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August 07, 2015

Making Wire Wrap Bead Chains

Do you ever wonder how or why you keep circling back to old favorites? Favorite foods, favorite books, favorite places... favorite bead techniques.

That is me and wire wrapped bead chains.  When I first got hooked on wire jewelry, bead chain bracelets was one of the first things that I made and started selling. They look great stacked together or with other bracelets.  I haven't made any in quite a while, but had to revisit how to make wire wrapped bead chain for the hand chain bracelet tutorial I made last week.

And guess what?

To be blunt, I kinda sucked at making these chains after all this time!  It's been a bit devastating to realize how rusty some of my basic wire work skills have gotten.  My loops used to be perfect and my wraps were tight - if that's how I wanted them.  I'd also mastered double wraps and messy wraps and beaded wraps - all of the variations.

And ugh! - I was struggling to make my basic loops round and neat for the tutorial.

So, this week, I went back to my old habit of making bead chains while watching my daughter's softball game. I hate that it takes so many tools, but aside from that, I just need a little wire and tub of beads. It's nice that I bought the set of Lindstrom RX jewelry tools that come in the little case. I just grab the case, throw in a coil of wire and zip it closed and bring a tin of beads.

This chain is rather petite, since it uses 24g sterling silver wire and 3mm turquoise heishi beads.

I've improved a little after making roughtly 2 feet of chain.  I also tend to make bead chains assembly line style - which I find to be a lot quicker.  It's all of the same steps, just doing one step for a group of the links instead of finishing one link at a time.  I find it to be much faster since you use one tool a whole bunch of times - instead of switching tools constantly

In other news, I've been starting to work on my Fall/Winter Jewelry Collection - which I typically have done by August 1 every year.  I'll write a post about what goes into planning the collection soon. I'm feeling a lot of pressure about being so far behind, but I only do one or two home shows for the holidays so  I think I'm still good.

And you can bet, I'll be brushing up on my wire skills until I feel like they're back to where they should be.


  1. Thanks for sharing your process and work- keep up your beautiful work!

    1. Thanks Meredith! I appreciate you stopping by and commenting.