Thursday, January 2, 2014

Make a Ring from Scrap Wire & a Bead

wire wrapped ringsRings are a great fashion accessory. Rings require little metal and are a great project to make with limited resources. You can make a wire wrapped ring using scrap wire leftover from other projects and a bead or two.  

16-gauge copper wire
Lampwork glass bead(s),

Ring mandrel
Raw hide hammer or plastic mallet,
Cup burr or needle file
Tumblerstainless steel shot (optional)

Step 1
Assemble your tools and materials. In our example, we used 16-guage copper wire, but scrap wire in gold, silver, brass or any other nonferrous metal can be used to make a ring. Similarly, different gauge wires can be substituted if you want a ring with a finer or heavier look. Select the lampwork bead, checking to be sure the wire will fit through the bead.

Step 2
Check ring size
Measure your finger or the finger of the person for whom you would like to make the ring.  Use a ring that fits well and slide the ring onto the ring mandrel to measure ring size if you do not have a ring sizer.

Step 3
Slide the focal bead onto the wire.

Step 4
Wrap the wire around the ring mandrel the number of times needed for your wire wrapped ring. Fit the wire through the bead each time you wrap. In our example, we show rings with one, two and three wraps.

sizing a wire ringStep 5
Check the ring as you work to be sure the ring is sized  correctly.

Step 6
Stop wrapping with the ends of the wire close to the bead. Tuck the wire ends under the bead and trim any excess.

You can also bend the ends of the wire up to hold the bead so that they look like prongs. If you chose to use the prong method for your wire wrapped ring, then be sure to file the prong tips with a cup burr or needle file so that the prongs are not sharp.

Step 7
Harden the wire of your wire wrapped ring so the ring will maintain its shape. Harden the wire by hitting the wire with a raw hide hammer or plastic mallet. You can also place the completed wire wrapped rings into a tumbler with stainless steel shot to burnish and harden the wire so the wire wrapped rings hold their shape.

Happy Beading!

1 comment: