Jewellery Trends: Wire Wrapped Stones
Loose stones, rough crystals, and even marbles and sea glass can be used to create very decorative pieces of jewellery. By wrapping your stones in a thin but stable wire, you can make them into thread-able components to be able to use in your personalised jewellery. There are more decorative ways that you can learn to use your wire and even design some intricate bails, but this project will teach you simple and useful techniques to start with.
I picked up these stones from a little craft shop in Suffolk last summer. I did pick them quite wisely, thinking of their shapes, trying to find some very tonally matching in colours and effects, and all with a wider top and thinner bottom so I could use them for a collar piece.
You Will Need:
- Loose stones or ‘no hole’ beads
- 315mm wire
- Wire cutter
- Round-nosed pliers
- Beads and findings to finish
Start by Creating a Wire Casing
To create a casing around the stones, you need to be able to stabilise it from all angles and make sure the wire is supporting the stone.
Start by creating a double loop (looks a lot more decorative and also gives a nice balance to the stone) by taking a length of 30cm wire and wrapping it twice around your round-nosed pliers at the deepest part of the nose, and in the very middle of the wire.
You need to tie these two loops together, so take the opposite piece of wire through the loop on the other side and pull as tightly as you can to secure. You’ll also need to do this with the other tail of wire. You may wish to hold the loop in your pliers to make sure you can keep its round shape and to gain enough tension for your wrapping to be neat.
Once you have looped both sides, twist the two tails of wire together. This will be covered by your wire at a later stage, but still try to be as neat and tight as possible. No more than 2 twists, though. Any more twists and your loop will sit too high above the stone.
Split open the tails of wire and sit the loop on top of your stone. One piece of wire should run down the back of the stone; we will use this for reinforcing in a moment.
Make a Wire Pattern on Your Stones
For the pattern I created on my stones, take the ‘front’ tail of wire and wrap to the left and around the back of the stone, over to the right-hand side, and back up to the top.
This gives you both ‘edges’ to the triangle shape. Coil the wire around the twists you created to get a neat finish, and trim any excess.
The back wire runs underneath the left triangle edge, along the front of the stone, under the right edge of wire, and back up the back of the stone. Wrap at the loop’s base to secure.
Top Wire Wrapping Tip!
If your wire has gaps, squeeze it into the stone’s shape a little more by hand. And if your stone is loose and you feel the wire ‘cage’ needs tightening, use the very tip of your pliers. Just hold the wire at the back of your stone and twist your pliers. This will put a little crease in your wire and tighten it. It can also make a very nice decorative feature if you so wish.
How you wear or finish your piece is a personal choice. Your loop could thread directly onto ribbon, cord, or chain. I have finished my necklace with some crystal rondelle beads and seed beads, threaded onto beading wire. Then, I finished with a length of chain on either side.
I hope you enjoy and I would love to know what you will be using to make these unique pieces of jewellery! Love, Sarah x