by Rena Klingenberg.
This metal and wire ring project features graceful scrollwork, framing a faceted bead that spins on its wire.
The metalwork here is easy, even if this is your first time working with sheet metal.
- A piece of copper sheet – 22 or 24 gauge (I used 24 gauge).
Most jewelry suppliers that carry metalworking stuff carry sheet metal. I got mine online from Monsterslayer.com.
- A bead – I used a Czech glass faceted rondell bead, approximately 5 x 10 mm size.
- Copper wire, round soft – 1 piece that’s about 8.6″ (22cm) long, and preferably 22 or 24 gauge.
I used 22 gauge wire; make sure your wire can fit through your bead.
- Jeweler’s saw, shears, tin snips, or other scissors that can cut metal (you can get these shears, snips, and scissors pretty inexpensively at a hardware or home improvement store) – for cutting your sheet metal. I used a Eurotool straight shear with single spring.
- Ruler that measures millimeters.
- All-purpose marker (such as a Sharpie) for marking your sheet metal.
- Metal file.
- #0000 steel wool – a small piece.
- Metal ring mandrel (or dowel, PVC pipe, marker, or other sturdy cylindrical object that’s about the diameter of your finger).
- Wire cutter.
- Round nose pliers.
- Flat nose pliers.
- Chain nose pliers.
How to Make
The Scroll Ring with Spinner Bead
What Size to Make Your Ring?
Wrap a flexible tape measure around the middle knuckle of your finger that will wear the finished ring.
Then add 1 cm to that measurement.
Example: My knuckle circumference is 6 cm, so I’ll add 1 cm to that for a total length of 7 cm.
We’ll start by making our ring shank from sheet metal.
CAUTION: The edges and corners of your sheet metal are as sharp as a knife. Handle with extreme care to prevent injury.
Get out your copper sheet metal, and use your ruler and Sharpie marker to mark the outline of your ring on the metal.
The width of your ring should be 5mm.
The length of your ring should be your knuckle measurement + 1cm, as mentioned above (for my ring, it’s 7cm):
Now your metal should look something like this:
Use your jeweler’s saw, shears, tin snips, or other scissors that can cut metal, to cut out the ring you just drew on your metal sheet:
Your ring is probably a bit warped after being cut out.
So use your flat nose pliers to squeeze all along the length of your ring to flatten and straighten it:
Now we’ll taper the ends of your metal piece, to give your finished scrolls a graceful shape.
Mark a horizontal line 5mm from one end of your ring.
Then mark a dot at the center of the end of the metal.
Make the same marks on the other end of your metal.
Now cut diagonal lines as shown below, to taper each end of your ring:
Your ring should look like this:
Now it’s time to smooth the edges of your ring.
Wear a protective mask and work outdoors or in a well-ventilated area to avoid breathing metal dust as you file.
Start by using your jewelry file on each edge and angle of your ring, filing in one direction to make rounded, smooth, even edges.
When every edge and angle feels smooth and rounded, use your fine steel wool to “sand” around all edges of your ring, including the flat surfaces:
Next, we’ll bend your piece of metal around the ring mandrel (or dowel, PVC pipe, marker, or other sturdy cylindrical object that’s about the diameter of your finger).
Find your ring size on the mandrel (mine is size 7), and place your ring across it as shown below.
Your thumb should be on the center of your ring, holding the metal firmly against the mandrel.
Then use the fingers of your other hand to wrap the sides of your ring around the mandrel, until the two tapered ends of your ring meet on the underside of the mandrel:
Remove your ring from the mandrel, and use your round nose pliers to grasp one of the tapered ends of your ring, fairly close to the end of the plier jaws:
Now roll that end of your ring into a small curl, curving away from the other tapered end.
Don’t make a fully closed loop. Instead, leave a small opening between the tapered end and the ring shank:
Now your ring should look like this:
Make a similar curl on the other tapered end of your ring:
At this point I recommend putting your ring back on the mandrel to shape it up now that you’ve curled up the ends:
Now we’ve finished with the metalwork part of this ring.
It’s time to do the wirework.
So get your bead ready:
Then cut your 22 cm piece of wire, and string your bead onto the centerpoint of the wire:
Now bend the sides of your wire against the bead as shown, with the wire ends pointing in opposite directions:
Now set your bead into the space between your ring’s curved scrolls:
Bend each wire around the edge of the ring’s scrolls, as shown below:
Now we’ll work with just one wire at a time.
We’re going to wrap each wire around its ring scroll 3 or 4 times.
Here’s the first wire wrap:
After each wrap, use your chain nose pliers to squeeze down tightly on each spot where your wire bends around the edge of the ring scroll:
Keep wrapping the wire around the scroll, squeezing with your chain nose pliers each time the wire bends around the edge of the scroll:
When you’ve made 3 or 4 wire wraps around the scroll, use your wire cutter to trim the wire end to about 4 mm long:
Use the tips of your chain nose pliers to make a tiny bend in the wire, so that end won’t poke out on the finished ring:
Now wrap that 4 mm wire end around the scroll, and use your chain nose pliers to squeeze it firmly in place:
Your first wire end is finished.
Now wrap the second wire around the other ring scroll, the same way you did with the first one.
When you’ve done that, your ring is finished!
It should look something like this:
Your bead should spin freely on its wire – a lovely feature for people who like to have something for their hands to fiddle with.
Want to Learn the Basics of
Designing Your Own Wire Jewelry?
In my Design and Make Artistic Jewelry Components video class, you’ll learn how to get great ideas for wire jewelry designs – and then follow my easy system for turning those ideas into successful pieces of jewelry.
By the end of this online video class, you’ll be designing and making your own artistic earwires, clasps, connectors, and pendant bails.
You’ll also learn my tips for making wire jewelry more easily, with more professional looking results.