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. 

 

Get to Know Bead Shop Girl

There are many of us who make up Bead Shop Girl. Our collective knowledge of beads and techniques is something to be proud of. When you visit our store we will make every attempt to share our knowledge and revel in the wonder of beads.

Caitlin

Caitlin

When you visit our store be sure to check out the baubles on Caitlin. Her vintage style and mix of unique materials is an inspiration to all. Caitlin joined our staff in 2013 bringing with her years of jewelry making know-how.

Heather

Heather

Known for her infections laugh and unstoppable smile, Heather is one of our senior staff members.  She has been a part of the Baubles and Beads family since 2002!  Ask Heather about anything at all and she will answer all your questions and brighten your day at the same time.  Her favorite techniques include wire wrapping and pearl knotting, and you can usually see her wearing some of her own handmade jewelry using one of those two techniques. She first started making jewelry in 1st grade with her best friend but it became a career in 2002 when she was fresh out of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.

Jude

Jude

Have you ever had something repaired at Baubles & Beads? Chances are it was Jude who worked her magic to fix it!  Having been here since 2006, there is no repair or problem too big for her to tackle.  In her own time she makes beautiful, delicate and intricate jewelry, incorporating lots of stones and tiny wire wraps.  Ask her for help with all that jewelry you’ve been meaning to fix for years and she won’t let you down.

Shannon

Shannon

Every time you order something on our web store it goes straight to the desk of Shannon.  Shannon joined Baubles & Beads in 2010 and she knows the lay of the land here at the store.  If you have any questions about ordering from us online, she’s your girl.  Not able to make it into the store to ask your web related questions? That’s fine! Just give Shannon a call and she will make sure your order gets filled and shipped in lightning speed.

Amara

Amara

 Amara has been with us for over 4 years. This girl knows her colors and is excellent at giving customers that little tip helps finish their designs. Although she loves picking up new jewelry making skills she enjoys soldering the most as it provides the most challenge for her.

Lisa C.

Lisa C.

Lisa has been a fixture at Baubles and Beads since 1997.  While she used to be the manager of the Berkeley store, she took some time off to redirect her career toward teaching wire & design at many of the national bead shows. After her beader in training was born, she once again redirected her career back with baubles & Beads as our webmaster and social media director.  Lisa continues to act as one of our regular instructors, teaching basic techniques as well as many of her original wire designs.

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