Wire wrapping is such fun and with a jig it's quick, easy and thereby leaving room for loads of creativity! I came across the wigjig, and the site slowly reeled me, but it did not hook me cause I'm an INSTRUCTABLE member!
I need to make rather than buy, and let's face it..I can make this for less than $2.
Step 1: Materials for Wire Wrapping Jig
To begin with you need to download and print out your templates.
You can download it here.
Next you need to get scrap wood. Hard wood is best as it would retain the shape of the hole and not move in time by the rivet being pulled and pushed.
PVC pipes of various diameters ranging from 1.5" and below
Step 2: Making Your Wigjig
First cut your wood to size. 1" or 3/4" thickness is fine.
Cut and glue your templates. Then choose your smallest rivet. the metal rod diameter would be just over 1mm. this would be perfect for small designs.
Choose a drill bit that is that size. The metal rod should fit snugly. Drill on small scrap of wood, check which is the best fit and drill. Take your time and drill straight about 1/2" deep. You don't need to do all at once. If you are in a hurry do half and keep the other half for later. As you just might spoil it if you rush. ( this is the time when a drill press would be really useful ;-) ).
Alternately if you don't want to drill, just skip all the above and use nails for the pattern you want. Draw your pattern on a graph paper. Glue the paper to wood and nail where you want!
Don't give up! you always have an option :-)
Step 3: Pegs
For basic pegs get the smallest rivet you can find.
You would notice the top of the rivet is thicker. Drill a hole on wood that is slightly bigger than the that diameter but not bigger than the hat rim (anybody have a better description??) like piece. now place your rivet on it and hammer on rod so that the thin rod will come out.
Use this for the basic peg.
For a slightly larger diameter cut the smallest rivets rod so that it sicks out about 1/2" from the hat rim like piece.
There are rivets available in various thickness. Here you only consider the upper part of the rivet. Take these rivets and remove all the rods. Use the Hat pieces with the rods of the thin rivets. You would now have pegs with various diameters.
Now for the larger pegs. Look out for dowels of various diameters. If it is hollow no issues. You can always fill it up. As I couldn't find dowels, I used PVC pipes. Cut them to about 1/2"-3/4" height.
Stick your smallest rivets to Styrofoam. Pace your PVC circles on top. Try to center it as much as possible. Fill it up with cement/ Plaster of Paris. Once dry remove from Styrofoam and clean and paint it . Painting is of course optional :-) I just couldn't resist!
Step 4: Spiral Maker
Use a compass and draw a circle on a scrap piece of wood. Drill a hole the size of the smallest rod. Now drill various holes around about the sizes of wires you would be using. Cut the circle. It doesn't have to be a circle, it just looks better that way. Any shape would be fine as it would be moving around it's axis.
Hammer in the rod in the center so that it protrudes on the other side. Make sure it's snug and tight. Cut off the top rounded bit from the rod. If you do not, you might have to remove the rod sometimes to get the spiral off.
How does it work? well you push in your wire in one of the drilled holes. Then fold it flat on to the wood. Place spiral maker's rod in it's hole and gently start turning the circle while maintaining the tension in the wire. Make sure to press the wire flat while you go or else it might overlap.
The original wig jig uses a transparent acrylic for it's jig. The wire is sandwiched between the spiral maker and the acrylic sheet. So this pushes the wire down while you rotate.
The same can be achieved if the spiral maker is a thick transparent acrylic. If you can find thick transparent acrylic, make your spiral maker from it.
Step 5: Ear Wire and Closure
To make most jewelry you need ear wires and closures. Here are some simple steps to make your own.
Ear Wire. - Take 3" of 20 awg wire and bend in half. Now hold the bent end firmly with your pliers and make a loop. For the curve, use a pencil. Hold the wire around the pencil and bend gently. Cut off excess. Now make another bend at the at the other corner (not the fold end). Now all you have to do is flush cut the folded end and you have two identical ear wire.
Take two identical wires. Make a loop at one end on both. For decorative purpose you can fill with beads. In this example I have used 3 beads which matches the bracelet I would be showing in a later step.
Now fold wire about 1" down from beads towards the beads. Hold firmly with pliers and wrap the wire round about 3 times. Cut it flush with the wire. I know, it sounds confusing :-) so please refer to pictures. You would understand.
Now bend the wire into the shape of a hook in the folded wire end.
For the other part of the closure, wrap the wire a bit away from the beads end around a small dowel. Once you form a loop, remove the dowel and hold the loop firmly with pliers. While holding it, twist the long wire around till it reaches the beads. Cut wire flush and press ends in with pliers.
Step 6: Basic Link Connections
Most Chains or Bracelets have basic connection links. It is very easy to do. Here I would show how to do it with pliers and also using the jig.
Basic Method- Pass a bead into 20 awg wire. Make a loop with needle nose pliers (I used flat nose pliers as that is what I had). Now push bead to loop and holding the wire with pliers make another loop by wrapping the wire around the pliers. Cut the wire flush.
Jig Method- Place 2 rods according to the distance you want your link to be. Now fill your wire with beads. Hold wire down and gently wrap around rod. Push beads and wrap around the other rod. Cut flush with wire cutters. The longer the link the more beads you need.
Step 7: Caged Bead Earrings
Let's get started with the spiral maker!
Take a 8" wire. It would be longer if your bead is bigger. Now push wire into the appropriate hold and fold down to a right angle. Slowly turn the spiral maker while holding the wire stationary. Make sure to press down with a dowel or your pliers.Once you come half way remove and insert the other end of the wire into the spiral maker. Make sure the rod that is sticking out is upwards. Do not cut it off yet. In case you need to wrap it up more you only have to flip up and insert the wire rod back into the hole and twist again..
Once you have wrapped your spiral in both ends equally, flush cut the sticking out wire in both spirals. Now gently push the wire with a stick or your pliers outwards to form a cone. Slowly bend it in half so that the cone will be on either side. Place your bead with the holes pointing towards the center hole of each spiral. Close by moving wires together as shown in picture. Take another wire. Make a loop and pass it through the bead. Make another loop at the other end and cut wire flush. You can use these beads for chains or just attach the Ear wire I showed in the previous steps and attach a bead at the bottom. You now have a cute caged bead earring :-)
Making caged beads in a jig is very easy and quick. Try it!
Step 8: Sea Swirl Bracelet
Now that we have made double spirals, let's try some variations shall we?
Cut 5 of 10" long 20 awg wire. Now as shown in previous step make the first swirl. Once done, before you to the other end slip in a bead. Now spiral the other end. Flush Cut the wires and press down the ends flat.
Drop a bit of glue in the center and place a dome sequin. The color of the sequin made me think of the sea, hence the name 'Sea Swirl Bracelet' :-).
Make basic links with a magenta bead between 2 green seed beads. Now link the swirls to the links. Attach closure.
Isn't it pretty?
Now that we have tried the spiral maker lets try the jig!
Step 9: Vintage Drops
Draw your pattern on a printout of the jig you are using. This will help you to determine where the pegs should go. I wanted to experiment with different pegs. Hence the big, medium, big peg ;-). As I wanted both sides to look symmetric. I kind of experimented by doing weaving with both ends. I think it turned out pretty well :-).
Follow picture and place your pegs. Now work from the center of your wire. Take it extra long for your first piece. Measure and keep in mind. You don't want to be short half way through. Once over you can see how much is left so that you know exactly how much is needed.
Start from the center of the wire. place on the top peg and gently curve one side while moving your jig. Now do the same for the other side.
Now slowly curve and wrap the right again. Do same for the left. Press well with a stick and and gently pull out.
Bring the upper loops together by pinching it with the pliers like in the picture so that the loops will overlap the center loop. Do the same for the bottom loop too moving according to how you want it. Cut the excess wire.
Take a 26 awg wire and wrap around the bottom swirl. Pull and tighten with pliers. Now slip in a sliver bead a maroon drop bead and another silver bead (I'm not insisting, you are free to put what ever bead you want .lol).
Now wrap wire tightly and knot around the other bottom swirl and cut off excess wire.
Add a jump ring for a pendant. Add ear wire for earrings! You have a Vintage Drop Set!
Fun isn't it??
Step 10: Link a Link Bracelet :-)
I know...sounds funny? But that's the only name I can come up with and I kind of like how it sounds ;-D. This is another basic link. This wire wrapping link is found all over the net. Still I couldn't resist making it.
Follow pictures while reading the instructions. You would not go insane reading my instructions then!!.
Place 3 rods in a triangle shape. Now pass your bead through the wire. Wrap a loop around the center top rod. Then bring wire down and curve and wrap wire around the other 2 rods like a bow. You would get better curves and it's easier if you move the jig instead of the wire.
Once the top triple bow shape is done, move your bead there and place the next 3 rods like the first 3 but in opposite direction. Now wrap again, weaving according to the picture. Press down well with a dowel. Flush cut the wire and slip off the rods. Press wire and shape it up if it's needed. Attach basic link shown in step 6. Add closure.