Thursday, 29 August 2013


You can create wire jewellery out of almost ANYTHING that takes your
fancy and personally, I love the juxtaposition of using something
mundane and ordinary - such as a steel washer - with something
valuable and ornate!

The humble plumbing washer is a favourite of mine, however, you
can also interpret this tutorial using beautiful donut shaped
semi-precious stones of your choice!

If you have seen my project book: "Making Beautiful
Bead and Wire Jewelry", (which I wanted to call: Making
Jewelry for Next to Nothing) you will find lots of projects
created out of found objects...

In fact, the Washer Sundial Choker (on page 102) is another
perfect example, created out of 4cm diameter (1.5") steel
washer, 0.8mm-20gauge coloured wire and a black shoe

Below, are the Earrings that go with it!

I didn't stop with just using washers in that book, I also
used nuts, bolts, feathers, buttons, ribbons, pebbles ... the list
goes on ... !

Making wire jewellery, does NOT have to be an expensive hobby!
Look around you, I bet you'll find lots of bits that can be
transformed into stylish, stunning jewellery that wont break the bank!

But, I digress!  On with the tutorial!  Find yourself a 4cm
steel washer, a ball pein hammer & steel block, some
wire wool, a black permanent marker and any 0.8mm/
20-gauge wire of your choice - plus your usual wireworking
pliers and trusty cutters.

1.  The first thing to do, is to place your washer on a steel block
(then, think of something that's making you angry or frustrated!)
and using a ball pein hammer, bash the steel surface until it's
completely dimpled!

2.  Using a permanent black marker, colour over all the dimpled,
hammered area and let it dry.

3.  Using some wire wool, or a sanding block, rub off the surface
black, leaving the dimpled recesses slightly shaded.

4.  'Voila'! This bashing exercise transforms it from a mass
produced steel circle, into a unit with character, topped with
an antique style!

5.  Now cut approx. 16"-18" 0.8mm-20-gauge wire and
create a spiral at one end.  Place the spiral against the front of
the washer and thread the other end through the inner hole.

6.  Bind the wire around the outer edge of the washer,
pulling it tight and pressing it firmly against the steel.
(*It is completely up to you how many times you
bind it around.  I've decided to make an asymetric
design, so I've only done 2 wraps...)

7.  When you're ready to make a link, place your round nosed
pliers on the wire - positioned just above the outer edge of the
washer and wrap the wire around the stem.

8.  Continue, wrapping the wire around the washer
until you're left with just enough to create another

9.  Flatten the spiral against the front of the washer.

10.  If you wish to decorate it further, repeat the above steps
and you can add a further link at the base of the spiral to
enable you to suspend a bead, or decorative detail.

11. You can also 'tweak' each of the wires with the tips of your
chain nosed pliers to tighten them and to create a bit of interest
within the wire wrapping. Start by doing this at the back ...

12.  ... and if you like the effect, do the same for the

And now it's up to you to finish your washer creation in
whichever way suits your style and personality! Use
different sized washers to provide overall harmony to the


Here is a GALLERY of other 'washer' designs that I have created
which might provide you with further inspiration!

  ~o~o~  THE END  ~o~o~


  1. oh fun fun!! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I like!! A fantastic idea!! congratulations

  3. I love that idea - it would be great with dark steel wire - would you know where you can get annealed steel wire in the UK Linda - everything seems to be available in the US, but us guys in the UK cant find anything we need - wouldn't those washers look lovely wrapped in black steel??? - thanks for sharing

    1. Hi Neena - the wire I have used to wrap the washer in is black iron wire. You can get this in the UK at and I will message you a link through Facebook. :D

  4. Wow! That's amazing idea! Thanks for sharing

  5. Wow, your level of creativity is really amazing. Who knew fixtures from plumbing near Sydney would be made to look so suitable in jewellery-making until the extent of not knowing they actually used to belong in the sewers. I guess all you require are some ideas and creative juices alongside some spare parts that are usually left abandoned or unnoticed in dark nooks and crannies around the house. Anyway, I think your handicrafts would really sell. Good luck.

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  8. Excellent tutorial. many ideas, thank you

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