How To Make a Simple Wire Loop

simpleloopsampleThe simple wire loop is the foundation of all wire jewelry. The process of making simple loops will introduce you to the main jewelry tools and when put into practice, allow you to link beads together for necklaces, bracelets and earrings.

Tools NeededtoolsforwireworkRound nose pliers are made up of two cylinder shaped jaws that taper to a small point. They are used to shape the wire into a loop shape. This tool should only be used when making a loop shape as the rounded jaws will dent and damage the wire if they are used to manipulate it in other ways.

Flush wire cutters are designed to provide a smooth flat cut across the wire. It is essential that each wire loop begin with a flush cut wire. Most flush cutters only cut flush on one side of the blade, the other side of the blade provides a bevel cut. A flush cut is achieved when the flat side of the cutting blades is facing the wire you want to keep.

Chain nose pliers consist of two jaws that are flat and smooth on the inside, rounded on the outside, and like round nose pliers, the jaws taper to a small point. Chain nose pliers are the real work horse when is comes to wire working tools. They are most commonly used to open and close loops and jump rings and make right angle bends.

Rulers are a wire workers best friend. Select one that features both metric and standard measurement.

Materials Needed
For simple loops we prefer practicing with half-hard 20 gauge wire. To learn more about wire sizes and hardness’s  check out our archived post on wire properties.

Making a Simple Loop

There are many different ways to make a simple loop. At the end of the day it is more about how your loops look, not how you went about making them. Please take care not to bend your wrist when shaping the loop or you can injure yourself. Instead rotate your arm until it can turn no further, release your grip on the wire, returning your arm to the starting position and then completing the loop in a second movement.

step1-3Step 1: Using chain nose pliers, make a 90 degree bend approximately 1 centimeter from the end of the wire.

Tip: Different measurements of wire will produce different sized loops.

Step 2: Using round nose pliers, hold the tip of the short wire end between the jaws of the pliers. With your other hand, grasp the longer side of the wire so that the thumbnail is under the 90 degree bend and the index finger is supporting the wire on the opposite side.

Tip: Finding the correct place to position the wire on the pliers can be challenging at first. The tapered jaws of round nose pliers allow one to make a variety of different sized loops and makes it easy to slide completed loops off the pliers. It may take several attempts to discover where on the pliers to make a loop. Once you find the perfect spot, mark the jaws of the pliers with a fine-tip Sharpie marker to keep you from guessing the next time.

Step 3: Begin shaping the wire into a loop by rolling the round nose pliers toward the right angle bend. (The resulting loop should always be shaped “on top of” the right angle bend.) Your arm will not be able to turn far enough to make the loop in one movement; it will take two separate movements to close the loop completely.

simpleloopIn our classroom we like to quip “you have to make 200 loops before you feel like you have made a good one.” Practice making this loop over and over until you feel comfortable making loops.

Making Wire & Bead Links

The trickiest part of making a simple loop on the other side of the bead is making a loop that looks exactly like the first one. If you haven’t yet, go ahead and mark your round nose pliers with a Sharpie to remind yourself where on the jaws of the pliers you made the first loop.  step4-6Step 4: String a bead onto the wire and position it against the loop.

Step 5: Using your thumb, push the wire against the top of the bead to create a 90 degree bend.

Step 6: Cut the wire so that it measures 1 centimeter long.Step7Step 7: Repeat Steps 2 & 3 above to complete the loop, only this time grasp the bead for leverage. Again, it will take two movements to completely close the loop.

Tip: When it comes to loops, consistency matters. It doesn’t matter if your loops are perpendicular to each other or parallel, so long as each link is the same. To adjust the alignment of a loop simply hold one loop with a pair of chain nose pliers and use your fingers to twist the opposite loop into the desired position.

Connecting Beads & Wire Links

Step8-9Step 8: Using chain nose pliers, grasp the open end of one of the loops.

Step 9: Twist the wire sideways, opening the loop just enough to feed the loop of another bead link into it.

Step 10: Using chain nose pliers, grasp the open end of the loop and gently coax it back into closed position.

That’s it! Repeat, repeat, repeat. To complete a piece of jewelry simply attach a clasp to the loops of the first and last bead link. 

 

About Lisa Claxton
Beads... what can I say, they are and have always taken over my life. Every room in the house has them and yet I crave more.

4 Responses to How To Make a Simple Wire Loop

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