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Step-by-Step Basic Wire Wrap Jewelry Instructions

Making a Basic Loop

Once you learn this basic technique for making wire wrap loops, you will be making tons of amazing wire wrap jewelry in no time!  It is not as hard as it looks and only takes a little practice to make you a pro.  Just follow my step-by-step wire wrap jewelry instructions, and don't be intimidated, your loops do not need to be perfect, really! 


What you will need:

  • Round Nose Pliers
  • Flat Nose Pliers or Chain Nose Pliers
  • Headpins
  • Beads


Step 1


String your bead onto a head pin.  Hold the bead flat to the bottom of the head pin and bend/fold the wire over at a right angle, right across the top of your bead.  You can either fold the wire with your pliers, or just push it with your fingers.



We'll demonstrate this technique by making an earring.  Gather your components:

Photo of how to wire wrap a basic loop


Slide a bead onto a headpin:


Photo of how to wire wrap a basic loop



Step 2 

Option 1 - If you just plan to make a basic round loop, grasp the wire and bend it flat to the top of the bead at a right angle. 


Press the wire down with your thumb and fingers so the wire is flat and parallel to the top of the bead:


Photo of how to wire wrap a basic loop



Step 3

Now, you will begin creating a round loop with your pliers.  Grasp the wire about 1/4 inch from the bend with your thumb and palm facing up, and with a twist of your wrist forward, roll the wire up and around, trying to make a nice round loop.  If it is easier, turn the wire to the side so you can visibly see the round bend as you are making it.    The round nose pliers are used to shape the circular shape by twisting the wrist forward.  When you first start, you will be holding the pliers with your thumb facing up,and as you begin to roll the wire into a circle, rotate your wrist so that your thumb ends up facing downwards.  


In the picture below I have already rotated my wrist to get the first half of the round loop.  I will then grasp the end of the wire, and pull it down and around the round nose pliers to complete the loop.  Cut the wire where the loop closes.  Don't worry if you don't get it right the first time, practice will help!


Rotating my wrist to make a loop:

Photo of how to wire wrap a basic loop


Look at your loop, and adjust it with either set of pliers (squeeze the loop closed if you need to, or use the round pliers to round the shape back out and center it over the bead a little better).  Snip off the excess wire with your flush cutters.


Pulling wire down and around to complete the round loop.  Cut off excess wire where it joins the other wire and top of the bead:

Photo of how to wire wrap a basic loop


You can open the loop a bit to attach it onto your component, then squeeze it shut again with your flat nose pliers.  Make sure you open loops by separating and pulling the wire side-to-side and not by spreading it open and apart at the top (you will mess up the circular shape of the loop).


I have attached my loop to an earring component, and--ta dah! One earring is complete!

Photo of how to make a basic loop


Designer's TIP - The size of your loops will vary depending on where you position the wire on the round-nose pliers.  Notice the diameter of the plier tips get larger as it head back towards the handle.  The closer you grab the wire towards the nose tip end of the pliers, the smaller the loop diameter will be.  After practice you will learn what feels comfortable and looks best to you in your design.  For uniform loops every time, make a mark with a Sharpie marker on the pliers at the exact spot that matches the loop diameter you want.  This way you will always grab the wire in exactly the same place on the pliers, thereby getting exactly the same diameter loop every time!


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More Wire Wrapping

If you want to get really serious about wire wrapping as a home jewelry business, then I suggest that you visit Preston Ruether's wire sculpture website at  This highly successful training course and system is being used by jewelry designers in more than 80 countries.

Lorri's Book Reviews for Wire Wrapping


Learn more about wire wrapping, including more advanced designs by purchasing some books for your personal library.  Listed below are three books that I own and can recommend, but there are obviously lots more out there.  Happy reading! 

"All Wired Up" is a great book for learning some creative wire wrapping techniques beyond basic loops.  Step-by-step instructions with lots of illustrations.  Copy these designs or find inspiration to make your own unique creations.

"Making Bead & Wire Jewelry" is a good book for beginners with 70 designs combining wire wrapping techniques with beads.

"Moods in Wire" allows you to take your wire wrapping techniques to the next level including making wire-wrapped rings.




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Wire wrapping continues to be a successful trend in jewelry design for 2006.  Try wrapping some soft wire around a favorite focal bead in a random pattern for a truly one-of-a-kind pendant design.

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