Adjustable Wire-Wrap Bead Ring (Tutorial)
by Rena Klingenberg.
This wire-wrap ring is adjustable at the bottom of the band, so you can customize the fit by spreading or squeezing the sides of the ring.
In this tutorial, I’ll demonstrate making the ring with the turquoise colored square bead.
But you can also make a ring similar to the one above with three beads – just be sure to follow the measuring guidelines in this tutorial.
- Artistic wire / Craft wire (or other round soft wire) – 18 or 20 gauge.
For the ring with the turquoise colored square bead, I used 18 gauge Natural (copper) Artistic wire.
For the ring with three blue beads, I used 18 gauge Gunmetal-colored 18 gauge Artistic wire.
- A flat, square bead about 12mm size, with a hole large enough to accommodate your wire.
I used a Czech glass bead with a picasso finish.
- Wire cutters.
- Round nose pliers.
- Flat nose pliers.
- Chain nose pliers.
- Ring mandrel (or other cylindrical object that’s about the same circumference as your finger).
- Sharpie marker – for marking your wire.
- Flexible tape measure – for measuring your finger.
How Much Wire to Cut
for Your Ring:
Here’s what we’ll add up to figure how much wire you’ll need:
- The width of your bead(s). (My square turquoise bead is 12mm.)
- The circumference of your ring-wearing finger. (My finger is 60mm.)
- An additional 200mm for finishing off the ring.
So my total wire length is:
12mm + 60mm + 200mm = 272mm
When figuring how much wire you’ll need:
Remember to use your own bead width and the finger circumference of the person who will be wearing the ring – which are not necessarily the same size as my bead and my finger in the example above. 🙂
How to Make an
Adjustable Wire-Wrap Bead Ring:
Cut your wire to the proper length, using the measuring info above.
Now use your Sharpie marker to mark your wire on the five places shown by the blue lines (explained below this photo):
- Make a mark on the centerpoint of the wire.
- Make 2 marks (one on either side of the centerpoint), showing where the edges of your bead will be. Each of these marks should be half of the bead-width away from the centerpoint.
(Example: My bead is 12mm wide.
So my marks are 6mm on either side of the centerpoint.)
- Make 2 more marks (one beyond each of your bead-edge marks), each showing half the length of your finger-circumference measurement.
(Example: My finger-circumference measurement is 60mm.
So my marks are 30mm beyond each of the bead-edge marks.)
There should be an additional 100mm of wire beyond each of these finger-circumference marks.
Now your marked wire should look like this:
It’s time to string your bead onto the centerpoint of the wire – so that wire shows a Sharpie mark on each side of the bead:
For the rest of this tutorial, keep your bead in this spot on the wire, with the wire marks on each side of the bead.
That will make it easier to keep the bead in the right place as you make the ring.
Now use the tips of your round nose pliers to grasp one of the end-marks on your wire:
Keeping the round nose pliers on the wire mark, use your fingers to press both sides of the wire straight upward, making a bend in the wire:
Now your wire should look like this:
Use the tips of your flat nose pliers to squish the wire fold, making it as flat as possible.
The shorter end of the wire should run below the bead:
Your wire should now look like this:
Now move to the Sharpie mark at the other end of your wire:
Make the same kind of bend as you did with the first end of the wire, and flatten this bend with your flat nose pliers.
Both wire ends should run below the bead.
Now your wire should look like this:
Now it’s time to shape your ring around the mandrel (or whatever you’re using for your mandrel).
Place the ring on the mandrel, centered on the proper ring size, with your thumb on top of the bead.
The two folded wire ends will be your ring shaft.
The two long, straight wire ends will be your wrap wires (which we’ll use later).
With your ring on the mandrel, use the fingers of your other hand to shape the folded wires tightly around the mandrel to form the ring shaft:
Your ring should look something like this:
Use your round nose pliers to curve and shape the ends of your ring shaft more accurately:
Slide your ring back on the mandrel to shape it up a bit more.
Pull the long, straight wire ends outward, away from the ring:
Wrap one of the long, straight wire ends across the ring, so that it rests across the other side of the ring shank:
Remove the ring from the mandrel, and wrap the long, straight wire tightly around that side of the ring shank:
Now move to the other long, straight wire end, so we can wrap this wire around the other side of the ring shank.
Wrap it across the ring, so that it rests across the other side of the ring shank.
Then wrap the long, straight wire tightly around that side of the ring shank.
Now each long wire end is wrapped around the opposite side of the ring shank:
Now make another tight wrap with each wire end, right below the first wraps:
Make a couple more wraps with each wire end, for a total of four or five wraps on each side of the ring shank:
Use your wire cutter to cut off one of the wire ends, as closely as possible to the ring shank:
Then use your chain nose pliers to tightly squeeze down the wire end, so it doesn’t poke or scratch anything:
Cut and squeeze down the second wire end.
And your ring is finished!
You may want to put it back on the mandrel for some final shaping up.
While it’s on the mandrel, you can also hammer the shaft (but not the wire wraps) with a nylon, rubber, or plastic hammer – to work-harden the wire and make the ring sturdier.
The underside of your finished ring should look something like this:
And the rest of your adjustable wire wrap ring will probably look like this:
Below is another view of the three-bead version:
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.