The previous lesson showed how to make a basic earring loop. In this lesson we’ll teach you how to do wrapped loops which can be used for earrings, links, dangles, etc. It’s a very versatile technique! Here are the tools and supplies you’ll need:
- AX-0003: Glitter Line Round Nose Pliers
- AX-0002: Glitter Line Chain Nose Pliers
- AX-0001: Glitter Line Side Cutters
View our options for headpins and earwires here.
1. Stack the beads on a headpin (be sure to leave about an inch of wire exposed above the beads). Sterling or gold-filled headpins are preferred for wrapping.
2. Grip the headpin with roundnose pliers above the bead (not pressed up directly on the bead…you want have room to wrap).
3. Bend wire away from you up around pliers.
This photo shows the wire after it has been bent over the pliers.
4. Reposition the pliers above the bend. For a smaller loop, place the wire near the tip of the jaws. For a larger loop, place the wire farther up the jaws.
5. Bend the wire towards you going over the top jaw of the pliers.
This photo shows the wire after it has been bent over the top part of the pliers and back down.
6. Reposition pliers and bend the wire across the stem (the vertical shaft of the headpin).
7. Grasp the loop with the tip of your chainnose pliers. Wrap the wire around the stem. Wrap tightly and be sure not to overlap the wire (each loop should be just below the previous one so it spirals down the headpin). Make three complete wraps around the stem.
The partly completed wrap.
The wrap is completed. Now it’s time to trim the wire.
8. Trim the excess wire. Cut with the wire away from you and pointed down so the cut piece doesn’t hit you or someone else in the eye! With practice you can put a finger on the piece to be cut so it doesn’t become a projectile.
The excess wire is trimmed but leaves a sharp end. Clean-up time!
9. Use the tip of the chainnose pliers to gently squeeze the cut end up against the headpin. Don’t chip the bead!
The finished wrap–nice work!
10. Open the loop of the earwire. Remember to open it by gently bending it sideways, perpendicular to the plane of the wire.
11. Slip the earring loop over the earwire and close the earwire loop.
Finished! Note that this loop is very strong. A regular loop (previous lesson) can open up if the earring is tugged (babies love to tug earrings); a wrapped loop won’t open under any normal conditions.
Final thoughts: This technique requires more practice to master than the basic loop, but your efforts will be well-rewarded. Your local bead store (I hope you have one!) probably offers classes in making linked bracelets or other types of jewelry using this technique. In our next lesson we’ll show some examples of ways to use wrapping to make links for earring dangles, bracelets, etc.