by Rena Klingenberg.
You can make this wrapped, stacked wire ring project either with or without a bead, and it’s lovely both ways.
Although it looks like a complicated design, it’s actually quite easy to make.
The secret is to make a handful of simple wire rings, then stack them up and bind them together at the bottom.
- 5 pieces of wire for the simple stacking rings:
Use round soft wire in 16, 18, or 20 gauge. I used 18 gauge copper.
Length: Each piece of wire should be the circumference of the middle knuckle of the ring-wearing finger, plus 3 cm.
Example: If the middle knuckle of your ring finger measures 5.5 cm, add 3 cm for a wire length of 8.5 cm.
- 1 piece of wire that’s 9 cm long, for binding the stacked rings together:
Use round soft wire in 18 or 20 gauge. I used 20 gauge copper.
- Wire cutter.
- Round nose pliers.
- Flat nose pliers.
- Chain nose pliers.
- Ring mandrel (or other sturdy cylinder that’s about the circumference of your finger).
- Plastic or nylon jewelry hammer for shaping your ring around the mandrel.
- One bead for a focal element on your ring.
My green bead is Czech glass, 6 mm round.
My coffee-and-cream bead is Czech glass, 10×6 mm flat rectangle.
- 1 piece of wire 15 cm long, to make an additional simple stacking ring that will add your bead to the main ring.
Use round soft wire in 16, 18, or 20 gauge. I used 20 gauge copper.
Make sure you can fit this wire through the hole in your bead.
How to Make the
Wrapped Stacked Wire Ring:
We’ll start by making the five simple rings that will be stacked up to create the main ring.
Cut your five pieces of wire.
Each wire should be the circumference of your ring-wearing finger’s middle knuckle plus 3 cm.
My wires are 8.5 cm (to create a finished ring size 7):
Now pick up one of those wires, and use the tips of your round nose pliers to make a small loop at one end of the wire:
Use your flat nose pliers to straighten and flatten the loop:
Now your wire should look like this:
Make a loop at the other end of your wire, with the loop facing the opposite way from your first loop.
Your wire should now look like this:
Make loops the same way on each end of your other four wires.
Now you should have a pile of 5 wires with loops at the ends:
Pick up one of the loop-ended wires you just made, and lay it across your ring mandrel.
Sometimes after wrapping your wire around the mandrel, the wire “springs back” a little, making the ring a larger size.
So you may want to use one size smaller on the ring mandrel than you want the finished ring to be.
For example, my finished ring will be size 7 – so I’m placing my wire on ring size 6 on the mandrel:
Wrap both sides of your wire all the way around the mandrel, with a little gap between the wire loop ends.
Use your plastic or nylon hammer to pound your looped ends nicely around the mandrel’s curve.
Then slide your ring down the mandrel to your desired finished size to make sure it’s a good fit there:
Repeat this process with each of your other four wires.
Now you should have a pile of 5 simple rings:
Add a Bead to Your Ring:
If you want to add a bead to your finished ring, we’ll make an additional simple ring with your bead on it.
Thread your 15 cm wire through your bead, so that the bead is at the midpoint of the wire.
Now fold the wire ends down toward the underside of your bead.
The wires should cross each other at the bottom side of your bead:
Continue folding the wires around the underside of your bead until they lay flat across the bottom of the bead:
Now let’s form these wires into a ring around your mandrel.
Use the mandrel’s mark for one ring size smaller than you want your finished ring to be.
For example, my finished ring will be size 7 – so I’m using ring size 6 on the mandrel.
With the underside of your bead pressed against the mandrel, wrap the wires firmly around the mandrel until the wire ends point upward on each side of the bead:
Slide your bead ring down the mandrel to your desired finished size.
Now use the tips of your round nose pliers to turn the bead ring’s wire ends into loops or spirals:
Now you can continue on with the next step.
It’s time to put all of these simple rings together to create the wrapped, stacked ring.
Stack your simple rings together, in whatever order you like:
If you made a simple ring with a bead on it, you may want that one in the middle of the stack.
Slide the rings around and arrange the loops into a nice pattern on the top and sides.
It’s perfectly fine if the loops and shanks layer over each other in some places – it adds depth and interest to the design.
Now use your 9 cm piece of wire to bind the stack of rings together at the bottom:
After every wrap of your binding wire, use your flat nose pliers to squeeze the wrap down firmly into place.
When you’ve wrapped your binding wire several times around the bottom of the ring stack, trim the binding wire’s ends so that they’ll end up on the inside of the ring shank.
Use your flat nose pliers to squeeze the trimmed binding wire ends tightly against the ring shank, so they won’t scratch you when you wear the ring.
On the outside of the ring, your finished binding should look something like this:
Now your ring is finished!
If you made your ring without a bead, it will look something like this:
If you made it with a bead, it may look something like this:
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.