Wednesday, April 22, 2009

How to Make a Wire Wrapped Ring

Materials You’ll Need:
-2 Different Gauges of Wire (I use 24 and 26, but 22 and 24 work well, too.)
-Focal Bead (I used a 10mm Swarovski crystal heart.)
-Ring Mandrel
-Wire Cutters
-Chain Nose Pliers
-Round Nose Pliers

First, cut about 12 inches of your larger gauge wire. Holding your ring mandrel between your knees, wrap the wire around it one time with each end. There should be three wires in the back. Make sure you begin wrapping one size larger than you want the finished ring to be. (I am making a 6 so I’ll work from a 7.)

Next, holding the wire at the correct size, slip it off the mandrel and snip the excess wire off. Leave about 1/4 inch of wire to make a loop on each end. Use your round nose pliers to form a small loop on either end of the wire. The loops will be a frame of sorts for the bead to go in. You have now made your ring shank. (It’s okay if it’s not perfectly round!)

Clip about 15 inches of your smaller gauge wire now. Holding your ring shank in shape, wrap one end of the smaller wire near the outside of one of the loops you just made. Wrap it about four times moving towards the loop. You may need your chain nose pliers to pull the wire tight and snug.

Once you have wrapped the shank to the loop, open that loop with your pliers and insert the wire. Close the loop with your wire inside it. Clip the excess wire from where you began wrapping this wire (NOT the end inside the loop!).
Next, slide the ring back on the mandrel and use your pliers to tighten it. Pull the non-wrapped loop tight to take out any slack in the shank. You should pull it to the beginning size (in my case, a 7), not the finished size. Make sure you leave enough space between each loop for your focal bead to fit. You may need to reposition the loop on the un-wrapped end for the bead to fit.

Now, slide your bead on the wire. Insert the end of the wire through the second loop just as you did before. It is extremely important that your ring shank is snug and smooth at this point. Adjust the bead, if needed, to make sure it’s sitting straight.

Wrap the wire around the second side of the shank, this time working away from the loop. Snip the wire once it’s tightly wrapped about four times. Use your chain nose pliers to flatten the pointy end of the wire to either side of the bead so that it doesn’t snag clothing or the person wearing it.

*The next part is optional. I find that it helps secure the bead further and also makes it more attractive, in my opinion.*
Attach the leftover section of smaller gauge wire to the outside of one of the loops just as you did to attach the bead. Once it is secure, CAREFULLY cut off the loops. Don’t cut them too closely or clip any other wires accidentally. The loops were just there to stabilize the bead while you made the shank. You can leave them if you would prefer but I think the finished product looks better without the loops.
Now, wrap the long end of your wire around the bead three or four times. This helps keep it from wiggling. It is very important that you wrap it as tightly as possible and that you end on the opposite side from where you first anchored this wire.

Wrap the end around that side just like you did to anchor it before. Clip the excess wire off of both sides and flatten the ends with your chain nose pliers.

Last, slide the ring back on the mandrel and make sure that it’s the proper size. You can use the handle of your pliers to “hammer” the band round on the mandrel if needed. Now you’re finished!
Don’t get discouraged if your ring doesn’t turn out very good the first few times you make them. (I made about 30 before they were presentable!) Also, try using a lower grade craft wire when you’re learning. I find that sterling silver wire is very difficult to use, even after learning how to make them!

Feel free to leave comments if you would like tips. Be sure to leave your email address if you need a reply!
Can't get it just right? Interested in buying one of these pretty rings? Visit my Etsy Shop to see all of the rings available there!

Thanks for checking out my tutorial and I hope you enjoyed it!


  1. Very Informative..I ve never attempted it yet :)

  2. thats way to cool! thank you a million for shareing this.

  3. Thanks for the info Claire! I've always wanted to try this but didn't know where to begin! I'll have to try this one day! By the way, I have been enjoying wearing my lovely wire wrapped ring almost everyday!

  4. Thanks for the lesson - I am going to try it out tonight!

  5. Thank you it has been a wonderful guide, now to make a wire wrapped ring is without a doubt very easy with the help of your tips. Thanks