wire jewelry

Wire-wrapped Earrings With Dimensional Dangles Tutorial

If you enjoy wire-wrapping and love earrings, here’s something you may like.  It’s a video tutorial on how to make wrapped loop earrings with those fun dimensional dangles.

OK, I’ll confess — I came up with the term “dimensional dangles” myself.   But to me, it seems to fit.  :)

Why Dimensional?

Many, many times I have added multiple charms/dangles on a pair of earrings or a pendant.  And while sometimes the “spreading” look is what I want, other times I want a different look.  Sleeker maybe, with some curve instead of just straight lines.

Now I highly doubt that I am the first one to come up with this!  But I did want to share this with you.

Wire Wrapped Earrings

It’s been awhile since I’ve done much wire wrapping.  It’s actually how I first got into jewelry making, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth.  (Well, maybe not that long, but it’s been awhile.)  I’ve been busy with my bead embroidery, but every so often I like to go back to my roots.

So, wire wrapped earrings it was!  And since I had just made a how-to video on double-wrapped loops and eyepins, it seemed fitting that I would make the earrings with double-wrapped loops.

And Now the Video Tutorial

I’m sure you’re waiting to see the video, LOL.  You’ll need wire (I used 24 gauge), some beads, wire cutters, two pair of pliers (one of which has to be round-nose) and a couple of jump rings (if you decide to make the patters for the second pair I show).

I used red brass wire, which is pretty similar to gold-filled — but a whole lot cheaper!  However, please feel free to use whatever wire you like.  You can also use 22 gauge wire; possibly even 21 gauge in a pinch.  But by the time you make it to 20 gauge, the wraps are harder to make when the loops are small.

Here’s the video.  It’s almost 23 minutes long, so get comfy and enjoy!  And as always, if you enjoy the video, please feel free to like me on Facebook.  ;)

Directions for Viking Knit Chain

Directions for viking knit chain are fairly straightforward, but maybe not easy to grasp at first.  A video tutorial, free instructions and a more comprehensive tutorial await you!

What is Viking Knit Chain?

Example of a Viking Knit Bracelet, Single Knit

Example of a Viking Knit Bracelet, Single Knit

First, what is viking knit chain, and what does it look like?  You can see an example in the photo to the right as well as in my viking knit gallery, so let’s quickly go over what is viking knit.

Viking knit is a wire chain consisting of loops.  The loops connect together to form a tubular chain, which can then be made into jewelry.

Viking knit is normally done in either single knit or double knit forms.  Triple knit is also sometimes done with very fine wire.

The photo you see is a single knit chain. Normally I might draw the chain down farther for a viking knit bracelet, but I liked the lacy look of this particular piece.

To make viking knit chain, you need a dowel, a draw plate and wire of a suitable gauge (usually 24 or 26 gauge).

Directions for Viking Knit Chain

When it comes to directions for viking knit chain, I have three ways for you to learn to make it.  The first two ways are free, the third will cost you a small amount (but is comprehensive).

  • First is the video instruction for viking knit.  It’s a nice overview and shows how the loops are made.
  • The second is a free online tutorial that has some good photos.  It teaches single knit viking chain.
  • The third is a tutorial I wrote in response to requests.  It covers single knit, double knit, wire, using a draw plate, a project and more!

So my suggestion to you is look at the two free directions for viking knit first.  If they answer all your questions, great!  That’s all you need to know to make viking knit jewelry.

If, however, you want more in-depth instruction (with lots of real-life photos), then I suggest you go ahead and purchase the ebook tutorial for $10.

All set?  Here’s the video, which teaches using the allen wrench and bench vise method.  Directly  below the video are the links to the free instructions as well as my own tutorial.

And here’s my very own tutorial in ebook form, teaching viking knit with a simple dowel (no bench vise needed).  This ebook is for you if you’re having trouble following the above instructions, or if you just want lots (and I do mean lots) more information!  Not to mention tons of up-close photos.  :)

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Wire Crochet Jewelry

Wire crochet isn’t for everyone, as it tends to be a bit more unstructured, compared to (for example) viking knit.  But its unstructured style makes it ideal for truly unique wire jewelry!

What is Wire Crochet?

Wire Crochet Necklace (Click to Enlarge)

Wire Crochet Necklace (Click to Enlarge)

There are two main types of crochet, when it comes to making jewelry.  There is bead crochet and wire crochet.  The difference?  Bead crochet is made with thread and features the beads.  Wire crochet is made with a fine-gauge wire and although it usually uses beads, the wire is just as much part of the design.

You can see at the right a necklace I made using wire crochet.  I used copper wire, size 8 hex seed beads, plus Swarovski crystals and additional copper beads.  And topped off with an S-clasp.

Below you can see a video of a wire crochet project.  And immediately below the video is more information about wire crochet wire and tools.  (In fact, I used the project shown and gave it my own “twist”, as you’ll be able to see from the photo.)

Tools for Wire Crochet

There are two tools needed for wire crochet.  The first is a crochet hook; the second is a wire cutter.

crochet-hooksYour crochet hook should be medium size.   For most projects sizes H, I or J (also known as sizes 8, 9 and 10) are a good size.  However, if you are following a pattern, use the size crochet hook specified in the project.

Note:  don’t use a nice wood or bamboo crochet hook.  Wire can cut into wood and mar your lovely wood/bamboo crochet hook.  Plastic is iffy; wire can cut into it as well.  You’re better off with an inexpensive steel or aluminum crochet hook.

(Personally I bought a Bates “six pack” of the most common sizes, so that I would have what I needed when I needed it.  To the right is what I bought, for around $10 at a craft store, although I’ve since seen it cheaper on ebay.)

Wire for Crochet

Here’s a case where you want to work with a very fine wire that can mimic thread.  This means wire that is between 26 and 34 gauge.

(If you need a refresher, here’s information about wire for jewelry making.)

Naturally, you can use any kind of wire type; silver, copper, artistic, etc.  In general I don’t recommend artistic wire for finished jewelry, because the color coating can scratch off too easily (it’s very, very thin).  However, for learning purposes, artistic wire can be a very economical choice when starting out.

Copper wire in 26 or 28 gauge is a nice combination of size and economy.  It’s not expensive, great to learn on and makes some lovely jewelry.

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