Make a Measuring Template for Wire Jewelry Projects
by Rena Klingenberg.
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!
This is one of the “math work-arounds” I mentioned in my article, How to Keep “Math Issues” from Stopping Your Jewelry Business.
(One of my personal math issues is that I have a lot of trouble with measuring things.)
These high-tech measuring templates require someone to make the huge sacrifice of eating a popsicle … or two … or ten! :o)
This is brilliant! I haven’t done any of this kind of wrapping but when I do I’ll have a short-cut to start with.
what an awesome idea! I’m working more with wire and each time I’ve been measuring and such…definitely going to give this a try…what a time saver.
What a timesaver! I am still learning to do cabochon harnessing, an was drawing this on paper, which of course would get lost and need to be redone.
These templates, made for various sizes of cabs, could be kept in a small cup or juice glass on one’s worktable to have them always easy to find!
What a great idea!
I haven’t attempted to do this type of wire wrapping yet, but now that I am teaching jewelry making classes, I will dust off my book and try this with your handy new “tool” to help speed up the process.
by: Kristi Watson
Thanks for sharing such a great idea! I think you’ve save us all time!
Your template idea is just what I needed. I have a partially finished project that requires several measurements for each piece. Now I know how to do it an easier way. Thanks for sharing this great idea.
by: Michelle Buettner
This idea is wonderful and saves time! Thanks so much for sharing.
Haas to be best idea.
I drive myself crazy doing the math over and over again (especially prong rings; but this stick will work for those too).
Thank you Thank You. Wish I would have checked this out earlier this morning when making my 19/32 prongs LOL
Jewelry measuring templates
I’m so pleased to hear how helpful this idea is for all of you! It’s really made a tremendous difference for me.
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!” 🙂