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Copper embrace wire necklace

Squiggly arms of wire hold rectangular gemstones in place, making them easy to incorporate in a necklace of wrapped loops. Use leftover beads for a matching bracelet.
Copper embrace wire necklace Photo E


necklace 19 in. (48 cm) 

  • 3 20 x 30 mm rectangle beads (striped jasper)
  • 16 8 x 12 mm faceted glass rondelles (red)
  • 5 6 x 18 mm hammered rectangle links (TierraCast)
  • toggle clasp (TierraCast)
  • 42 in. (1.1 m) 16-gauge wire (copper)
  • 45 in. (1.2 m) 20-gauge wire (copper)
  • 1-1⁄2-in. (3.8 cm) head pin (copper)
  • 5–6 mm jump ring (copper)
  • chainnose pliers
  • roundnose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • anvil or bench block
  • hammer


Making the squiggle links

1. Cut a 5-in. (13 cm) piece of 16-gauge wire, and make a plain loop on one end.

2. Using roundnose pliers, grasp the wire 1⁄4 in. (6 mm) below the plain loop. Pull both ends of the wire around the pliers, making a U-shaped turn in the same plane as the loop.

Copper embrace wire necklace Photo A
Copper embrace wire necklace Photo B

3. Continue making U-turns to create a “squiggle,” making sure it is no wider than the 20 x 30 mm rectangle beads. When your squiggle is the same length as the bead (not counting the plain loop made in step 1), trim the wire to 1⁄2 in. (1.3 cm), and make another plain loop (PHOTO A). Adjust the loops as necessary so they align with the holes of the rectangle bead.

4. Repeat steps 1–3 to make a second squiggle component, but in step 3, make the squiggle 2–3 mm longer than the rectangle bead.

5. Place a squiggle component on an anvil or bench block, and hammer both sides of the squiggle. Do not hammer the plain loops. Hammer the other squiggle component.

6. Using chainnose pliers, grasp a plain loop on a squiggle component, and bend it perpendicular to the squiggle. Repeat with the other plain loop, bending it parallel to the first (PHOTO B). Repeat to bend the loops of the other squiggle component.

7. Place the shorter squiggle component from step 3 on a rectangle bead. Since hammering may have lengthened the component, you might need to adjust the squiggle: Using roundnose pliers, grasp a U-turn, and pull to the side. Repeat until the plain loops on each end of the component are snug against the bead holes.

8. Holding the shorter squiggle component against one side of the rectangle bead, place the longer squiggle component on the other side. Adjust the squiggle as in step 7 until the plain loops are snug against the plain loops of the shorter squiggle component.

9. Cut a 4-in. (10 cm) piece of 16-gauge wire, and make a plain loop on one end. String a loop of the longer squiggle component, a loop of the shorter squiggle component, and a rectangle bead. Position one squiggle component on each side of the rectangle bead, then string the remaining loops of the squiggle components. Trim the wire to 1⁄2 in. (1.3 cm), and make a plain loop (PHOTO C and PHOTO D).

10. Make a total of three squiggle links.

11. Choose one link to make as your focal piece. On a head pin, string an 8 x 12 mm rondelle, and make the first half of a wrapped loop. Attach a plain loop of a squiggle link, and complete the wrap. 

Copper embrace wire necklace Photo C
Copper embrace wire necklace Photo D

Making a bracelet or necklace

These wrapped components can be used in so many ways; feel free to experiment and create your own designs!

To construct the necklace shown above, choose rondelle beads and rectangle components from TierraCast.

To make the rondelle links: Cut a 3-in. (7.6 cm) piece of 20-gauge wire, string a rondelle, and make a wrapped loop on each end, attaching the adjacent components before completing the wraps.

To make the rectangle links: Open a loop of a squiggle link, and attach a rectangle link.

Add a clasp by using a jump ring to attach the toggle bar to one end of the necklace. Attach the toggle ring to the last wrapped loop on the other end.

To build the bracelet shown below: Attach rondelle links, rectangle links, and the clasp as in the necklace.

Check out the PDF for a more detailed look at the necklace construction, and the supply list for the bracelet. 

Copper embrace wire bracelet
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