Can you believe Christmas is exactly 1 month away? I sure can’t…which probably means I should start buying some Christmas presents…(thank god for Amazon.com)
Sometimes I feel like I get into a recipe rut on here, only cooking and providing you with recipes and cooking tutorials. I really love to craft too and with the abundance of ideas that Pinterest provides, there are so many things I want to try. So this past week, I decided I was going to try out making wire name jewelry. It was neither as easy nor as hard as I thought it might be, but I really loved the end product.
Here’s my guide to making Wire Name Jewelry:
- Package of jewelry wire (I used 18 gauge in silver for this tutorial)*
- Wire cutters
- Small jewelry pliers
- Chain and clasp to match wire (or alternative)
My Advice Starting Out:
Making wire jewelry takes some practice, but it also takes thought and planning. Some letters, names, and words will be easier than others. Prepare to fail and try again. You will get the hang of it. Just make sure that you buy extra wire so that you can practice.
1. Start with a piece of paper and pen. Think of the word you want to make and write it out in one continuous line, without ever lifting the pen from the paper. Remember, the wire name you will be making has to flow and can’t be joined together. (Unless you plan on soldering the metal together –which is something else entirely.
NOTE: A vital piece of designing your piece of jewelry is to think of how you are eventually going to wear it. How will you hook the chain to the name? Include that in your design. For example, with my necklace, I hooked one end of the chain to the J’s loop and then created an extra loop at the end of the i.
2. Once you figure out how you want to shape the name/word and you think you know how to shape it, you are ready to really begin. Take your coil of wire and cut a piece with your wire cutters. The length you will need depends on the length of the name/word you are creating. Extra is always good — you’ll just cut it off when you’re done.
3. Begin shaping your letters. Use both your fingers and the pliers. (The pliers are good to make curves and circles — just wrap the wire around the plier to shape it.
4. Continue to shape the letters. For some letters, you will have to double the wire up in order to get the look you want.
5. When you’re done, it’s time to hook the wire name to the chain. I chose to make mine into a necklace. I bought a ready made silver chain with clasp at the craft store and then pried it apart in the middle, reattaching it to the ends of the name. (This can be difficult if the chain links are small, so consider this when you design the piece.
6. And you’re done! For my name, I was really surprised how short an amount of time it took me. (It took longer to detach and reattach the chain than it did to actually form my name. But some letters are other words are more difficult. The bottom line is that practice makes perfect. You will also need a lot of patience.
*Note on Supplies:
Jewelry wire comes in a variety of sizes and materials. I used simple wire from the cart store in the color silver. You can also buy copper wire (pictured below). Wire is sized by gauge — the smaller the gauge the larger the wire circumference. For name jewelry, you will want a lower gauge (under 20), so that it will hold up.
Jewelry pliers are sold in the craft store, but you may need to buy wire cutters from a hardware store.
You can also make bracelets and rings with the wire. A chain and clasp is also not necessary for all pieces of jewelry — the wire itself can be used for the entire piece.