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Wrapped and seeded bracelet

Keep it simple, or make it fancy! Transform two gauges of wire into a dramatic, colorful, and fully customizable bracelet.

Bracelet, custom diameter

  • Copper practice wire, round, dead soft (optional)
    • 1 ft. (30.5 cm) 16-gauge (1.3 mm)
    • 10 ft. (3.1 m) 24-gauge (0.5 mm) 
  • Sterling silver wire, round, dead soft
    • 1 ft. (30.5 cm) 16-gauge (1.3 mm)
    • 10 ft. (3.1 m) 24-gauge (0.5 mm)
  • 15/0 seed beads in 3–5 colors (If you plan to patinate your bracelet, don’t use dyed seed beads that will lose their color in water or liver of sulfur.)
  • 16 mm swivel lobster claw clasp
  • Wirework toolbox
  • Flush cutters strong enough to cut 16-gauge (1.3 mm) wire
  • Liver of sulfur with a Pro Polish Pad, or 0000 steel wool and a polishing cloth (optional)
     

Practice

Practice coiling 24-gauge copper wire around 16-gauge copper wire before you use silver wire. Make the wraps nice and close to each other. Next, string 3 in. (76 mm) of 15/0 seed beads onto the 24-gauge wire. Pinch the 24-gauge wire behind the beads as you coil them around the 16-gauge wire. (Don’t pinch the beads too tightly, though, or they won’t have room to spread slightly as you coil them.) Try to get the beads to coil evenly with no large gaps between them. The beads need to separate slightly to properly coil around the wire, but they shouldn’t expose large amounts of the coiling wire. Practice until you feel comfortable with coiling.

 
Wrapped and seeded bracelet a
Photo a

Beaded core wire

1. Flush-cut a piece of 16-gauge sterling silver (core) wire 2 in. (51 mm) longer than the circumference of your wrist. This accounts for the amount of wire needed to form the loops for the clasp, and also allows the bracelet to move comfortably on your wrist. 

2. Cut 1 1⁄2 yd. (1.4 m) of 24-gauge sterling silver (coiling) wire. Fold it in half, and place the fold on the center of the core wire. Make four or five wraps around the center of the core wire (PHOTO A).
 
Tip!
The initial wraps can slide on the core wire, so it’s not necessary to wrap the core wire at the exact center just yet. 
Wrapped and seeded bracelet b
Photo B
Wrapped and seeded bracelet c
Photo c
Wrapped and seeded bracelet d
Photo d

3. String approximately 2 in. (51 mm) of the first color of 15/0 seed beads onto the coiling wire (PHOTO B), and coil them onto the core wire. Make sure the coiling wire isn’t exposed between beads.

4. After you’ve coiled the seed beads around the core wire, coil the coiling wire two to 10 times around the core wire to achieve the desired space between beaded coils (PHOTO C).

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4, changing bead colors as desired. Stop coiling when there’s 3⁄4 in. (19 mm) of the core wire exposed at the end.

6. Flip the core wire so that the second half of the core wire extends to the right. Repeat steps 3–5 to coil around the exposed core wire with the second half of the coiling wire. Trim and tuck the coiling wire on each end.

Overlay wire

7. Cut 1 1⁄2 yd. (1.4 m) of 24-gauge (overlay) wire. Wrap the end of this wire twice around one end of the exposed core wire (PHOTO D). 

8. Begin wrapping the overlay wire around the plain section of coiling, leaving approximately 2 mm between wraps (PHOTO E). Make sure to wrap the overlay wire in the same direction as the beaded coil. When you reach the first beaded coil, wrap the overlay wire around the beads, resting it in the grooves between wraps (PHOTO F). Repeat this step to wrap the length of the core wire. 

Wrapped and seeded bracelet e
Photo e
Wrapped and seeded bracelet f
Photo f
Tip!
Don’t wrap the overlay wire too tightly or the wire will slip down between the wraps of the beaded coil and you won’t be able to see it. Think of “laying” the wire between the grooves rather than tightly wrapping it.
Wrapped and seeded bracelet g
Photo G
9. When you reach the end of the core wire, wrap the overlay wire twice around the core wire (PHOTO G). Don’t trim the tails.
Tip!
Leave the tails in case you need to fill in some space after you make loops for the clasp.
Wrapped and seeded bracelet h
Photo h

Clasp

10. Make a plain loop with the exposed core wire on each end of the bracelet (PHOTO H), making a small loop on one end to attach the clasp, and a larger loop on the opposite end for the clasp to hook into. If necessary, use the overlay wire tails to fill in any space between the loops and the coiling. Trim and tuck the tails.

11. Open the small plain loop. Attach a swivel lobster claw clasp, and close the loop.

Finishing

12. Use your hands to begin to form the bracelet into a circle. Bring together the two ends of the bracelet, and hook the clasp into the large loop. Continue to form the bracelet into a circle.

13. If desired, patinate the bracelet with liver of sulfur. Rinse the bracelet well, and let it dry. Use a Pro Polish Pad or 0000 steel wool followed by a polishing cloth to remove the patina on the high points of the silver, leaving it dark in the recessed areas.

For complete project instructions and design variations, download our PDF

Tip!

How many seed beads should I string?

  • 1 in. (25.5 mm) beads = 1⁄4 in. (6.5 mm) beaded coil (blue)
  • 2 in. (51 mm) beads = 1⁄2 in. (13 mm) beaded coil (red) 
  • 3 in. (76 mm) beads = 3⁄4 in. (19 mm) beaded coil (green)
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