StudioHeath Tutorials
StudioHeath Tutorials
Lesson: Bead Loop Dangle




For this I have used what I think is the most useful/used wire gauge, and a personal favourite of mine 20gauge. I have used sterling silver wire here, but I would recommend that you pick up some 20ga copper wire from the hardware store. Alternatively, you could do what I did when I started making jewelry and seek out a scrap metal yard for scrap electrical wire. Just strip off the outer coating to reveal beautiful shiny copper wire underneath. If you know an electrician, ask if he can gove you any scraps. I have also used a couple of 12mm faceted glass beads, but of course any beads will do, and the pliers I have a pair of Flat Nose, Round Nose and Flush Cutters, I also used a pair of Needle Nose pliers (not in the picture).





Check the end of your wire. It is likely to be a wedge shape at the end and quite sharp . You want to get rid of this so that when the jewelry is worn, it doesn't snag on clothing or worse, cause injury to the wearer. Use Flush Cutters for this (flat side), to get a nice flat end to the wire. If you look very closely at the profile of the wire 'end on', it will be perfectly flat and round. When you use your cutters for the first time, make a cut in the middle of say an inch of wire and have a close look at the ends of the wire of both pieces. You will see, the end that was cut by the flat side of the cutters is pretty flush, and the other which was cut from the other side of the pliers, is wedged.




With your Round Nose pliers, grasp the wire as close to the end as you can.




Begin turning the pliers




until it butts back onto itself




You could if you wanted to, leave the bottom of your Bead Loop Dangles like this so that you can hang other things from this loop, but if you do decide to do this, pop your Round Nose pliers back through the middle of the loop and bend the wire back slightly at the point where the wire touched itself so that the teardrop shaped loop is centred. To help you understand what I mean,. hold the wire so that the loop is at the bottom and you'll see the teardrop shape loop is on one side. Imagine if you drew a line straight down the wire and through the middle of the base of that loop, the loop would need to be nudged over a bit for that to be possible. It just looks much nicer to have this loop central to the beads and stem wire.




With your Flat Nose pliers grasp the loop and turn the loop towards the wire so that it continues to spiral,




and you will end up with something like this.
Now imagine that line again, want the treardrop to be centred on the wire and to do that, the loop will need a little nudge by bending the wire backwards.




Here you can see, the teardrop shaped spiral loop is centred on the wire. This little decorative loop could quite easily have been bigger, and simply just a matter of continuing to spiral until you are happy with the look you are after. Another half-turn in the spiral would put the wire end in a position where it sits directly under the bead and perhaps more hidden which also looks nice. The more you spiral, the rounder the spiral will get.

Just remember, if you're making these for earrings, it's important to make them as identical as you can.




Time to add the bead or beads. Try adding one two or three beads, use daisy spacers and tiny metal balls to jazz up your dangles and earrings.




and the bead sits nicely on the little spiral 'bead stop' loop.


Place your Round Nose pliers on the wire as shown, leaving a small space above the bead. This space will be where the neck wraps are done.

The wire is positioned along the prong of the Round Nose pliers at a point where it will make a nice size head loop. You will need to judge this on your pair of pliers and adjust this position as you make more until you find your 'sweet spot' on you pliers for head loops.

Notice the position of the spiral loop at the bottom. You are seeing the 'back' of the spiral loop. I'm making the head loop to so that it is aligned with the bottom spiral on the same axis I suppose you could say. It's up to you how you do this, you may prefer to have the top and bottom loops on different axis'. As long as you are aware of this and make sure that you make both earrings the same way. Also understand that this can also affect the way your earrings will hang.





Bend the wire back a little way, in the direction of the 'back' of the bottom loop. This bend is not as far as 90deg angle.




With your Round Nose pliers, position them on the wire as shown,




and with your fingers, wrap the wire around the prong of the pliers to begin the head loop.




Bring the wire all the way round over the top,




and down as far as you can take it. It will feel a bit awkward and difficult to continue wrapping the wire any further than this.




Reposition the pliers as shown, as this will allow you to bring the wire further around the prong.




Take the wire all the way round the prong, to form a nice round loop.




You should now have something like this.




Place your Flat Nose pliers on the head loop and hold the wire in your free hand.




Bring the wire around the 'neck' and wrap it around firmly and snuggle it up to the base of the head loop.




Bring the wire around again and lay it snug against the first wrap as you go.




Continue to wrap a third time. Don't worry too much if yours has two wraps, or five wraps, this takes a little practice to match the space you left above the bead before starting the headloop, to the numbers of wraps you want on the neck, based on the gauge of wire used. The number of wraps is also a personal choice, some people like two wraps,. others like a longer neck with more wraps. It all depends on the look that you are after.




Keep wrapping until the wire begins to get tight against the bead.




Use your Flush Cutters and snip the wire off as close to the bead as possible.




You should now have something like this, but you can see the end is poking out there. This end needs to be tucked away, because apart from it looking untidy, it could snag in hair and clothing.




With your Needle Nose pliers get right in there and squeeze that wire end into the little space under the last wrap.




That's it! A simple Bead Loop Dangle. Attach them to earwires and you have some quick and easy earrings. Use them for 'dangles' on a bracelet.

Dress them up with different combinations and sizes of beads and spacers.

I hope you enjoyed this lesson,...


Lessons. . .

Getting Started

  • Tools
  • Preparing the wire
  • Making Basic Components
  • Basic Techniques

Putting it all together

  • Simple Earrings
  • Bead Link Bracelet
  • Simple Pendant
  • Simple Bead Ring

Let's Jazz it up a bit

  • 2in2 Chain Bracelet
  • Another Pendant
  • Earrings
  • AnotherBead ring
    Other Techniques




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