Make a Measuring Template for Wire Jewelry Projects
by Rena Klingenberg.
© 2003-Present Rena Klingenberg. All Rights Reserved
You can use this idea for all kinds of wire (and other) jewelry designs!
Once you’ve figured out the measurements for a project, create a template so you won’t have to do the same measuring all over again the next time you make something similar.
Among my most-used wireworking tools are my measuring templates I’ve made out of wooden popsicle sticks.
Each popsicle stick is marked with the measurements for a border-wrapped pendant made with a specific size of cabochon.
On one side of the popsicle stick:
I’ve used a fine-tip Sharpie marker to write the size of the cabochon, the length of the main wires needed for this size, and the type of wire needed.
(So the top stick shown in the photo above is for an 18 x 25 mm cabochon, which needs a bundle of square wires that are 6-7/8″ long.)
On the other side of the popsicle stick:
I’ve marked four lines, on the exact spots where the four binding wires need to be wrapped around the main wire bundle for this design.
You can see where the four binding wires end up on the finished pendant, in this photo – a pair of binding wires just below the cabochon, and a pair of them just above it:
How I use these measuring templates:
I simply place my wire bundle on top of the popsicle stick, with the midpoint of the bundle lined up with the midpoint of the popsicle stick.
I draw the four lines across my wires with a fine-point Sharpie.
Then I pick up the wire bundle and wrap its four binding wires around it – with each binding starting on the appropriate Sharpie line.
I wrap the bindings in the direction of the arrows shown on the popsicle stick:
Why I use them:
I came up with this system after spending untold amounts of time re-doing these same measurements with a ruler every single time I made one of these pendants!
It finally occurred to me that I could skip all the tedious measuring if I could just lay my wires across a template and mark where the bindings go.
I knew that would subtract several minutes from the process of making each pendant, and make my designs more precise at the same time!
These high-tech measuring templates require someone to make the huge sacrifice of eating a popsicle … or two … or ten! :o)
I use this same concept for all kinds of jewelry measuring.
Woodworkers say, “Measure twice, cut once.”
But I say, “Measure once, and mark it on a popsicle stick!” 🙂