Wire Wrapped Wrap Ring

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

Intro: Wire Wrapped Wrap Ring

This is a traditional wire wrap ring - with a twist. Literally. The beautiful and sturdy band wraps around your finger so you don't need to worry about ring sizing, making it perfect for gift giving.

Step 1: What You'll Need

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. To get started buy at least 5 feet of 22 gauge, dead soft, SQUARE wire and 2 feet of 21 or 22 gauge, dead soft, HALF ROUND wire.

Tools:

Tools are very important. I used cheap jewelry pliers (~$10) for a while, but once I was sure I would stay with wire wrapping, I got good ones (~$50). It made a huge difference, especially in how tired my hands would get. If you do this, hang on to your cheap tools - there's always a use pliers you won't worry about. The basic tools you will need to get started are:

Flat nose pliers

Round nose pliers

Wire cutters

Marker

Ring mandrel

Ruler

Optional:

Beads or crystals that fit on the wire. 4mm and up is usually good.

Step 2: Cutting the Wire

Measure

Remember that this ring is adjustable, so don't worry too much if your measurements seem a little off at any point. That being said, here are the measurement instructions:

Take a piece of string and wrap it around your finger or ring mandrel (if you know your size). Go once around and then another time half way around with each side of the string. Then add 3 additional inches. Using a ruler, measure what you just marked off on your string. This will be the length of one strand wire. You'll cut all square wire strands against this length.

My length turned out to be 8 inches. It is better to err on the side of cutting too long then not having enough wire when you wrap. This will be the length of the 22 gauge, square, dead soft wire. Cut six strands of this length. I cut 4 of silver and 2 of copper to make it easier to see the difference in the strands and what is happening with the project. You can design any pattern you like from any wire.

Now cut five half round pieces of wire. Make them one and a half inches each.

If you want to twist any of the wire, now is the time. This makes a nice decorative element to your design. I twisted the two center copper wires.

Step 3: Making a Bundle

The six wires are wrapped together with the half round wire into a bundle. The bundle is the base for the ring band. The object is to make a flat strip held together at five points. The short pieces of 1/2 round wire will hold the square wires together.

To Start:

Pick up one piece of 1/2 round wire and use the flat nose pliers to bend 3-4 mm of the top over. Then angle the bend slightly. Make sure the flat side of the wire is on the inside surface. This will fit neatly around the square wire. Repeat with all the short half round pieces.

Step 4: Continue...

Next hold the square wires together side-by-side. You may need to wiggle them around a little to get them to line up. Then hook the bend of the 1/2 round wire over one edge as shown.

Give a gentle squeeze with the flat nose pliers to secure. (When wrapping, the front of the wraps should be 90 degrees to the bundle wires. The back of the wraps are usually angled.) Now hold the square wire bundle with the flat nose pliers very close to where you will wrap the short pieces around. Start winding the 1/2 round wire around the bundle, but stop every time you make a turn and give the wires a gentle squeeze with the flat nose pliers. Expect to be moving the bundle and the pliers around a lot, changing hands when you need to.

Wrap the 1/2 round wire around the bundle this way 3-4 times and end on the back of the bundle. Cut the excess 1/2 round wire so that it overlaps the back 3 – 4mm.

Step 5: Ring Bundle

Starting with the middle wrap and working outward, make five total wraps (fairly evenly spaced), over about 3 inches.

Step 6: Shape the Band

When you have a nice bundle with five wraps you can start shaping the ring.

Hold the bundle on the ring mandrel with your thumb over the central wrap. Then gently start bending the sides over the ring mandrel. Come around the back and up to the other side.

Step 7: Keep Shaping

There should be a single band in the back of the ring and overlapping bands in front.

Step 8: Fan Out the Wires

I like to gently fan out the wires to see exactly what I have to work with.

Step 9: Get Artistic

Now it's time to add embellishments and finish the ends. You can use the following suggestions or use your own favorite wire techniques.

Making filigree
Here’s where the real artistry comes in. The filigree is the delicate looking swirls and swoops that make up the design of the wire wrap. You make it with the loose ends of wire after the band is the right size and shape. Exactly what you do is up to you, but remember to add your beads while the wire is still fairly straight.

Step 10: Decorative Techniques

Rosettes

This is probably the most common design element in wire wrapping. You make a rosette by using your round nose pliers to make a tiny round loop at the end of a wire. Then wind the loop into a tight spiral using flat nosed pliers. To do this hold the wire in one hand and rotate the wires in the other hand a quarter turn at a time. You can make the rosettes with twisted or untwisted wire for different looks.

Loops

Making loops and shapes with the wire is a lot of fun, but don’t go too big or the wire will bend too easily. Keep swooping wires tight to the setting and find a way to secure the end on another wire.

Twist

Use flat nosed pliers to hold a loose wire end and twist.

NOTE

If you're not sure what to do, add a few crystals (1 each) to several wires and cut all the wire ends to about a 1/2 inch. Then make rosettes out of all the ends.

Step 11: Finish Your Ring

When you're done with decorative elements, trim off any extra wire (you can save it for other projects) and tuck any loose ends under. Feel the ring with your fingers for rough spots and then rub the front and back on a piece of fabric. If you find any sharp spots or wires that catch; file, trim or tuck in the problem wires until everything is perfectly smooth. If at any point your ring gets misshapen, just put it back on the ring mandrel and press it back into shape. If it's hard to shape with you fingers, use a nylon or rawhide hammer.

Now you can add a patina, buff and/or seal your ring if you want.

Have fun!

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    16 Discussions

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    jrgeer

    Question 5 months ago on Step 5

    ire in thhI would like to know if you twisted the two copper wires in the ring?

    1 more answer
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    Rhonda Chase Designjrgeer

    Answer 5 months ago

    Yes, I did. But the twisting is optional - the ring looks good either way. If you need wire twisting instructions, my earlier wire tutorials have info. Try the basic pendant or bird's nest pendant. Thanks!

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    bethh111

    Question 7 months ago on Introduction

    I have a question
    I have a dog and and every time I hold her
    her toenails keep getting coult in my ring all the time how can I fix my rings

    2 more answers
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    Rhonda Chase Designbethh111

    Answer 7 months ago

    Hi!

    I haven't run into this before - my dog's toenails are bigger than mine : )

    I have a couple of ideas though. You could try some good glue - GS Hypo Cement, E-6000, or clear 2-part epoxy.

    You could also try gluing a fabric backing on the backs of the swirls, like the kind used for appliqué. Or if you solder, solder the wrap ring on to a wide band that fits your finger.

    (When I make earrings with swirls for people with long hair, I use the Hypo cement on the back side in a couple of layers)

    Please let me know what you try and how it works out.

    0
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    Rhonda Chase Designbethh111

    Answer 7 months ago

    Hi!

    I haven't run into this before - my dog's toenails are bigger than mine : )

    I have a couple of ideas though. You could try some good glue - GS Hypo Cement, E-6000, or clear 2-part epoxy.

    You could also try gluing a fabric backing on the backs of the swirls, like the kind used for appliqué. Or if you solder, solder the wrap ring on to a wide band that fits your finger.

    (When I make earrings with swirls for people with long hair, I use the Hypo cement on the back side in a couple of layers)

    Please let me know what you try and how it works out.

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    tfozzfiberart

    3 years ago

    hi, thank you for this lovely tutorial! I'm new to working with metals to make jewelry. When I make rosettes, the flat nose pliers scratch the metal a lot (I'm trying to attach a pic, hope it comes through). Is there a way to avoid the scratches? I couldn't find dead soft wire in the gauge you recommend in my local craft store, so I'm using medium soft wire. Could that be a contributing factor? Thank you again.

    image.jpeg
    3 replies

    I too was having scratching issues i found this product called tool magic where you dip your pliers in allow to dry and it becomes a rubbery type feeling. It protects the wire from being scratched. Once done you can remove the coating from your pliers. I hope this might help too.

    Stephanie Terry

    Wow your ring is looking great! Though I do see the scratches. The softer the wire, the more likely it is to scratch, so that's probably not the problem. Most likely it's a combination of the pliers you're using and how hard you're squeezing the wire. I use well worn, very good, smooth pliers. Some brands come with the edges pre rounded. (There is a photo of my tools in the tutorial.) As far as how hard to press on the wire, this is one of the skills that takes a long time to get a good feel for. The more wrapping you do the cleaner your wire will be, so practice is the best thing to do. I used to make tiny rosettes out of scrap wire instead of doodling. I hope this helps. Let me know how it goes!

    Hi! Thanks for your reply! I've finished the ring, and will post pics soon. One of my work colleagues really likes it and wants me to make one for her! Re: the pliers scratching the metal: I did a bit more research on tools, and ended up buying two new pairs of pliers. One has silicone covers on the ends and the other has a "diamond" kind of finish. I think these will be better, though they are not the professional grade ones that many people recommend (I'm still just seeing if I like making jewelry, so I don't want to spend too much money). One person has a video on YouTube that recommends putting masking tape on the pliers, It seems to me that they will get very sticky, but I may try it with the "newbie" pliers that I got in my first little jewelry toolkit.

    It's great to have this venue to get inspiration and tutorials, ask questions and get advice/make contact with experienced artists. Thank you!

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    beadinggem

    3 years ago on Introduction

    Lovely! I especially love the twisted wire accent! I will share on my blog so others can come see this wonderful tutorial!

    2 replies
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    Nick70587

    3 years ago

    You make this look so easy and you explain it very well. I have big fat fingers that are more at home making large projects but I really want to give this a try. You've inspired me to go over to Amazon and spend some money on tools.

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    Rhonda Chase DesignNick70587

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks!
    Big strong hands are a plus here. The pliers do all the detail work and holding. Just make sure you get tools meant for larger hands. I get plenty of men in my classes and no one's ever had a problem. So, have fun! And I'd love to see pictures of what you make. (And let me know if you need tool company links, I've never bought any on Amazon.)