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Woven wire bezel bracelet

Stone beads take center stage when they’re embellished with a woven wire bezel

Showcase your wireworking skills by surrounding rough-cut aventurine beads with a stunning herringbone wire weave pattern. This clever wire-weaving technique decoratively frames the stones, transforming them into a combination of color and texture. To create an interesting choker-length necklace, link together your herringbone bracelet with a coordinating strand and add a large stone surrounded by a herringbone weave to the jump ring on the clasp.  

SUPPLIES

  • 6–12 feet (1.8–3.6m) of 24-gauge soft wire
  • Lobster claw clasp and soldered jump ring
  • 6–10 beads, 6–11mm in length
  • Pen or painter’s tape
  • 2–3 inches (5.1–7.6cm) of chain or 5–9 soldered jump rings

Tools

  • Flush cutters
  • Ruler
  • Chainnose, bent chainnose, and roundnose

INSTRUCTIONS

The herringbone weave can be applied to bracelets and necklaces and may be tailored to specific size beads and varying numbers of wraps. Check the chart on our PDF for the size bead and number of wraps you desire to determine the length of your project.
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1–2. Make the wrapped-loop units. Cut a 12-inch (30.5cm) piece of 24-gauge soft wire, hold one end with a chainnose pliers, and pull the wire through the jaws of your wire-straightening pliers. (If using smaller beads, use 26-gauge wire.) Make a right-angle bend in the wire 11⁄2 inches (3.8cm) from one end and make the first part of a wrapped loop. Slide the soldered jump ring (to link to the lobster claw clasp) onto the loop. Complete the wrapped loop, forming 6–8 wraps. Trim the excess wrapping wire. Slide a bead on the wire.

Rest the jaws of your pliers over the wraps, having one edge of the pliers against the loop and the other edge flush with the final wrap. Mark this spot on your pliers with a pen or painter’s tape for consistency throughout the project. Make the first half of a wrapped loop at the other end, parallel to the first loop, using the mark on the pliers as your guide for where to start the loop. Slide a soldered jump ring or chain segment on the loop, then finish wrapping, ending with the wire perpendicular to the loop. There should be no need to count the wraps, since you measured the distance with your pliers. Don’t cut the wire.

3–4. Make the first round of herringbone weave. Bring the wire along the side of the bead, then over and around the wrapped section on the opposite end. Bring the wire along the other side of the bead and over and around the wrapped section at this end.

5–6. Make the subsequent rounds. Bring the wire along the side of the bead again, situating this round below the first. Wrap the wire around the wrapped ends as before—subsequent rounds will be closer to the loops on each end. Once the desired number of rounds is in place or when the wraps are flush against the loops, wrap around the wrapped core twice, cut the excess wire, and tuck in the end.

7. Join and make the next unit. Make the first half of the wrapped loop for the next unit as before, linking it through the soldered jump ring or chain attached to one end of the previous unit. Add a jump ring or chain to the loop on the opposite end. Use the pen mark or tape on your pliers as a guide to make your wrapped ends the same length. Continue until the bracelet is one unit short of the desired length.

Add the final unit and clasp. Link the first end of the final unit to the previous unit as before. Make the wrapped loop on the other end and slide a lobster claw clasp on that loop before completing the wraps. Finish the unit as before.

Tips on wrapping wire

For each concentric path around a bead in the herringbone pattern, you need two wire wraps on the neck of the wire. This means that six wraps will allow for three times around a bead, and eight will allow for four times around a bead.

If you want a denser herringbone frame with more wire paths surrounding a bead, make additional wraps around the core wire, keeping the number even. You may need more than 12 inches of wire, depending on the size of the bead and how many wraps you desire.

Wraps are easier to make when the wire core is held firm. After you have made three wraps, reposition your pliers to grasp the wraps, rather than the loop. By gripping the wraps, subsequent wraps are easier to form because you have more leverage and control.

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