Jewelry-Making for Beginners Part 8: Making a Wrapped Loop

I believe that making something with your own two hands is one of the greatest joys and sources of fulfillment. To help spread that joy, I've created a series of how-to tutorials on the basics of jewelry making. This is the eighth installment in the series. You can find links to the others below.

Beads
Other Supplies
Opening and Closing a Jump Ring
Making a Simple Loop

In this part of the series, I'd like to show you my favorite technique: making wrapped loops.

The tools and materials for completing this technique are the same as those used to make a simple loop but used in a slightly different manner.
You'll need a headpin, eye pin, or wire; round-nose pliers; chain-nose pliers; flush cutters (or other wire cutters); and a bead (or beads).

Simply slide your bead(s) onto the wire.
For this example, I'm using a head pin. If you're using wire without a stopper on the end, I would recommend creating a loop (simple or wrapped) on one end before adding the bead. Use your round nose pliers to hold the wire and bend it above the plier. Remember that the closer to the tip of the piers you make the bend, the less area you have to wrap. I tend to bend at almost the tip. However, if you want more space, move the wire closer to the handle before making your bend.

Adjust your pliers so you're holding the wire above the bend.
From there, wrap the wire around the round nose. You will likely have to adjust the pliers at least once to complete the loop. Again, keep in mind the size of the loop you want to make. Placing the wire close to the tip will form a very small loop while placing it closer to the handle will create a very large loop. Either way, you will want to make sure you have enough wire to form your wraps.

Continue to hold your wire with the round-nose pliers through the loop and begin your wrap.
Make sure you are twisting the wire so it goes directly around and down the small portion coming out of the bead. To wrap, you can either use your hands or your chain-nose pliers. I tend to use my hands until the wire gets too short to handle. Stop wrapping when the wire is touching the bead all the way around.

Most of the time, you will have a short tail of excess wire once your wrap is complete.
Simply use your wire cutters to trim the excess. I like to use flush cutters to make sure I can get as close as possible to the wrap. Remember to cover the wire as you cut so that the trimmed portion does not go flying.

Once the wire is trimmed, you will often have a small portion of the wire that continues to stick up from the wrap.
Use your chain-nose pliers to press down that short end and secure it. This is for aesthetic and safety purposes so that the small wire end doesn't catch on clothes or skin when your finished jewelry is being worn.

The process shown above creates a "neat wrap" in that the wraps are neatly stacked on top of one another. Another alternative is to create a "messy wrap" by wrapping the wire a little more haphazardly. This usually takes more wire. Alas, I don't have an example of a messy wrap as it's not really my style, and I have a hard time creating them. As with any new technique, I encourage you to practice this skill again and again. Your first attempts will likely not be perfect - unless you're some kind of jewelry-making savant.

Here are a few examples of how I've used wrapped loops in my own jewelry-making.
Some of the wrapped loops in each piece are circled in red. You can see that these are used to make charms and connect chain. Wrapped loops are great for creating secure connections with your wire.

If you do better seeing the skill in action, I created a video of the process of how to create wrapped loops for your jewelry-making endeavors.

I hope this technique really helps you up your jewelry-making game. Please don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions, comments, or additional information about making wrapped loops.

Comments

  1. Even after beading (and looping) for almost 10 years, I cannot create neatly stacked loops consistently!! I either do spirals on the bead like a bead cap or messy wrap when I have to do necklaces or mix them all up together in a planned disarray. I think I get away with it as my stuff is quirky right from the concept.

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  2. This is a very useful technique and even though I use it a lot, sometimes I find myself doing things the wrong way :) So it's good to be reminded of the how-to occasionally!

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