O-Ring, Crystal, and Wire Earrings

Nov 11, 2007

Oh, Those O-Rings!

When was the last time you shopped in a hardware store for your jewelry components? (It's been a couple of months for me, personally.)

This week's featured project from the editors of Step by Step Wire Jewelry uses three sizes of purple rubber rings. Have you ever used these in your designs? Rubber o-rings come in different sizes and colors. They are also very inexpensive--the packages I've seen cost a couple of dollars for hundreds of o-rings. The ones in the featured product are latex-free rubber, but the material may vary. You can find them at hardware stores (usually in industrial black), as well as bead suppliers. Check chain maille specialty places, since these rings give a unique twist to traditional chain maille.

Need more inspiration?

  • The Sleepless Beader featured an o-ring as the center of a brick-stitch pendant. (Photo at right.)
  • Amy Pfaffman combined o-rings and pearls in a number of designs.
  • Sara Reading created a masculine chain maille bracelet using o-rings. (Photo is second to last on the page.)
  • NoDuplicates used o-rings as spacers in a bright necklace design.



 Tip: Polishing Your Wire

"The first thing I do when I am working with wire is polish it; I learned this early in my wire work training from Lynne Merchant. This ensures that the finished piece is polished and you don't have to get into lots of little spaces to polish it. The last thing I do with my wire work is wash it to take off any remaining polish. I use dishwashing liquid to cut any wax or oils used in the polish, scrub gently with a toothbrush, rinse in very hot water, and lay out to dry on a piece of paper towel. (Be sure the other materials you have used in your work will tolerate washing)."--Melanie Schow

 Melanie Schow is teaching at Bead Expo Portland in 2008. Check out her wire classes: Pansies and Knot Bead. (The Knot Bead is pictured above.) 


 Coming This Week: Results of the home decor poll, plus another project from the editors of Step by Step Wire Jewelry.

Have you ever sold a beaded item you've made? This poll ended November 16, 2007.


Free eBook
Making Wire Jewelry:  6 Free Wire Designs from Beading Daily

Create 6 stunning wire jewelry projects (2 wire necklaces, a wire bracelet, 2 pairs of wire earrings, and a wire ring) with this free eBook that contains step by step wire jewelry instructions for each project.  Jewelry designs range in difficulty from beginner to intermediate and use a variety of wire work techniques, including spirals, coiling, wirewrapping, hammering, and twisting wire.  Download Making Wire Jewelry:  6 Free Wire Designs from Beading Daily

Michelle Mach is the editor of Beading Daily. Can anyone guess what I might have bought on my last hardware/jewelry shopping trip?

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+ Add a comment


DebbieA@10 wrote
on Nov 12, 2007 9:55 PM
Just wondering what Melanie Schow uses to polish her wire before she uses it?? Good tip!! Thanks - Debbie
KayR@13 wrote
on Nov 13, 2007 1:43 AM
I too would like instructions from sleepless beader for O ring pendant
MelanieS@19 wrote
on Nov 13, 2007 12:38 PM
My polishing cloth of choice is a Sunshine Cloth. You should use any cloth you like, traditional rouge cloth, polishing pads, even rubbing your fingers over the wire will take some of the tarnish off.
Melanie Schow
dragontc wrote
on Nov 14, 2007 10:07 PM
I wanted to thank you for pointing out that the O-rings in this project are not rubber. I keep looking at O-ring projects and thinking "what is the point?". I have a latex allergy, so could not wear them, plus I hate to put rubber products out there that could be worn unwittingly by some one else with the same allergy. Latex allergies are on the rise.
on Nov 16, 2007 9:57 AM
Instructions for the o-ring necklace will be published in the March/April 2008 issue of Step by Step Beads.
twoll5 wrote
on Dec 14, 2007 3:22 PM
Warning re. O Rings - they may not be rubber, but have been made to mimic the properties of rubber! I dropped a 2-3" piece of chain maille I was working on, on the floor. When I looked down it was nowhere to be seen! I searched the floor far & wide, checking under the table & chairs - no joy. About a week later I found the rubbery runaway… when I was out shopping, in the corner of my shopping bag! The bag was on a pile of books behind me and the drop zone when I lost the piece. That rubbery runaway had to have bounced up about 12" and across about 3'!! Should have searched high and low I s'pose…