How to Weave Wire




About: Geeky artist. MUST. MAKE. STUFF. More stuff at:

Weaving wire patterns is a basic part of making wire jewelry. The techniques can also be used in any other project you want to do something artistic with wire. This tutorial should be helpful with any decorative wire weaving from a wire pendant to a woven wire lampshade.

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Step 1: What You Need

This is what I recommend to get started:

1 piece of 18 gauge, dead soft, round wire (about 10.5")

24 gauge, dead soft, round wire (approx. 8-10 feet)

Flat nose or chain nose pliers

Wire cutters

Wire: You can use any kind of nontoxic metal wire, though I prefer to by jewelry grade wire online. Wire Sculpture and Rio Grande are excellent sources. If you're just beginning, I recommend copper or bronze. They're inexpensive and look great with polish or patina.

Step 2: Prepare the Base Wire

Bend the 18g wire in half with your fingers so that the two wire halves are parallel and about 1cm apart.

Then cut 2-3 feet of the 24g wire and begin weaving close to the curve of the base wire frame, as described in the following steps.

Note: How much weaving wire you cut is determined by personal preference. Shorter lengths are easier to work with. Longer lengths require fewer pieces, which means fewer wire ends.

Step 3: ​Begin Weaving

Simply put, wire weaving is just looping thin wire around a heavy wire frame in a pattern.

What changes is how many times you loop the thin weaving wire around one base wire before looping it onto another base wire. The weaving wire can be brought over or under the base wires in any pattern you like. Every pattern has a different look and many are used to weave particular shapes. For this project the idea is just to learn to weave in a straight line.

We will use a very simple, clean pattern. If you haven’t done any wire weaving before, the straight pair of wires will make for easy practice. Essentially, you will loop the 24g wire back and forth around the 18g frame.

In the photos in this instructable, the purple cord represents the 24g weaving wire and the dowels represent the 18g base wire.

Step 4: Beginning With Copper Wire

Step 5: ​The Weave Pattern

Leaving a 1.5 inch tail (to hold on to) wrap the weaving wire around one base wire twice.

Hold the base wires so that the weaving wire ends on the top, facing you.

Keep the base wires apart and parallel with your fingers. Now bring the weaving wire under the opposite base wire.

Then wrap the weaving wire around the second base wire twice. This will also end on top.

Step 6:

Continue keeping the base wires apart and parallel with your fingers. Bring the weaving wire under the opposite (first) base wire and wrap it twice.

Step 7: Keep Weaving

Go back to the beginning of the pattern and keep weaving until you have woven the length you want.

If you run out of weaving wire, trim the wire end and start a new length of 24g wire where you left off. Use pliers to smooth down the ends.

Step 8: And Weaving

Occasionally push the wires together with your fingers or pliers to keep the pattern close and tight.

Step 9: Here It Is, All Together.

Step 10: A Nice Weave

Depending on the length of your project you can make some jewelry. 7-8" straight pieces are perfect for bracelets. Short lengths with the ends curled make be really nice earring dangles.

Step 11: Weave On

Once you have this basic weave down, it's easy to make variations.

You can change the shape or curves of the base wire. You can wrap the weaving wire more or fewer times around the base wire. You don't need to do this equally on both sides. Experiment! Or follow some tutorials. I have an intermediate weaving project here:

Wire Weave Pendant

(It looks hard, but once you can weave, it won't be.)

Most of all, Have Fun!

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    22 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Excellent tutorial. Great idea to use the purple cord. It makes things much clearer. Thank you. Eager to give it a go.

    1 reply

    2 years ago

    Thank you for an easy to follow tutorial that takes the mystery out of wire weaving. I would have liked to see more photo examples of the finished product, to see how the arch in the wire would work with a bracelet or pendant.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    I'm glad you found this helpful! You can see more photos on my website, (link my the bio) and/or follow me on Instagram. Thanks!
    ps-post what you're doing by clicking the "I made it" button, if you want. People like to see what others are doing with the tutorials - and so do I!


    2 years ago

    Thank you so much for simplifying something others seem to make hard on purpose. I finally have a decent understanding and don't feel all thumbs weaving.

    Hi Rhonda, thanks for the tute, very good photos. I love your designs! I appreciate any well done free tutorial also ;^)

    Your my new fave.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Really good instructable. The string on dowels make it so easy to see what's happening. I love the designs, too!

    1 reply

    When I get down to the shops to buy super cheap wire, i'll try this out. I'm not willing to risk expensive wire to make something that looks so simple but so difficult to make!!!

    You have superb wire skills, I'll give you that!

    Well done!

    1 reply

    You probably don't need to go farther than the hardware store. Copper wire there is super cheap. I just might call first to make sure they have the gauges you'll need. Have fun!


    4 years ago

    this looks amazing. the last pic looks like something that would take weeks!! great pics and instructions. thanks for sharing.

    1 reply

    Thanks! It takes patience, but not usually weeks. Once you get into a rhythm the weaving goes faster than you'd expect!


    Nice way to get the concept and technique across, you're a natural instructor.

    Fav'd- yes

    Vote- Metal- yes

    Vote- Meat-?

    3 replies

    So, I don't think I entered "meat" - at least I didn't mean to. Maybe someone is planning to weave a grill. They just shouldn't make it super hot - copper melts at 1,984°F : )

    And Aluminum melts at 1221F- I just gotta try backyard casting, I get a fair amount of the stuff doing "Asset Recovery Sweeps" in my 'hood; I have to feed my hungry lathe. ;-)


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I looked up some info on making wire trees recently as I saw some really nice examples of them. I was surprised to find that they often used a power drill to make the trunk and stems. they take a bundle of wires and secure them in the chuck of the drill and then slowly run the drill and guide the wires as they twist around forming a solid core. You might be able to adapt that to some of your designs. It would be fun to try.

    1 reply

    That's actually how I twist square wire. Also, sometimes I use the drill to twist several wires together to make a ring base because it comes out nice and smooth. Maybe I'll give it a try on trees - drills are so much fun!

    This made me think, "If I were to weave a grill, how would I do it?"

    First of all, I would keep it small - maybe 1' - 2'. I would make a frame out of really heavy gauge stainless steel using heavy duty pliers and a hammer if necessary. I'd get (well, actually I have some) 12g -16g wire for the weaving, which will take a lot of muscle. Not sure I could do this. I'd keep the weave fairly open for cleaning, because this is going to be a pain to clean. So, that's it. Don't know if it would work, but if anyone tries, please let me know. The maker mind never rests : )