Wrapped Wire Beads

by on November 25th, 2010
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In my years of jewelry-making I’ve created many different types of beads. Some can be made using clay but that’s a time-consuming process of kneading, rolling, cutting, drying, and more. Then there are paper beads. You just cut a triangle of paper and roll it up with glue. These beads are adorable but take hours to create and dry. One of my favorite beads – a type that I consider to be some of the easiest you can ever make – is wrapped wire beads. One bead be made in less than a minute and, when you’re finished crafting them, you can create some very interesting, metallic jewelry.

Craft wire used to be just a dull silver color but now you can buy it in colors of red, blue, green, silver, gold, and others. At a home improvement store you can find an even larger variety of easy-to-bend, colored wires. That makes it even more exciting to work with wire when creating beads. Choose one color, or more than one color, and let’s get started.

Select an object around your house that you will use for wrapping the wire. It can be the handle of a wooden spoon, a pencil, the ink cartridge of a pen, or even a wooden skewer. Choose a large object, like the wooden spoon handle, to make giant beads. Or, choose a tiny item, like a wooden skewer, to make much smaller beads.

Whatever object you’re using, begin wrapping the wire around it. Wrap it many times in one spot to make one type of bead. Or, wrap the wire, across a couple of inches of the object, to make a long bead. Wrap just a few times to make a dainty bead but wrap several times to make a bulkier version. If you want to make a multi-colored, wire bead, wrap a few times with one color, a few more times with another color, and so on, until the bead is as large as you want.

After the bead is shaped the way you want, snip the end of the wire with wire cutters, and slide it off of the pencil or other object. It can be helpful to use needle-nose pliers to pinch the ends of the wire in a manner so that the bead won’t scrape you when you wear it. That can generally be done by bending the end toward the center of the bead.

Use the beads to create all sorts of jewelry when you slide them onto a cord. You can easily create necklaces, bracelets, or even anklets. Space the wire beads with other beads to make the jewelry slightly different. Whatever jewelry pieces you create, you can bet they’ll each be one of a kind.

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