Picture of A Simple Wire Ring
An easy to create and inexpensive wire ring!

I posted this a few years ago on a jewelry forum and people seemed to enjoy it, so I thought it would make a great instructable. I sold a lot of these when I started making jewelry - I called them "Bellybutton Rings" and it was one of my very first designs.

I usually made them out of 20 and 18 gauge soft wire (half-hard is too brittle and the "bellybutton" isn't as tight because the wire springs out a little).

  • You'll need a ring mandrel (or suitable equivalent), a flat-nosed jewelry pliers, a wire cutter, a small metal file, and a length of wire (the example is made with 14 gauge soft sterling silver).
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Step 1: Initial Wrap

Picture of Initial Wrap
Wrap some wire around a ring mandrel twice so the ends shoot out in opposite directions.

  • Before I had a ring mandrel I used socket bits from a ratchet set - being metal they worked pretty well and it was easy to hold the ends of the bit while twisting wire to make the bellybutton. I tried a wooden dowel too but it would get all hacked over time.

Step 2: Creating the Swirl

Picture of Creating the Swirl
This is the only real tricky part because the tightness of the center dictates how smooth the "bellybutton" looks. The best way I've found to get a tight center is to use your thumb and forefinger in a twisting motion - almost in the same way you use a screwdriver only you're making a little twirl of wire where the screwdriver usually is. It also helps to have the wires wrapped around the mandrel in a direction that allows you turn the imaginary screwdriver clockwise (or counter-clockwise for left-handers). You'll figure out what I mean the first time you wrap one the other way - it's clumsy...
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AlenaR3 months ago

how do you size the ring when making it? I need to make a size 7...

lexsmom AlenaR3 months ago

I bought my ring mandrel from Walmart for $5, I think you can get them at Michaels for about $10 :-)

WIKarts (author)  AlenaR3 months ago
You can use a ring mandrel, but they're expensive.

I'd suggest placing a ring that's the size you want around a socket (from a socket set), then use that same socket to make the new ring.

If you don't have a socket set, try finding something else around the house (preferably metal) that is the size you want.

Good luck!

Nice to see! It can be easily done by anyone with any special practice.

MicioGatta4 months ago

This is wonderful.

연서8 months ago

Aaawwwweeressssoooommmmeeee!!!! I made it too big, though . . . TAT Is there any way to make the ring fit into your thumb when its too big???

WIKarts (author)  연서8 months ago
The only think I can think of is to wrap a thin wire around and around the band several times - start underneath the spiral and wrap around the double-wire band until you get to the other side of the spiral.

The only problem would be what to do with the loose ends of your wrapping wire, but you could probably just twist them together underneath the swirl. Make sure the twisted ends of the wire are tucked in somewhere so they don't poke you when you wear the ring.

If you do something like that please post a photo - I bet it'd look cool.

sporekat6 years ago
Can you make an Instructable on how to make a mandrel?
I used a tube of chapstick and wrapped it loosely
WIKarts (author)  sporekat6 years ago
Anything that's shaped like a bar and is the right size will work - I even used pencil once to make links in a bracelet. Metal items work best (like socket bits from a socket set), but wooden dowels will work reasonably well unless you're making tons of rings with a thicker wire. If you don't want to buy a mandrel just go to the local hardware store and see what they have - copper tubing would be a good choice as they have a few different sizes. You don't even have to buy the tube - just the connecting components ("elbows" or "T's"). :)
silver daddyo9 months ago

Hi there all.Never,in all my sixty-six years on this planet,have I seen anything so simple that looked so elegant.Well done!!

WIKarts (author)  silver daddyo9 months ago

Thanks for the wonderful compliment daddyo! :)

budhaztm made it!11 months ago

Made one out of copper wire and polished it. Very quick and easy.

fish_dude1 year ago
it would look nice to mount a small stone in the middle
vberry3 years ago
Made the ring in silver colored 16 gauge aluminum wire and it really came out well! Again, thanks for the great tutorial! I'm getting ready to make some more for my daughters and granddaughters!
silver ring.jpg
To avoid snags from the "hidden" ends of the wire... just use a "wire rounder". This is a tiny smoother for the ends of wires... you can get something much larger, but just as useful in the fishing dept, for sharpening fish hooks. I have used both, and for the most part perfer the rounder, but have found there are times when the "sharpener" is quite useful. I never am able to satisfy myself that the ends won't scratch me or anyone else.... you know how it is, you are never satisfied with your own work... sean.
vberry3 years ago
I found this on Pinterest and decided to try it. I've made a few other wire rings and they were quite fun to make. I made 3 of these today using 20 gauge craft wire and they turned out pretty well for a first try. I'm going to get some 16 or 14 gauge wire and try some more. I also glued a bead to one of the rings to see how that would look. It was okay, but I'm going to try some rhinestones on the next one. Thanks for an awesome tutorial!
swinding4 years ago
So cute and easy - I used two 18g twisted together instead of one thicker gauge!  I think it turned out cool - kind of looks like a rose :)  Here's a pic.
Photo 4.jpg
wow this is beautiful
Very pretty.
gjanelle3 years ago
very pretty:) reminds me of a flower hahah
Love it! Great job!
kittknight3 years ago
that's amazing how cool it looks from a wire, nice one
rickick7 years ago
why not use solder and then melt some to make a design
tyeo098 rickick7 years ago
Some solder has lead in it?

You can get solder without lead. In fact, most doesn't.
Pwag HAL 90003 years ago
What about silver solder?
Silver solder would be an excellent choice. Since it would be jewelery quality, and still maintain the workability of solder.
it hurts when it splatters right in between your eyes...
i got it on my check
I'm pretty sure that's true of all solders. I could be wrong though. Still between your eyes is better than in them. Maybe you should get some safety glasses, just in case.
???? How did that happen...
Notbob HAL 90006 years ago
solder without lead does not flow as easy as solder with lead
the lead in soldler isn't bad for you unless you like eat it or something
solder is very weak. i  think it would bend and scratch like crazy
when i make on i will put a gem in it an post how to do that.
CoffeeFreak4 years ago
Just made this out of found copper wire. My GF loves it and is coating it with clear nail polish to keep her finger from going green.

You could almost put a "gem stone" in the middle.
i know how to do that
showkat213 years ago
thanks,very good tutorials.
Verdantic3 years ago
Awesome instructable! Such a clever idea and so easy to make!

I made a set of four using colourful paperclips and only one wrap per ring, then bent the bands together to form a stackable set. It makes a nice toe-ring too!
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