Memory wire bracelets - do you remember when those were popular?
Twisty beaded bracelets that
wrapped several times and gave the look of multiple bracelets.
Yeah - me neither!
Well, maybe I do remember, but just like so many other jewelry fads, I let it slip right by me without ever owning one. At some point, I did buy a coil of memory wire, and promptly used them to ruin what were my good wire cutters at the time.
Somehow, just like making stretch bracelets, memory wire has come full circle for me (pun not intended - but you have to admit, it's a little funny the way that fits - memory wire, full circle... OK, never mind.)
Memory wire is not like you remember it.
My first roll was steel gray and heavy duty. Not only did it ruin my cutters, it was a bear to make a loop in. On a recent trip to Michaels, I found Beadalon Memory Wire. (Insert Angel's singing here).
OMG!! This memory wire is beautiful - and thin - and comes in an assortment pack.
It's too interesting for me to pass up (which if you've ever gone to a craft or bead store with me - applies to huge categories of goodies).
So, now I have the wire, but I can't stand the thought of memory wire bracelets because I have a stack of freshly made elastic stretchy bracelets sitting in front of me that I still have a bit of denial and guilt over loving.
Look at those perfect round loops of wire - hmmm...hoops of wire. Yes, that's it! Hoops they shall be.
Cut the wire so you have enough of an overlap so that when you make a loop on each side of the wire, they will line up. Having extra wire is ok - because you can always trim the wire to size when you are done stringing beads. Make a loop on one end of the circle to keep the beads on.
You can use your regular round nose pliers for this loop - but be gentle. Did I really say to be gentle with memory wire?! Yes - because the silver coating can scrape off to reveal the copper core underneath. And, it no longer takes an act of God (or Congress) to make a loop in memory wire.
String your beads. I am using 4mm crystals and faceted fancy jasper beads on the bracelet sized memory wire (2.25 inch diameter). These are going to be big showy hoops.
Add as many beads as you like. I could have stopped here - but I didn't!
When your beads are all on, close the loop on the other side of the hoop, trying to get them to align when the hoop is in its resting position (i.e. not stretched out). The picture above is perfect - if I do say so myself!
Add jump rings to keep the hoops closed and to attach an ear wire. I used two jump rings to give these earrings lots of swing.
I also made 20g sterling silver french earring hooks.
All done! These earrings won't be overlooked.
But if you're not all that showy, try the smaller memory wire loops that are about 1.25 inches in diameter.
I love these hoop earrings! I have so many piles of beads that I am dying to try this with.
And I still have two more sizes of memory wire that I haven't touched. A small ring size and a larger size meant for neck wires. If you have any ideas for those, let me know.
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