Bead and Wire Dragonfly (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg.

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

This bead and wire dragonfly tutorial can be used in infinite ways.

You can make them into earrings:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Or a necklace, with the dragonfly’s wing and tail attached to a chain:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

This bead and wire dragonfly is made from a single piece of wire, with a sturdy construction.

You might also use it for a zipper pull, ceiling-fan pull, sun catcher, houseplant decoration, embellishment on a gift wrap….

I’d love to see what you make from this tutorial, and how you use your wire dragonflies! 🙂

Supplies:

  • 20 gauge round soft wire – 240mm (9.45″) long.
    I used Artistic wire in Natural color.
  • Optional: Seed beads, size 6/0.
  • Wire cutter.
  • Sharpie marker – for marking your pliers and your wire.
  • Round nose pliers.
  • Chain nose pliers.

How to Make a
Bead and Wire Dragonfly

We’ll start by making a mark on your pliers, and a mark on your wire.

Use the Sharpie marker to make a mark about halfway down on one jaw of your round nose pliers.

(You can easily remove the Sharpie mark later, using a few drops of rubbing alcohol on a scrap of paper towel.)

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg - marking pliers

Use the Sharpie marker to make a mark on your wire, 60mm (2.36″) from one end of your wire:

Use your round nose pliers to grasp your wire, so that the mark you made on the wire rests on the mark you made on the pliers:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg - wire wrapping

Then use your fingers to press the wire ends straight downward:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg - wire wrapping

Your wire should look like this:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg - shaping wire

Now we’ll make the dragonfly’s head.

Cross the wire ends into an “X”, tightly under your pliers:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg - wire wrapping

Then twist the wire ends together with two twists, tightly below the pliers:
Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg - wire wrapping

The long wire end will make the dragonfly’s wings.

The short wire end is the dragonfly’s body.

Center the short wire end below the wire loop, so the body is straight down below the head:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg - shaping wire

Your wire should look like this:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg - shaping wire

Now we’ll make the dragonfly’s wings.

We’ll make two figure-eights, one on top of the other.

Each figure-eight will be one set of dragonfly wings.

To start the first figure-eight, use your round nose pliers to grasp the long wire end, about 12mm (0.47″) from the wire twists you made.

Your wire should be resting on the mark you made on your pliers:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg - wire wrapping

Now wrap the long wire end over the top of your pliers, making the first side of the first figure-eight:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg - wire wrapping

Your wire should look like this – a dragonfly with one wing:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg - wire wrapping

Now we’ll make the second half of the first figure-eight.

Use your round nose pliers to grasp the long wire end, about 12mm (0.47″) from the wire twists you made.

Your wire should be resting on the mark you made on your pliers:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg - wire wrapping

Wrap the long wire end over the top of your pliers, making the second side of the first figure-eight:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg - wire wrapping

Your wire should look like this – a dragonfly with one set of wings:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg - wire wrapping

Now we’ll start the second figure-eight (the second set of dragonfly wings), which we’ll make right on top of the first figure-eight.

Use your round nose pliers to grasp the wide end of the first figure eight, and also the long wire end.

Your wires should be resting on the mark you made on your pliers:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg - wire wrapping

Wrap the long wire end over the top of your pliers, making the first side of the second figure-eight:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg - wire wrapping

Your wire should look like this:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg - wire wrapping

Now we’ll make the second half of the second figure-eight, right on top of the first figure-eight.

Use your round nose pliers to grasp the wide end of the first figure eight, and also the long wire end.

Your wires should be resting on the mark you made on your pliers:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg - wire wrapping

Wrap the long wire end over the top of your pliers, making the second side of the second figure-eight:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg - wire wrapping

Your wire should look like this – two sets of dragonfly wings, one right on top of the other:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg - wire wrapping

We’ve finished the two figure-eights.

So we’ll finish off that end of the wire by wrapping the wire end around the dragonfly’s body, with some wire wraps just below the wings.

Use your round nose pliers to grasp the wide ends of both layers of the second side of the figure-eight.

Your wire should be resting on the mark you made on your pliers.

Now use your fingers or chain nose pliers to wrap the wire end about three times, tightly around the dragonfly’s body, just under the wings:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg - wire wrapping

Use your wire cutter to trim off the excess wire from your wire wraps.

The flat side of your cutter should be against the wire wraps:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg - wire wrapping

Use the tips of your chain nose pliers to squash down the wire end, so it won’t poke or scratch anyone:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg - wire wrapping

Now it’s time to separate the two layers of dragonfly wings.

Use your round nose pliers to gently separate and spread the wings on each side of the dragonfly’s body:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg - wire wrapping

Now your wire should look like this:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg - wire wrapping

It’s time to style your dragonfly!

You can leave your dragonfly’s body straight.

Or you can gently curve the body around a cylindrical object like a nail polish bottle, vitamin bottle, chair leg, etc.

Here’s a dragonfly with a gentle curve:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg - adding beads

String beads onto the dragonfly’s body if you wish:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg - adding beads

And when you’re finished, you can use round nose pliers to make an artistic loop at the end of the tail:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

You can use the tail loop to attach a dangle, or to attach the dragonfly sideways as a pendant (see the dragonfly in a necklace in the third photo at the top of this page).

Remove the Sharpie mark from your wire, using a few drops of rubbing alcohol on a scrap of paper towel.

Your finished Bead and Wire Dragonfly may look something like this:

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Bead and Wire Dragonfly Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

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Comments

  1. Linda Sheehan says:

    I’d love to make this! I must say working with wire is not my strongest talent…but I will definitely give this a try. I’ll post pictures unless I’m just too embarrassed by the outcome. 🤔

  2. Love the design, seems so easy but like Linda Sheehan, “working with wire is not my strongest talent”. I do not like measuring and being precise; that’s why I don’t like baking but I love to cook! 🙁
    I may also test this out soon…thanks Rena

  3. Totally adorable! And just in time for Spring time jewelry. Just imagine all the different variations with wire colors, bead colors or sparkly crystals.

  4. Judith says:

    I made these up as earrings/clip style, but dangling with crystal seed beads. Received two compliments within 24 hours. I love them and will make more. The instructions are easy for me to follow. Thank you, Rena.

  5. Judith, that’s wonderful to hear! So glad you let me know. 🙂

  6. Linda, I hope to see your lovely dragonflies!

    Joybell, I’d love to see how you style your dragonflies if you make them!

    Thank you, Lynda C.! I agree, they’re so fun for a variety of Spring jewelry and crafts.

  7. Natasha says:

    Planning on making some of these in bigger gauge wire for garden dangles!

  8. What a neat idea, Natasha! Thanks for sharing that. 🙂

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