Firstly HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone reading this!
For a positive new beginning, I'm going to dedicate this post to
MAKING RINGS, because WIRE is finger-lickin' perfect for creating
them! With just one length, you can shape, bend and twist a unique
design in a matter of minutes! As well as, wire wrap and weave
something more delicate and intricate as an heirloom piece ...
Because they can be quick to make, it's a great starter project for
a beginner and if you haven't yet invested in a ring mandrel, (or
triblet) to shape and size your pieces, you can always improvise
with something else ... I've tried everything from a glue-stick,
lipstick case and chunky felt-pen!
Learning to make a solid shank (the circular finger base of the ring)
is a good beginning, as you can attach and secure any chosen focal
decoration to the front, such as a vintage button, beads or a wire
one! It's strong, solid and can be created to any finger size. I call this
the : WHAM-BAM RING!
All you need is 0.8mm wire, round and chain nosed pliers,
cutters, a ring mandrel and a Whammer hammer (other hammers are
Begin by wrapping 0.8mm silver-plated wire about 5 to 6
times around a ring mandrel to the required finger size.
Cut from the spool, leaving a tail of around 8"-10". Use
the short cut end to wrap around all the coils, securing
them as one circular unit.
Take the long projecting end and use this to bind around
all the coils. Randomly wrapping in any fashion. Try to
keep the wrap as tight as possible (unless you want gaps
in your design ... which is another ring design entirely!).
Place the wrapped wire ring onto your mandrel, and using
the steel head of your Whammer (or, planishing hammer)
flatten, spread and widen the ring, compressing all
the wires together to form a solid band, that is your chosen
And that's all there is to it!
STEP 5 (adding a bead)
You can now choose to secure anything to the front using
a length of 0.4mm wire. Above, I have secured an oval
purple bead ...
Once the bead is secured onto the shank with 0.4mm wire,
cut about 10" of 0.8mm wire and wrap this around the bead
edge to form a fake setting. You can choose to create a small
loop at one end of the wire, which can be flattened over
the face of the bead, whilst the other end can be tucked
in behind, or around the shank.
These bases can be secured with a variation of beads and
if you're making it to blend with a multi-coloured outfit,
why not pick the colours and use a selection of smaller
beads to sit within your 'nest' setting...
Talking of 'nest settings' ... leads me directly onto another
style of ring shank that I like to create. These are more
decorative and I call this technique the:
To work out how much wire is required: measure your finger size
(with a piece of string), double this length and add 2" to it.
Cut a length of 0.8mm wire to this measurement and place your
round nosed pliers at the centre. Cross the wires over to form
the first loop ...
Repeat and wrap a second loop in the same way, crossing the wires
around and over, extending out on opposite sides ...
And on and on, you go, forming a row of loops. Keep good tension
in the wire, or the loops will easily misshape. Work on, near to
the end ...
This is a fuzzy image,
but, it's to show how
you secure the end: by
wrapping one wire
around the other
(cut excess and neaten),
leaving a small
protruding tail piece ...
Shape the row of loops around a cylindrical mandrel and post
the tail piece through the last loop on the opposite side. Link
around with your round nosed pliers to secure into a circular shank.
Place the loopy band onto your ring mandrel and gently "stroke"
hammer to flatten, shape and temper. (Do not bash too hard, or
you will weaken the cross-over sections!).
You can now choose to decorate your ring with one bead, or several
small beads. I have chosen some semi-precious chip beads and
have used a length of 0.4mm wire to attach and secure them over the
join section of the loopy link shank.
Once all your beads are in place and secured with the 0.4mm wire,
cut about 10" of 0.8mm wire and use this to wrap around the outer
edge, forming a 'nest' setting, just like Step 6 of the Wham Bam Ring!
I recommend that you do the 'nest' wrapping when it's on the
ring mandrel, so that you can keep it shaped. Also, once you've
secured and tucked in the ends of the wire, place it back on the
mandrel for any last minute adjustments and final tweaks.
These rings are a fantastic way of using up small assorted
chip and crystal beads in a variety of coloured palettes.
For some instant gratification, you could also twist
any amount of wires together to form ring bases. This is great
if you have some 0.8mm/0.9mm coloured wires to hand!
I twist my wires using a hand drill and table vice, but you can
twist without any gadgets ... a wooden spoon on a door handle
will do! Here's an idea for a TWIST RING:
Steaming through the steps ...
(a) Begin by twisting your wires together to form a cable.
I have twisted 3 x 0.8mm wires.
(b) Wrap the twisted wire cable length around a ring mandrel to
the required finger size.
(c) Remove from the mandrel and un-twist each of the ends to about
2". Using your pliers, form tight spirals with the un-twisted ends ...
And there you have it! Simple coloured wire Twist Rings!
You can also create a good ring shank base, weaving 0.4mm
wire between 2 lengths of 0.8mm wire. You can use any weave you
like, as long as you're consistent throughout ...
If you like wire weaving, here's a good place to start, with this
SNAKE RING design:
Begin by cutting double the length of 0.8mm wire that you require,
and placing your round nosed pliers at the central point of the length,
pinch the wires together with the tips of your chain nosed pliers,
to form a circular link.
Try and get a grip on the end of the circular link and pinch,
to shape to a point (like a small leaf shape), forming the
Cut an arm's length of 0.4mm wire and begin your chosen weave,
leaving a tail of wire (which will come in useful later, in step 5,
when you secure the 'eye' bead in place).
I used an 'S' weave, doing 3 wraps on one wire, then over and
under (like an 'S') to the opposite side wire and repeating 3 more
wraps, etc..., etc...
Depending on the size of the 'snake' and your finger size,
you can carry on adding more 0.4mm weaving wire to
extend the length of the weave. Keep some of the 0.8mm
structural wire for the very end of the spiral 'tail'.
Thread an 'eye' bead on to the 'head' end and secure. Cut off
any excess 0.4mm wires at either end and neaten.
Place the strip of woven wire around a cylindrical mandrel to shape
To finish off the ends, you can either wrap one around the
other, cut off the excess and spiral the extended wire to cover
the cut end. Or, as below, spiral one end ...
... then wrap the other wire around the spiral and finish off with
a little coiled flourish, which can be flattened on top of the
Place your ring back onto to the mandrel to resize, adjust and
re-shape. (I also like to bend the 'head' up a little.)
Make these any length
and size that you
wish and weave
in different colours!
Finally, for another quick make, here's a ring created with
just one length of 0.8mm wire. Simple, quick and effective
and I call this one, an ORBIT RING.
Cut an arm's length of 0.8mm wire. Wrap 3 times around
a circular mandrel to your required ring size. Use the
short end to bind the coils together, leaving the rest
extending straight out ...
If you wish to create it without a bead, start by making
a small spiral. Alternatively, (as shown above) you can
spiral around a bead.
Using the tips of your chain nosed pliers, form random, angular
bends in the wire, until it touches the shank. Flatten the bent
wire against the ring base and spend a little time rearranging it
Place it back onto
the ring mandrel to
make any final
If you're worried about the wires lifting up with wear and
tear, you can always use some 0.4mm wire to bind in a
couple of places!
I hope that these techniques have given you a starting point
and triggered your creativity to have a play at making your
own unique designs for 2018 and years to come ...
May the Lord of the Rings be with you!!!
and remember ... creativity has no boundaries!