October 7, 2014

Wire Wrapped Dangles Without Using Headpins

Put down the head pin.  It doesn't have to end that way.  Here's another option to add bead dangles to your wire jewelry when you don't have a headpin available or when you want to use a scrap piece of wire. As a bonus, it's more decorative in your jewelry design than a head pin too!

Headpins are a jewelry making staple that can be found anywhere beads need a place to rest.

Like most jewelry makers, I use lots of head pins, always have and always will.  But, if I don't have one handy, it will never stop me from getting the dangle made.  There are so many other options!

How to make wire wrapped dangles without using headpins: DIY, free tutorial

This weekend I didn't have any headpins while I was making these long rosary wrapped earrings. Instead, I used the same wire as the rest of the loops and let the wire take a lap up around the bead to make one more wrap.

Here's the step by step:


Start with a wrapped loop.  If you are finishing a rosary chain like I was, the loop would be connected to the chain you are finishing.

How to make wire wrapped dangles without using headpins: DIY, free tutorial

Wrap the wire up around the side of the bead until it reaches the wrapped stem at the top of the bead.

How to make wire wrapped dangles without using headpins: DIY, free tutorial

Wrap the wire around the wrapped stem starting at the bottom and working up towards the loop.

How to make wire wrapped dangles without using headpins: DIY, free tutorial

Wrap the wire all the way to the top of the loop, keeping the wraps even.

How to make wire wrapped dangles without using headpins: DIY, free tutorial

Trim the wire end.  This is the bead dangle viewed from one side. It looks just like a regular head pin dangle. The wire wrapping on top of the bead is a little thicker, but it actually makes a nice ending on a bead chain, giving the bead a little more weight.

How to make wire wrapped dangles without using headpins: DIY, free tutorial

And this is the bead dangle from the other side.  You can adjust the hanging loop by giving it a little twist to decide whether you want to be able to see the wrap or have it hidden on the back side of the bead.

How to make wire wrapped dangles without using headpins: DIY, free tutorial


This wire technique works with most any size round, oval or rondelle bead. It can be challenging to do wrap the wire on smaller beads with thinner wire. Wrapping around the bead can work especially well for flat, coin or pillow beads since it can keep them from turning which will show the thin "slice" side of the bead instead of the flat pretty face of the bead.

You can also choose to make the wrap even more decorative on larger beads by using twisted wire or by wrapping halfway around the bead in a spiral motion.  These is a great technique to highlight a special bead in your project - or to make a bead more of a focal!

But what if you really want headpins for your jewelry making project?

Sometimes, that's exactly how I feel.  For those time, I make balled headpins in either copper, fine silver or sterling silver and keep some on hand.  The link above goes to basic instructions on making balled headpins.  I've also had success making headpins with heavy gauge copper wire, which takes a little more experience and technique.

Thinking out of the box a little more, you can also consider making paddle head pins. These add a little shimmer of flat metal under the bead and are easy to make with a hammer or your crimping tool.

Please follow my website or social media for more wire jewelry making projects. I do bead work projects too!  Sign Up to follow Lisa Yang Jewelry.

No comments:

Post a Comment