Introduction: "Stained Glass" Flower Ring

Picture of "Stained Glass" Flower Ring

When I saw a similar tutorial on Pinterest for this, I was super skeptical. I mean, wouldn't the nail polish simply plop right through the wire loop? But I realized that with cute little loops, the nail polish will make a nice lacquered surface to make a colored petal. Ooh la la......This delicate ring is great for a pretty, budget-friendly Mother's Day gift. All you need is: 26 gauge wire + nail polish. You'll also need access to 2 pairs of pliers for the make-shift wire jig and something round to mold the ring around (I used a highlighter). This tutorial will also dabble a little into basic wire working with a jig, wire wrapping and work hardening. EDIT: If you're thinking, "I highly doubt this will work out," I uploaded a video of how the nail polish goes across the wire frame on Step 3!kk1k 

Step 1: Make the Jig + the Flower

Picture of Make the Jig + the Flower

In wire working, sometimes a jig is used to make evenly spaced and sized loops. Jigs usually look like a board with pins sticking out of it in a grid pattern. The concept is basically to have little anchor poles to wrap the wire around. Since 26 gauge wire is relatively soft, you can simply hold 2 pliers in one hand and wrap with the other hand. Hold the pliers with the tips pointing up so you can see the four tips aligned in a square. This is your jig. Now grab the wire about 2 finger's length from the end and start wrapping figure eights with the short end.

Step 2: Wrap It Up

Picture of Wrap It Up

Remove the flower shape out of your jig. Now you need to wrap the ends so they don't come apart. Wire wrapped for this purpose generally looks like a mini coil that one wire makes around another. To wrap up the flower, grab two of the petals with pliers. It's a good idea to grab the petal that was made last because it's the least stable. Hold the short wire and go around the flower stem a couple times tightly. Snip off the remaining bit of the short wire and cut the long side from the spool by about a hand's length.

Step 3: Paint!

Picture of Paint!
This is where you add the "stained glass" part of the ring. The trick to this is to glob a droplet of nail polish on the petal, then pulling it across with the brush. If your nail polish is thicker, I might pool up on the flower and cover up with wire, so depending on how you like it, you can experiment with different viscosities.

Step 4: Put a Ring on It

Picture of Put a Ring on It

Now you have a dry, pretty flower, use the stem to make the ring part. If you're worried that the wire will be too mushy, this is the time to grab your rawhide mallet and hammer the stem part. Why? This is called "work hardening". Wire gets more brittle the more you handle it, so even pulling it through your fingers a couple times can make it harder. But be careful! If your bend the wire too much at one spot, it might just snap apart! When you're ready...curl the stem around something about the same size as your finger. I used a chubby highlighter. If you have access to a graduated ring stick, this is the time to brandish it in all its glory. Slip the flower off and wrap the extra tail around the base of the flower. Trim off and make sure the pokey ends are tucked in. And voila, you have a ring!

Step 5: It Is Truth Universally Known...

Picture of It Is Truth Universally Known...

...that a single thin ring is in want of another. Go ahead, make a bouquet of rings to adorn your finger!


1Kristan (author)2017-03-30

I can't wait to try this!

АнетаС (author)2017-02-25

It is nice to see people trying this beautiful technique!!! For more advanced ideas viseted my Google +

ChristinaL115 made it! (author)2017-01-19

This was fun! I happened to have a couple shades of green polish so I tried adding leaves before forming the ring. I also made the whole ring first & then painted them. I played with different ways to paint them & dried them as shown. Pretty happy with how they came out!

adornments (author)2016-07-19

if u let the nail polish(the amount u have allocated to the project) sit alone in a cup . bc u might not want to use the whole bottle on this! for a few mins. it will thickin. . how thick u wont it? if ur not certain. try it after 1 min. - need it thicker wait 2 more mins. n so forth, ill show u one I did later.

kikigrace (author)2015-07-23

the rings are beautiful!

kikigrace (author)kikigrace2015-07-23

I hope I am able to make it!

MollyMakers made it! (author)2015-06-27

Made larger flowers and used glue first then painted w nail polish.

Heta45 (author)2015-05-26

This project can be a lot easier for some if rather than simply spreading the nail polish over the ring, tacky glue is used as a base. It spreads easier and provides a more structured base to the color.

NevilleT1 (author)Heta452015-06-13

Glue is not needed, just start with a couple of layers of clear nail polish first and allow it to dry before adding the colour

NevilleT1 made it! (author)2015-03-31

It is nice to see people trying this out. For more advanced ideas visit my Google site

HartOSilver (author)NevilleT12015-06-07

I can't seem to find your Google site, and I'd love to see it!

NevilleT1 (author)HartOSilver2015-06-07

Try and I hope you enjoy. I haven't posted lately but hope to be back soon. Here is another pic

Lady Microfleegie II (author)2015-05-28

How long does it last before the nail polish cracks and falls out of the loops? Or is it sturdy enough to wear everyday?

stephanie.costello.775 (author)2015-01-12

Wouldn't it be easier to pour nail polish into a shallow, small dish and dip the wire petals into it-much as bubble blowing wand into soap?

lisa.g.lindsay (author)2014-11-02

These would make great toe rings!

chichimus (author)2014-03-31

just made my first one. A little tricky but easier than I thought. Thanks for this :)

beadinggem (author)2013-11-10

Thanks for the tutorial! I will share and link back on my blog!

retirednurse (author)2013-06-19

Brilliant! Thank you.

emilyvanleemput (author)2013-06-14

Congrats on being a finalist in the jewelry contest!

Wuffle (author)emilyvanleemput2013-06-16

Thanks for dropping by to let me know!! Cheers : DDD

namastepixie (author)2013-05-31

Here is a picture of the ones I have finished so far

Wuffle (author)namastepixie2013-06-01

oh my gosh! This is AMAZING. I hope you don't mind that I've been showing people your pics:)

Foojay (author)2013-05-31

Excellent idea, thank you. I am going to make a few to put on my DYI birthday cards. Thank you again.

namastepixie (author)2013-05-30

Thank you for the fantastic idea! I made one this weekend and I just keep making them because it is so easy and really fun. I used 3inch eyepins for the first one and after that I used copper jewelry wire. I also added a small bead to the center of the flower to make it interesting while wrapping the petals and before adding the nail polish.

I also used the cap of the nail polish to form the ring shape because it was what I had on my desk. the nail polishes I used were an opaque estee lauder, a tinted cellophane from stila, an OPI jelly which is sort of see thru, and an opaque shimmery mini nail polish. I hung the rings off a paper clip to dry upside down which has seemed to work so far.

lalakenne (author)2013-05-14

What a cool idea! I got inspired and tried some this afternoon ;) Worked out fine!
Ten years back I got a ca. 10cm big flower like that - made from this windowcolour-stuff. Maybe that could be a material for bigger rings as well

Wuffle (author)lalakenne2013-05-20

Great to hear it worked out!!
Wow. 10 cm. I think it'll work out if the nail brush was bigger.... or what if you dipped the loop into a puddle of nail polish..... hmm....

lalakenne (author)Wuffle2013-05-30

yes, dipping helps! ;) I also dipped - as the ring I wanted to create was too big for my brush...
Recently I found a small book from 1979: Tauchlack (from Pelikan). It offers instructions for lot of flowers and figures with the same system, just a little bit different paint.

craftmachine (author)2013-05-23

I love this! I'm going to try this!

chhaya.ipr (author)2013-05-21

it is a wonderful idea !!! i will make many things that way !! like flowers for decoration and curtain !!!

craftyv (author)2013-05-21

Love your Instructable and the flowers are so cute. I have used nailpolish before for art work so I thought I would pass on a couple of tips you might use.
1. Put varnish in a dish and coat the wire, tap it well to get rid of drops then LET IT DRY before the next step. (the dry varnish gives the wet varnish something to hold on to).
2. When you fill the "petal" with varnish keep turning it till it settles.(This works because of surface tension as a skin forms in the air). I hope everyone enjoys making these as I did. Thank's Wuffle.

yarngal123 (author)2013-05-13

wait... so the nail polish just stays right on without having to do anything...hmmm a bit skeptical but i think i'm gonna try it to see if it actually works. Great instructable though! great job

eielofview (author)yarngal1232013-05-21

it does, it can be thin but it does stay. you can add layers to make it stronger after the 1st one just drip some for the second (moving the petal to distribute) after than you can brush on layers even put other colors. You can even bend them!

sandrak320 (author)2013-05-21 Here is a description of the dipping plastic film.

sandrak320 (author)2013-05-21

Back in the '60s there was a product available at hobby stores that did this. I can't remember it's name, but it came in pint tins and many colors. The plastic was, not opaque, easy to use, and dried quickly.

eielofview (author)2013-05-21

This does actually work. I made pretty little copper flowers with this method! just make sure your flower is not wider than your brush at any point. When it takes let it sit even if you think it is too thin. you can come back later and add more paint by dripping it on to make it thicker and sturdier.

nina_gw3 (author)2013-05-12

Ugh. Can't get it to work! But will keep trying :)

Wuffle (author)nina_gw32013-05-20

I've just embedded a video of it on Step 3 and you can really tell how the thing works when you get a good glob of nail polish on the hoop and how spreads out across the loop. Hope this helps!

lindarose92 (author)2013-05-11

This is really nice! I saw it on Pinterest too and tried it just a few days ago but I couldn't make it work :( Maybe it depends on the nail polish...

Oscelot (author)lindarose922013-05-13

Make sure your loops are small enough for the surface tension to take hold.

Wuffle (author)lindarose922013-05-11

I tried it with some of my thinner nail polishes and those worked fine. I feel like making the wire loops smaller would definitely help though!

lindarose92 (author)Wuffle2013-05-12

Thank you for the advice, I will try again! :)

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2013-05-10

Oh, that effect is beautiful! So do you hold it and add the nail polish or do you need to set it down on something like wax paper?

Wuffle (author)Penolopy Bulnick2013-05-11

Yup, I just held it the flower in one hand and applied the nail polish with a another. The nail polish makes a film across the wire loop kinda the same way that bubble solution works on a bubble wands.

zeyanimisbah (author)2013-05-11

This is awsome :) definetely will try. Thank you soo much

Muhaiminah Faiz (author)2013-05-11

amazing! I'm going to try but not sure if I can! great work :)

sabu.dawdy (author)2013-05-11


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