chain to create a drop effect. Whilst the original briolettes that we have used in this project are no longer in stock, this design is so adaptable that any gemstone briolette would work! Click here to view step by step instructions on how to make this look. 

To make this design you simply need to attach your wire wrapped gemstone briolette to a chain using a jump ring. For step by step instructions on how to open and close a jump ring for best results click here.

For this project we have wore wrapped three Rhodolite Garnet Faceted Teardrop Briolette Beads to sit with on of our sterling silver cherry blossom charms. For step by step instructions on how to make this look click here.

If you have any further questions, feel free to call our friendly team who will be more than happy to give you some advice through Facebook, Twitter, Email or simply calling us on 01872 573888 8.30am-4.30pm.

Alternatively, for more information and how to's on all areas of jewellery making visit our other Gemstone Setting Advice pages.