Thursday, December 2, 2010

Make a Bracelet from Steel Wire

Steel Bracelet by GeltDesigns
I love wire jewelry. Wire jewelry is easily made with inexpensive tools you likely already have around the house and, if not, you can purchase in your local hardware store. Wire jewelry requires no soldering or torch work. Many projects, including this one, can be made in under an hour.

Wire jewelry is one of the oldest forms of jewelry making. You can find examples of wire jewelry dating back to ancient Egypt. Almost every culture in almost every part of the world used wire to make jewelry and other adornments. Look in museums around the world and you will find inspiring wire bracelets and jewelry from long ago.

This bracelet is another wire project made from the same steel wire we used to make our earrings from steel wire. The bracelet consists of nine "S" links and four "coil" links plus an "S" clasp.

Round nose pliers  or 3-Step wire looping pliers
Wire rounder
Chain nose
Mandrel or  Wrap n' Tap  pliers
Wire side cutters or flush cutters

Step 1
Measure your wrist or the wrist of the person for whom you are making the bracelet to determine bracelet size.

Step 2
Make an "S" clasp from the round wire  using either  round nose pliers  or 3-Step wire looping pliers.  If you do not know how to make an "S" clasp or "S" link, see our tutorials Make Your Own "S" Clasp and Make Your Own "S" Chain. File the ends of the wire on the "S" clasp smooth using a wire rounder.

Step 3
Make the "S" links from the round steel wire.  File the ends of each "S" link using a wire rounder.

For our bracelet, we needed nine links but you may need more or less depending on the length bracelet you plan to create. 

Step 4
Make the coil links from the wire. Wrap the wire  around a mandrel about eight times. We used a pencil as a mandrel, but you can using anything including pens, markers or  specialty wire wrapping pliers called Wrap n' Tap  pliers. The size of the link will depend on how many times you wrap the wire. 

Remove the wire from the mandrel. Use your  chain nose pliers to open up the last wrap at the end of the coil. Bend the wire so it is perpendicular to the coil. Repeat on the other side of the coil. You will use the created rings on either side of the coil to attach the link to other links in your chain bracelet.  File both ends of each spiral link using a wire rounder.

For our bracelet, we used four spiral links. You can change the look of the bracelet by changing the number of each type of link or by changing the gauge wire you use. Smaller gauge wire is thicker and will produce a heavier looking chain. Conversely, larger gauge wire is thinner and will result in a more delicate looking chain.

Step 5
Assemble the links in the pattern you desire. Add the clasp at the end of the chain.

Related Tutorials 
How to Determine Bracelet Sizes
Make Your Own "S" Chain
How to Make a Simple "S" Clasp (with or without Beads)
Make Your Own "S" Clasp 
Make Your Own Beaded "S" Clasp
GeltDesigns Tutorials by Topics   

Further Reading
Classical Loop-in-loop Chains and Their Derivatives (Jewellery)
Making Wire Jewelry: 60 Easy Projects in Silver, Copper & Brass
Getting Started Making Wire Jewelry and More (Getting Started series)
Making Bead & Wire Jewelry: Simple Techniques, Stunning Designs
All Wired Up: Wire Techniques for the Beadworker and Jewelry Maker (Beadwork How-To)

Day 12. Week 2. Jewelry from Found Objects.  $ spent: 0
Found materials: steel wire

New Jewelry a Day.

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