Bryce-brass-earrings-14

January 12, 2016

DIY

Learn Jewelry Making Basics

We make jewelry over here all the time! If you are new to jewelry making, sometimes starting can feel intimidating. But, it really doesn't have to be and we're here to help! Below we've laid out a couple techniques that are at the core of almost any jewelry making project. With a little practice you'll be a pro in no time at all! Let's get started!

 

How to properly open and close a jump ring:

Our all time "must master" is how to properly open and close a jump ring. Jump rings are so very important because they typically act as the glue in your necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. If you open a jump ring the right way and close it the right way you should have no problem constructing a piece of jewelry that is built to last and withstand normal wear and tear! Closing the jump ring with the tightest gap possible will help maintain its strength and nothing will slip out. 

Gather: A good pair of chain nose pliers and jump rings.

First things first..do not pull the jump ring open. Meaning do not pull the wires apart in the west and east direction. This does several very bad things; it weakens and distorts the metal, creates an unappealing jump ring shape and makes it nearly impossible to close correctly without leaving a wide gap.

Here's how the pros do it...

Grasp the jump ring on opposite sides of the opening. Using a pair of chain nose pliers grasp one side. Grasp the other side with your fingers (if the jump ring is a thicker gauge or really small, replace your fingers with another set of pliers). 

Use a "twisting" motion only to open the jump ring. You will be twisting your pliers north and your fingers south. Basically, one side should rotate towards you and the other should rotate away from you. You should now have an open jump ring. You can now slide the ring through chain or use it to attach elements together. Once you are ready to close the jump ring repeat the twisting motion but in the reverse as before. If the two sides of wire are not touching you can always lightly twist back and forth until the ends meet. 

Now that you know how to open and close a jump ring the right way you'll be able to fix old and broken jewelry you thought was destined for the trash. 

 

 

How create eye pins out of wire:

A wire wrapped loop (or an eye pin) is one of the most secure ways to connect beads and findings. 

Gather: A good pair of chain nose pliers, round nose pliers, clippers and half-hard wire, you can also use headpins if you snip off the tiny pad at one end.

 

 

 

How to wire loop beads together:

Gather: Looped wire (or pre-made eye pins), beads, chain nose pliers, round nose pliers, and clippers.

Push the eye pin through a bead. 

Bend the straight end of the wire at a 90 degree angle to the bead. Try and get the wire to be going in the exact same direction as the loop on the other side (in the end this will help your loops to be facing the same direction)

Using your round nose pliers, measure about ¼” up the plier tip. This is where you will place your pliers at the curve of the headpin. *Pro Tip: You can mark the pliers with a Sharpie if you want consistent loops! Using your fingers, wrap the wire over the plier.

Continue wrapping the headpin under the plier. And pull tightly to create a uniform loop.

To help you can use your chain nose plier if you are working with stiff wire. 

Using clippers, cut the excess wire right where the loop crosses.

If there is a gap, use your chain nose pliers to adjust and close the loop.

Repeat with another bead but keep the loop open slightly and connect it to the previous beads' loop. 

Close the gap with chain nose pliers. 

 

 

Create Headpin Wire Loops:

Similar to the example above, except we will use a flat pad headpin and create a loop above the bead. You can use this technique to hang beads and components from things like chain, other beads, and cord.

Gather: Headpins, a bead, chain nose pliers, round nose pliers, and clippers.

Push your bead onto the headpin.

Bend the headpin, from the top of the bead, at a 90 degree angle.

Using your round nose pliers, measure about ¼” up the tip of the plier. This is where you will place your pliers at the curve of the headpin. Using your fingers, wrap the headpin over the plier. Continue wrapping the headpin under the plier until you've formed a loop around the plier.

Using the flat side of your clippers, cut the excess wire where the loop crosses.

If there is a gap, use chain nose pliers to adjust and close the loop.

 

 

Master these techniques by practicing with a few of our favorite jewelry projects:

Jessa Chain Bracelet

Indah Earrings

Icy Fringe Necklace

Andie Gem Necklace