This page provides step by step instructions on how to wire wrap individual beads to form a delicate beaded chain. Great for incorporating in your necklace, bracelet and earring designs.
This is a great technique to learn to enable many design options, it also helps your beads to go further.
In this tutorial we've used some amazonite beads that are approximately 8x5mm. As the hole in the bead is approximately 0.7mm, we chose to use 0.5mm sterling silver wire. You can use any beads of your choice and suitable sized wire. You can use all the same beads or create your own design with different shapes and different coloured gemstone beads.
Choose from our selection of metal wire to complete your beading chain. Including plated, sterling silver, 9ct gold, copper, brass and more.
Choose a suitable diameter wire for your beads, that will run smoothly through the holes (smaller beads = smaller holes). We would usually recommend using between 0.3mm and 0.5mm wire depending on your choice of beads.
You will need a gemstone bead! We have so many beautiful beads to choose from in a range of gemstones in many shapes and sizes to choose from.
Line up your beads in the order you want them to be on the chain, this gives you a good idea of how they will look when strung.
Use side cutters to cut a length of wire. Approximately 5cm of wire per bead should do, but do bear in mind different wire gauges and bead sizes will require different lengths so it's worth trying a few first to see which will leave you with least wastage (the beads used here are around 5mm wide).
Tip: Having a bit more wire than you need will make wrapping easier.
Take the first piece of wire and form a loop one end using the round nose pliers, leaving a short length one side of the loop.
Use side cutters to cut off any excess wire as close to the coil as possible then use the snipe nose pliers to make sure it's tucked in and there are no sharp points. You should now have what looks like an eye pin with a loop at one end that has been wrapped closed.
Thread the first bead onto the open end of the wire then place your round nose pliers after the bead and bend the wire to a right angle.
Form another loop and repeat the process of tightly wrapping the wire back down the pin towards the bead. Again, cut off any excess wire as close to the coil as possible then use the snipe nose pliers to make sure it's tucked in and there are no sharp points.
Now you need to use this wrapping technique to form your chain. Start again by using one of the lengths of wire and creating a loop one end as before - this time threading the end loop of the previous bead onto the loop before wrapping it closed.
If you need to add a clasp to your chain you can wrap it straight onto the chain in the same way you attached a new link. Alternatively, you can use jump or split rings to attach it.
Top tips for beginners:
The products used in this project are suggestions to inspire you. Products used were compatible at the time of making but do be aware that stocks can vary, so do use your own judgement as to the compatibility of each item when making.
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.