How to Wire Wrap

By Peggy Hazelwood

Things Needed

  • Cabochon or other item to wire wrap
  • 24-gauge sterling silver or gold-filled wire, round, half-hard
  • Flat-nose pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Jewelry file
Wire wrap

Wire wrap just about any item to create a one-of-a-kind pendant. Wire wrapping is the art of wrapping wire around an object with no hole, making wearable art. Good items to wire-wrap include gemstone cabochons, beach glass, crystals, shells, coins or other somewhat flat treasures that would be suitable for wearing as a pendant but that do not have a hole to thread wire through.

Cut two pieces of wire. For a 4-inch pendant, each wire should be approximately 24 inches long or six times longer than the pendant. The length will depend on how large the pendant piece is that you will be wire wrapping. If the object is smaller, less wire is needed. Use about 18 inches, for instance. If the piece is larger, use more wire.

Bend the wire in half. At the halfway point of the wire, use the flat-nose pliers to bend the wire in half so that it resembles a "V" shape.

Place one piece of wire on one side of the object at the middle point or halfway down the pendant. Point the wire ends, or the top of the "V," facing up. Place the other wire on the other side of the object so that a wire is on either side of the object to be wire wrapped.

Bend one wire around the other wire on the sides of the pendant. Where the two wires meet on one side of the object, bend the wire and twist it around the other wire. Continue twisting the two wires on one side about five turns. Repeat this process with the two wires on the other side of the object. This process will secure the pendant piece snugly in the wire.

Press the twisted wire in an upward direction. Gently press the wire against the pendant on both sides using your thumb or fingers. Twist the wires together two more turns on both sides of the pendant to secure the wires. Use the flat-nose pliers to press the each side of the wire against the pendant. The wire should be snug against the pendant.

Twist the wires again five times on each side. Push the twisted wire against the side of the pendant. Continue to twist the wire five times on each side, pressing the wire against the side of the pendant each time until you reach the top of the pendant. Use the flat-nose pliers to press the wire against the sides of the pendant. The pendant will be encased in wire on both sides.

Grasp the loose wires from one side of the pendant and push them toward the top center of the pendant. Repeat this with the wires on the other side of the pendant. Twist one wire from one side of the top with a wire for the opposite side five times. Twist the other two wires in the same manner. All four wires should now be twisted into two wires sticking up from the top of the pendant.

Form a loop. Twist the two remaining wires at the top so that they cross. Leave an open loop portion large enough for a necklace to slide through. Cross the wires again at the top of the loop and twist the wires. Separate the wires and forms spirals or other decorative loops. Snip the wire using the wire cutters and file the edges to remove burrs or sharpness.

Tip

Practice on a flat rock with inexpensive craft wire the first time.

About the Author

Peggy Hazelwood began editing engineering reports in 1987, then textbooks for major publishers and now writes articles online. She has written business articles for the "Boulder County Business Report" and has completed writing courses through EEI and Career Track. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in speech communication from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.