Making wire jewelry is so much more fun when you know exactly what you're doing - and what to do when things go wrong.
Goldsmiths, jewelry designers, hobbyists, and jewelry artists all need to use wire to make jewelry. We won't be getting deeply into what the masters do, but even beginners can make beautiful jewelry with a few wire jewelry making skills.
Learning the basics isn't the most exciting part of learning, but you can't run before you can walk. Likewise, you need to know simple fundamentals of wire jewelry making before you can be a master at transforming simple wire into a complex and intricate object of beauty.
Wire is a really easy material to use, and its versatility is nothing short of amazing. Using only wire and some hand-tools, you can make clasps, chains, dangles, findings, charms, beads, embellishments - there are limitless possibilities.
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Here are some simple tools you need to get started. You can buy tools individually or in a set. I added some links to some online sources to get you started.
Buying Tools One by One
Sometimes it's easiest and best to buy things one by one to get the things you need and not have a bunch of tools you'll never use.
Here is the list of what you need:
Buying a Set of Jewelry Tools
You can get a basic wire jewelry making pliers set inexpensively by going to the link I sourced for you but please note that the set I linked to (as with virtually every set) doesn't include needle files. If you buy a set rather than buying each piece individually do make sure your set includes all the tools you need. Here's a link to a needle file set if you find your set doesn't include it.
You might be wondering whether the files are really necessary if the sets don't include it. Here's why files are necessary: before filing, your wire end cut is sharp. Filing your cut ends make the cut smooth and non-irritating to your skin.
Read on for links to the basics to get you started
How to Open and Close Jump Rings Properly
Learning how to open and close jump rings properly is one of the most basic and fundamental of all jewelry making techniques. Learn how to do this technique properly once and for all
What to do About Jump Ring Problems
Learn what to do about jump rings that keep opening and what to do when they don't close properly.
Flush Cutting Wire
Learn this basic, essential technique. Cut your wire wrong and you get a sharp point. Good for staking vampires maybe, but not so nice for jewelry making.
How to Make a Simple Wire Loop (video tutorial)
Did you know that making the simple wire loop is often the most tricky to master? This video shows 7 secrets to making a simple wire loop, perfectly formed, every single time.
How to Make a Wrapped Loop
One of the most versatile of all basic wire working skills. Learn how to make a wrapped loop and my top 3 reasons for loving the wrapped loop.
Want to learn making wire jewelry components? Start with some dangly bits. Learn how to make your own eyepins to hang stuff from other stuff.
Balled Wire Headpins
Making balled wire headpins is sooo easy, and kinda fun! These step by step instructions will walk you through it. Don't let the flame scare you. If you can cook something on the stove, you can do this.
Super Basic Headpins
Making a handmade headpin is easy and cost-effective. This page has instructions for a super-basic, easy to make headpin.
Knotted Wire Headpin
This beautiful knotted wire headpin looks hard to make, but it really isn't.
Simple Bead Links (made with wire loops)
The humble bead link is a versatile component that is the cornerstone of many great pieces of jewelry. Uses the simple wire loop, so if you get into trouble, see the simple wire loop video
How to Make Earring Wires
A real honest to goodness tutorial on making your own earring wires. Why buy when you can make them yourself quickly and easily?
Wire Weaving Techniques: The Basic Weave
New wire weavers, start with this tutorial. These wire weaving techniques are the most basic ones you'll need on your wire weaving journey.
How to Add a new Wire: Wire Weaving Basics
How to add a new wire - that was a question I remember having when I started wire wrapping. Here's a tutorial showing you how to add one cleanly and neatly.
WIre Weaving with Beads: How to Add a Bead
Wire weaving with beads adds a little extra je ne sais quoi, n'est ce pas? Here's how to add beads to your wire weaving.
How To Measure for a Wire Ring Shank
Ring shank wire measuring can be tricky. This tutorial teaches a very simple way to measure the length of wire needed for the shank when making a wire wrapped ring.
There are lots of wire jewelry projects here. Lots.