Wire Wrapped Cluster Ring Tutorial

Wire Wrapped Cluster Ring Tutorial

Wire Wrapped Cluster Ring Tutorial

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Last month we talked about how to make a wire wrapped ring with a focal bead. Check out that post here if you missed it. This month we’re taking it one step further and showing you how to make a wire wrapped cluster ring using lots of smaller beads.

You will need:

Lots of small beads that you like mixed together (I used about 11 beads for this ring. Smaller sized beads work better – try to stick to 3-6mm each)

22 Gauge Wire (1.5 feet)

Ring Mandrel with an Open Channel in the Back

Needle nose pliers

Wire cutters

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To begin, cut 1.5 feet of your 22 gauge wire. We used sterling silver, but any half hard wire will work great!

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This ring starts out very similar to the focal bead wire wrapped ring – hold your wire on your ring mandrel about a full size larger than your desired size (my ring size is an 8.5). You need this extra space because wrapping the wire around so many times will take up some of the interior ring space. Hold the wire so that about 4″ of the wire is on one side of the mandrel and the rest of the wire is on the other side.

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Wrap the wire around the mandrel 2-3 times. Make sure you are holding the wire tight on the mandrel so that the ring stays at the size you want. Cross the ends of the wire around each other once you have wrapped around the mandrel 2-3 times. This will keep your ring more stable and make it easier to wrap the ends.

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Using the open channel on the back of the ring mandrel, wrap the short piece of the wire around the rest of the wire (aka the ring band – the 2-3 wraps you just made around the mandrel). Wrap the short piece of wire around the rest of the wires 3-4 times or until it feels snug and secure. This step helps stabilize your ring size, so make sure you are still holding the wires snug where you want them and that you are pulling the short wire tight as you wrap it around the others — needle nose pliers can help you to pull them tight.

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Use wire cutters to cut off the rest of that short wire and needle nose pliers to tap down the excess. Extra tip: try to cut the wire either on the top or the bottom of the ring base. This will make the cut portion less visible than if it were on the outside of the band and it won’t scratch you like it might on the inside of the band.

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This is where the technique changes a little from the focal bead wire wrapped ring – on your long piece of wire, add 1 bead to begin your cluster. Allow that bead to slide all the way up to the wire wrapped portion.

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Once you have that bead where you want it, hold the bead in place and use the open channel in the ring mandrel to pull the wire behind the band, stabilizing that bead.

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Then put a second bead on  your wire, sliding it all the way up. Hold that bead in place and pull the wire behind the band to secure that bead, just like you did with the first one.

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Continue doing adding beads the same way, one at a time, positioning each bead where you’d like it to go and pulling the wire behind the ring base to stabilize it before adding another bead. You may find that you select a bead but it doesn’t work in that space. That’s common with this project. Simply remove the bead before wrapping the wire around the back and try a different bead. Here are the pictures of the stages of this wire wrapped cluster ring as I added each bead. It can be tricky to pull the wire behind the base, so use your needle nose pliers to help you with this.

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Once you are happy with the amount of beads you have on your ring, pull the wire under or through the beads to get to the opposite end from where your first wire wrap is. Then wrap this wire around the other wires (the ring base), using the open channel again to help you do this.

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Keep wrapping 3-4 times (or however many number of wraps you did on the first side), using  your needle nose pliers to help you pull the wire wraps tight. Use your wire cutters to cut off the extra wire and then tap the excess down with your needle nose pliers.

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Here are some pictures of the finished project! Isn’t that sweet??? It’s so simple too and the perfect way to make an adorable, one-of-a-kind ring that only takes a few beads and a small amount of time.  Next time you’re at Bead World, take a peek at our bead mixes in our individual bead section for simple & easy mixes that would be perfect for a wire wrapped focal ring, or make your own mix and customize the look for yourself. The options are limitless!!

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Happy Beading!

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