Tutorial: Bead Tangles

Last week, I revealed my need for a sketchbook and mentioned that I might share with you some of the ideas that have been developed in said sketchbook. Here's one I'm calling a Bead Tangle.
My first test in gold-tone craft wire

This is the sketchbook entry I made.

To test out this idea, I gathered my supplies
Wire (24g) and a mix of small beads
Since I was just testing out the idea, I decided to use craft wire and seed beads.
I also used some minimal tools
Round nose pliers, flat nose pliers, and wire cutters

And so I set to work. . .(please pardon my nails in these pictures, I knew it was time to remove the paint, but just hadn't gotten to it yet.)

I started by cutting about a yard of wire. Longer lengths will make larger tangles.
Wrap the end of the wire a few times around the round nose pliers
Hold the loops, bend the wire, add a bead, and begin wrapping the wire randomly around itself.
Add more beads and wrap some more
Continue to add beads and wrap, building up the tangle larger and larger
About halfway through the wire, add a wrapped loop (Sorry this pic is lousy)
As you continue wrapping and adding beads, you'll notice open areas under the wire. Weave the end of the wire through these areas to secure the wire. Then wrap and weave (adding beads as you go)
In areas where the wire seems loose, use the end of your round nose pliers to simply twist that wire taught
As you come to the end of your wire, leave an inch or two free
Use that end to wrap some more around the base of the loop formed earlier
Secure the wrapping with the flat nose pliers, tighten up any other loose areas,  and you're done!!

While I know these aren't high-end jewelry components, I love the pops of color the mix of seed beads give them. I can see forming these around a skewer or straw to make a bead or making loops at either end to produce a connector of sorts. There are loads of possibilities. I'd love to hear your ideas as well!


  1. I love these, Hope! I love what I call messy wraps! Thanks for the tutorial. I'll be making some of these, they make great playful dangles.

  2. Wow! That is clever and those are very cool! Thanks for sharing! (and love the polka dot nails! )

  3. cute, cute, cute idea! And yeah, I love those nails too :)

  4. This is such a creative idea! They remind me of blackberries and would be very cute on a bracelet!

  5. Martha- I see what you mean! With some black wire and some purple-y seed beads this design could easily become blackberries. Great idea!! I'm so glad you like the design. I appreciate that.


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