Introduction: "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
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Step 1: 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
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!
Step 4: 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...
...that a single thin ring is in want of another. Go ahead, make a bouquet of rings to adorn your finger!
Runner Up in the