If you have ever thought about learning how to wrap stones in wire to make jewelry but didn’t know where to get started, you’ve come to the right place. Wire wrapping stones is actually much easier than it looks and learning how to do it enables you to create beautiful, one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces using only a few basic materials. In fact, all you need to get started is a gemstone, some wire and two types of pliers. Keep reading to discover how you can start creating unique jewelry by wire-wrapping crystals.

copper wire and stone pendantSupplies for Making Wire-Wrapped Jewelry

The wire is, of course, one of the most important supplies when it comes to making wire-wrapped jewelry. It comes in various materials, gauges and strengths, and choosing what you need can be a bit overwhelming. Copper wire is the most common and affordable option, so it is perfect for beginners.

When it comes to gauge, the lower the number, the thicker the wire. The 16-18-gauge wire is hard to bend but holds shape well. The 24-26-gauge wire bends easily but is also easy to damage. When you are just starting out, we recommend investing in a spool of 20-gauge wire and a spool of 26-gauge wire. You will use the 20-gauge wire for most of your projects, and the 26-gauge wire will be handy for embellishments. As you gain more experience, feel free to experience with different gauges to find what you personally like best. Make sure the wire you choose is “half-hard” strength. Half-hard wire holds shape well and is easy to bend, and it’s the best option for beginners.

You’ll also need two types of pliers–needle-nose and side-cutting. You’ll use your needle-nose pliers to do a good bit of your wrapping, and you’ll use the side-cutting pliers for cutting your wire. You don’t need to invest in top-of-the-line tools, but you should look for ones that are designed for jewelry-making and have comfortable grips.

Lastly, you will need gemstones to wrap. You can wrap either tumbled or rough-cut stones, and ones with holes drilled through their centers are the easiest to work with. Rough hammer faceted beads come in several different shapes, and they are ideal for beginners.

Basic Techniques

isolated copper wire wrapped stoneOne of the most important techniques to learn for wire-wrapping crystals is coiling. Once you have mastered the art of coiling, you can create just about any design you can imagine. Start by cutting a piece of your 20-gauge wire and a much longer piece of your 26-gauge wire. Hold both pieces and wrap the 26-gauge wire around the other wire, pulling it tight. Keep wrapping tightly and you will create the coiled look that is common on many wire-wrapped pieces.

To start wrapping a stone for a pendant, cut three or four long pieces of your thicker wire and a piece of your thin wire. Arrange the pieces of thick wire so that they are lined up without overlapping and then coil the thinner wire around several times. After wrapping, use your pliers to flatten the coil and then cut off the excess.

Wrap your now-bundled wires around the sides of your crystal tightly. Keep in mind that this step is creating the “bezel” for your stone, so it needs to be done carefully. Pull tightly and mark where the wires meet at the top of your hammer faceted stone. Then, coil your thin wire tightly around the point you marked.

copper wire wrapped stoneArrange the wires by hand to ensure that they are securely wrapped around your stone. Then, pull wires from the inner and outer edges to create support on the back and front of the stone. Your crystal should now be held in place by the wires. Now you can use your fingers and needle-nose pliers to curl and loop the remaining wire into interesting designs. Once you are finished, trim off any excess wire and tuck loose ends under on the back side of the piece.

Conclusion

Wire-wrapping crystals is much easier than it looks. With a few basic supplies and a little practice, you can create beautiful pieces that you will be proud to wear or give as gifts. Whether you prefer simple jewelry pieces or have a more elaborate style, wire-wrapping allows you to achieve any aesthetic.