As I was digging through a drawer of supplies the other day, I realized that I own an awful lot of wire for someone who claims that she doesn't make a lot of wire jewelry. How did that happen? It seems that in my travels through Beadland, I've picked up a spool of beautifully colored wire here and there with the idea that I'd use it for "something". Since a lot of it is much thicker than the fine 24 gauge wire I love to use for making my Viking knit chains, I started to wonder: what on Earth can I do with all this colored craft wire?
It happens to all of us at one point or another: sometimes, you want to create, but you're just at a loss for what to do with your wire or your beads. Working around a block like that is easy if you have a little wire jewelry project to keep your hands and your mind busy. So, after a little searching, I found these five great things to do with my wire stash!
1 Wire spirals are an easy place to start when you want to use up your wire stash. I love making spirals and adding tiny glass beads or even crystals to the tops before I make a wrapped loop for a dangle. Made in bunches, these make great bracelets or necklaces on chain, and in pairs, they make simple and elegant earrings.
2. Wire and bead chains are my next favorite thing to do with wire. This fun wire jewelry project is a great way to use up both leftover beads and leftover wire! Using colored copper craft wire can really enhance the look of your wire jewelry projects. Best of all, with a little bit of practice, you can whip up these bead and wire chains in practically no time. Bead and wire chains are a great way to use up small amounts of leftover beads, and wire and bead chains make great last minute gifts!
3. Wire embroidery is perfect for the next time you're feeling adventurous with your wire jewelry projects. I love using my fine-gauge wire for making colorful Viking knit chains, but using it for wire embroidery just adds a whole new level of "Wow!" to my jewelry-making projects. It's a fun way to get started with mixed media jewelry, using things like fabric, leather, suede, and sheets of fine-gauge copper that I can cut with my craft scissors.
4. A Viking knit wire cabochon bezel isn't necessarily my favorite thing to do with wire, but I learned a lot from my initial experiments with the technique, and they certainly look fabulous! If you're bored with your wire jewelry projects, I would highly recommend this technique to anyone who's interested in learning more about how to work with fine-gauge wire — it's a great way to boost your wire jewelry-making skills.
5. Easy wire wrapped beads wire beads are probably my favorite wire jewelry projects for times when I just need to create something. Grab a small wood dowel or mandrel and a handful of whatever wire you happen to have handy, and start wrapping! They're fast, easy, and you can even toss in a handful of stray glass beads if you want to add a little texture or visual interest.
Of course, there are lots of other things you can do with wire. Handmade wire jewelry findings are great for adding a little unexpected twist to your finished jewelry projects when you use colored copper craft wire, as are handmade wire jump rings.
If you're looking for a new wire jewelry project to occupy yourself for a while, inspiration and ideas abound in my favorite wire jewelry magazine, Step By Step Wire Jewelry. Each issue has plenty of wire jewelry projects for both beginners and more advanced wire jewelry artists, along with product and book reviews, helpful tips, and clearly illustrated basic techniques. Subscribe to Step By Step Wire Jewelry magazine and get your hands moving again with great new wire jewelry projects!
What's your favorite thing to do with wire? Do you make earrings? Jewelry findings? Pendants? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and tell us your favorite way to get back on track with your wire jewelry projects!