Introduction: Wirework Key

About: In which I turn the thoughts from my head into objects in my hands

When you're feeling down, make a key.

Said no one ever.

Except for me!

When I'm sad, I have a compulsive urge to create something. This key is one of such projects, and I actually took step-by-step pictures this time.

I got a bag of beads from a jewelry workshop that I went to at a public library, and in that bag were some turquoise beads, one of which I wrapped for the key. There was little preliminary considerations and planning for this; the head of the key was mostly free-handed. The bottom part was somewhat inspired by some online searches for a spark to set off my creative juices.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this tutorial as much as I liked making this!

Step 1: Materials

  • thick and thin wire (I used 20 and 26 gauge black-colored copper wire.)
  • teardrop bead (or at least a bead that has a hole right through the middle)
  • size 6 seed bead
  • pliers
  • paper and pencil for sketching

Step 2: Key's Blade: Part 1

See above for the step-by-step instructions/pictures for forming the key's blade (the part that slides into a lock for unlocking locks like a lock unlocker) (boy, that was fun).

Step 3: Key's Blade: Part 2

Repeat the previous steps to finish this part.

Step 4: Key's Blade: Part 3 (optional)

Use thinner wire to attach a small bead (preferably a color that matches the color of your central bead later) between two loops.

Step 5: Weaving the Bottom Half of the Key

Weaving time!

Make a small teardrop loop about one foot away from the end of the wire. Then grab thinner wire attach one end right above the loop.

See the next pictures for a step-by-step guide of what to do next.

Step 6: Beginning the Top Half

Curve one of the wire pieces so that it fits around the bead. The other piece remains straight for stringing the bead onto it.

After putting on the bead, make a loop on top of the bead with the wire coming out of its hole. Then curve both wires down the front of the bead.

Step 7: Weaving in Front of the Bead

Grab your thin wire again and wrap one end around both pieces of wire. Begin weaving down, making sure your wire is still curving (not straight) in front of the bead. Weave by wrapping around both wires twice, then only one twice, then around both twice, then around one twice, then around both twice, then around one THREE times, then around both twice, then around both THREE times, then around both twice, then around one FOUR (notice the increases) times, and so on until you're all the way down. Do NOT cut the thin wire loose yet.

Step 8: Weaving Around the Left Side of the Bead

Bring the wire to the left side of the bead. Bend one of them to the back of the bead and the other one up the left side (following another strand of wire already there). Then weave those two wires along the left side of the bead, using the same thin wire. Wrap thin wire around both twice, then around only one three times, then around both twice, then around one three times, and so on until you've reached the top loop of the key.

Step 9: Curves for the Back Part

For the wire on the back of the key, make a few circles like so until the wire hits the loop at the top of the bead.

Step 10: Connecting Wire From the Back and From the Left Side

Take one of the wires from the left side weave and then the wire from the back of the bead. Then use your thin wire (haven't cut it yet, I hope!) and weave those two wires together down the right side of the bead. Leave the other thicker wire from the left side weave alone for now. Continue the weave until you're all the way back to the top of the key's bottom half.

Step 11: Curls in Front of the Bead

See the first two pictures with how to handle the wire at the bottom base of the bead.

Then curve the wire into swirls in front of the bead. Insert the end of the wire into the gap between the weaving and the top of the bead before tugging the wire tightly so that all of the wire is through to the back of the key.

Step 12: More Swirls on the Back

With the other piece of wire remaining, form even more swirls to cover the back of the key. Then insert the end into a gap formed between the bead and the first set of swirls that you made on the back (see fourth image above).

Cut the wire short and curl the end into a loop. Tuck that loop under any swirl on the back of the key (any, but make sure it looks good!).

Step 13: Finishing the Back of the Key

Determine a place on the back of the key where a curl would look nice. Then, cut the last (and thankfully final) piece of wire shorter and curl it into a loop. Tuck that loop into the place that you found.

Step 14: Complete

Now you can take a jump ring, string it through the loop at the top, and wear it on a necklace. Or you could string it to the collection of keys on your key ring. Either way, I'm sure it'll look gorgeous.

I hope you, my dear reader, enjoyed this tutorial, and perhaps will attempt to replicate this. Feel free to comment if anything is unclear to you, and I sincerely wish you a wondrous day!

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