Introduction: Wire Caligraphy Jewelry
In this Instructable I will be showing you how to create calligraphy script word necklaces in an afternoon. The nice thing about this project is that it is incredibly personalized and customizable and you can make any words or names you desire. Materials are also incredible inexpensive, as all you really need are pliers and some wire. You can experiment with all different gauges of wire, as well as any metal ranging from silver, brass, copper, or aluminum. You can make them incredibly complex and ornate or just simple and clean. There are really no limits as far as what you can do with wire, and idea, and some time, so grab your pliers and get making!
Tools and materials:
• A Design
Step 1: Designing & Stencil
For your design, you can choose to work freehand off the top of your head, or do what I had done, and use a rough template to work from. You will want a cursive design to go off of, so you can use a custom font, you can find inspiration online, or you can sketch by hand (which is best if you want to add something extra like a heart or extra element into your design). I used all three by taking some inspiration from pieces I saw online, using a custom downloaded font from online, as well as using my artistic liberties to tweak the piece until I was incredibly happy with it. I mixed and matched ideas from online with my hand drawn sketches to get a solid template which would serve as the base for my project.
Step 2: Forming the Wire
To shape the wire you would ideally want flat jeweler's pliers, which have no teeth so that they don't mar the surface, but really any type you have will work. If you find that your wire is too stiff and you are damaging the surface of your wire, you can always wrap a few layers of masking tape around your toothed pliers to eliminate and risk. They also make specialty pliers with nylon inserts to even further insure that the pliers don't damage what you are working on, however that is wildly overkill for anything I will be showing with this project.
You will want to decide whether you want a bracelet or necklace, and plan accordingly. You should also decide how you are going to attach the wire art to your desired piece of jewelry, and account for that as well. I knew I wanted a stand alone piece which I would later attach to a brass chain, so I started my letters at the very end of the wire I cut. I would recommend that you start with the most complicated side of your design so that you can make sure you nail that side before you move on, and so that if you make any mistakes on the more difficult part, you will have put limited amount of time into the piece.
To start, choose one side of your design, and start mimicking your template by slowly forming the wire with your fingers and pliers. The most important thing is match the curvature of your template as closely as possible as this is what will ultimately determine the final size, shape, and proportions. You should also want to spend a lot of time on making sure that all of your curves are smooth, and I promise you that it will make you project look exponentially better when everything is all completed. Basically you just want to keep following your template as close as possible and making sure that everything is all proportional and lined up properly. Overall this just comes down how much time you spend making sure that everything looks good to you, as that is what really matters in the end.
Step 3: Attaching Necklace
This step is also different depending on whether you want a necklace or bracelet, and how you want to hang it from your desired piece of jewelry. I will be showing you how to hang your wire art from a thin chain, which can either be a necklace or a loose bracelet. Chains like this are very inexpensive, and can be found readily at a local craft store or online at a site like Rio Grande which has hundreds of choices to suit your exact style. I made sure to attach my chain to a part of the word which would not be at risk of having it slip off, and also a place where I knew it would hang balanced. I attached my findings then crimped down the end of the wire on both sides to ensure that the wire would not be able to slip off at any point. From there just adjust the chain so that it suits your piece and it hangs properly and you are done!
Step 4: Final Thoughts
Overall, this is a super inexpensive project which requires very few materials or tools that I’m sure nearly everyone here has. For my first time ever trying anything like this I was able to complete it in an afternoon and I am really happy with the product. It is a very cost effective, and is a great way to introduce yourself into jewelry making as I did. I would recommend this to anyone regardless of skill, and it makes a really nice gift to all the people in your life deserving of a gift.
Thank you very much!