When I'm out there selling my finished beaded jewelry, one of the points I like to talk about with my customers is how every piece I make is one-of-a-kind, usually right down to the findings that I use to assemble it. You might think that making your own jewelry findings would be difficult, but really, if you have a few basic wire wrapping skills under your belt, you can use them to create your own jewelry findings.
An added benefit of making your own jewelry findings using basic wire wrapping techniques is that as long as you have some wire handy, you'll never run out of findings. Ready to get started? Here are five easy-to-make jewelry findings that you can make yourself!
1. Jump rings. It can't get much easier than this, if you know a few tricks for making your own jump rings with basic wire wrapping techniques! Jump rings can be made from almost any kind of wire, in any color, in any size, and any gauge of wire. If you don't have a calibrated mandrel for wire wrapping your jump rings, you can use a smooth wooden dowel, a pencil, a marker, or a knitting needle.
The trick to making great jump rings that actually close properly is easy! Remember to turn your flush cutters around and nip each end of your jump rings with the flat side of the cutters to create flat surfaces that will come together perfectly when opening and closing your handmade jump rings.
2. Ear wires. Forget about ordering expensive ear wires for your beaded earrings! If you can do basic wire wrapping, you can make your own earring findings. Have a Sharpie marker handy to make perfect fish hook ear wires, and make sure you have a cup file handy to smooth out those rough edges. You'll never find yourself fresh out of ear wires if you make them yourself!
Another great way to personalize your own ear wires is to use leftover beads from your beading projects as accents.
3. Eye pins. Really, it can't get much easier than this when it comes to making your own jewelry findings with basic wire wrapping skills. Instead of stocking up on eye pins in all sizes and thicknesses of wire, just use whatever wire you have on hand. Once you've mastered making a simple loop at the end of a piece of wire, you'll never run out of eye pins. Even better: you can make eye pins in a wide range of colors using colored craft wire to add an unexpected splash of color to your next beaded jewelry making project.
You can even turn an eye pin into a fancy head pin. Leave the loop empty, or make an easy wire spiral at the bottom of the wire for an easy, decorative head pin.
4. Clasps. These might take some practice, but they are well worth it. You can make so many wonderful types of clasps with your wire wrapping skills! S-clasps, hook and eye clasps, and even toggle clasps can all be made with just a little practice of your basic wire wrapping techniques. Add color with colored craft wire, textures and patinas, and accents with your favorite coordinating beads. You'll never find yourself at a loss for a fancy handmade clasp if you know how to make them yourself.
5. Bails. Like the toggle clasps, you might have to experiment a little bit with some new wire wrapping skills, but it's easy to create wire bails for hanging beaded pendants on necklaces. Twist, flatten, and texture your favorite silver or craft wires to make one-of-a-kind bails for your one-of-a-kind beaded necklace projects.
Take your wire wrapping skills a step further when you subscribe to Step By Step Wire Jewelry magazine. Now that you know how easy it is to create your own jewelry findings, you can use those wire wrapping skills to twist and curl your way into making some absolutely gorgeous wire jewelry! Get the low-down in each issue on new wire wrapping supplies, findings, tools, and more from expert designers, and find fresh wire jewelry designs. Subscribe to Step By Step Wire Jewelry magazine and find out how easy it as — and how much fun it can be — to create your own wire jewelry from scratch!
How do you use your basic wire wrapping skills to enhance and customize your beaded jewelry designs? Leave a comment and share your thoughts and favorite wire wrapping techniques with us here on the Beading Daily blog!