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Wire daisy chain

Make this easy, colorful bracelet using just your pliers — no jig needed!
When I was a child, I used to pick flowers and braid them into chains on warm summer afternoons. My favorite flowers were daisies, which seemed the embodiment of sunshine with their golden centers. Bright-colored copper wire offers the chance to recapture those sunny afternoons in splashy and wearable jewelry. And this bracelet is just as simple to make as a chain of flowers. You don’t need a jig or any complicated or expensive tools, just your fingers, pliers, and a sense of fun.
 
SUPPLIES
  • Colored copper wire: 20-gauge (0.8 mm)
    • Dark: 24 in. (61 cm)
    • Medium: 18 in. (45.7 cm)
    • Light: 12 in. (30.5 cm)
  • Gold-colored craft wire (nontarnish, silver plated):
    • 24-gauge (0.5 mm), 7 ft. (2.13 m)
    • 20-gauge (0.8 mm), 6 in. (15.2 cm)
  • 10 gold-filled jump rings: 5 mm inside diameter
  • Wirework toolbox
  • Clear acrylic coating (premium floor finish)

INSTRUCTIONS

Part 1: Flowers
Wire daisy chain 1
Step 1
Using roundnose pliers, make a small loop at one end of a 24-in. (61 cm) piece of dark 20-gauge (0.8 mm) wire. Measure 3⁄4 in. (19 mm) from the loop, and bend the wire into a U, forming a 3⁄4-in. (19 mm) petal. The loop will be at the base of the petal.
Wire daisy chain 2
Step 2
Continue making U-bends to make a total of 12 3⁄4-in. (19 mm) petals. Using flatnose pliers, squeeze the bottom of the connecting wire between each petal, leaving just enough room to fit 24-gauge (0.5 mm) wire.
Wire daisy chain 3
Step 3
Using flatnose pliers, squeeze the tip of each petal to make a rounded point. Stretch the row of petals slightly to expand it.
Wire daisy chain 4
Step 4
Bend the row of petals into a gentle curve. Using roundnose pliers, shape the bottom of each petal to bow out. At the bottom of the 12th petal, bend the wire  perpendicular to the row of petals.
Wire daisy chain 5
Step 5
Trim the wire, leaving enough to make a hook. Then, use roundnose pliers to bend the tail into a hook.
Wire daisy chain 6
Step 6
Bend the row of petals into a circle to form a flower. Thread the hook through the loop, and use pliers to close the hook. 
7. Lay 24-gauge (0.5 mm) gold wrapping wire across the center of the flower. Wrap under the center of the flower, going down between the petals opposite your starting point and coming back up at your starting point. Continue wrapping across the center of the flower, moving counterclockwise around the flower until you’ve completed two layers of wraps. Position the wrapping wire at the back of the flower.
Wire daisy chain 8
Step 8
Bring the wrapping wire up between the nearest petals. Wrap once around the base of the left petal. Then, working counterclockwise, wrap over the top of the adjacent petal and around its base. Continue until all the petals have been wrapped. If you want, you can use a different color of wire for this step to give the flower center a contrasting border.

NOTE: Use your fingers and roundnose pliers to give the flowers shape. Hold the base of each petal down and pull the tip up to give the whole petal a slight upward curve, then use roundnose pliers to curl the tip downward.
Wire daisy chain 9b
Step 9
Bring the wrapping wire to the back of the flower. Locate the starting end of the wrapping wire, and twist the two ends together. Use flush cutters to trim the twisted ends, then bend the ends into the center of the flower. 

Repeat the process to make two medium flowers, using wire in a medium-tone color, and two small flowers, using light-colored wire. Each medium flower should have 12 petals measuring 5⁄8 in. (16 mm). Each small flower should have nine petals measuring 1⁄2 in. (13 mm).

NOTE: To add more protection to the wire color, suspend each flower on fishing line and dip it in a clear acrylic bath (such as a premium floor finish). Allow the excess to drip off. Assemble the bracelet once the flowers are dry. The coating is nearly invisible.
Wire daisy chain 10
Step 10
Arrange the flowers in the order you’ll connect them. Use two jump rings to connect two petals of one flower with two petals of the next. Repeat to connect all the flowers.
Wire daisy chain earrings
Make a pair of earrings to match

SUPPLIES

  • Colored copper wire: 20-gauge (0.8 mm)
  • Medium: 9 in. (22.9 cm)
  • Light: 7 in. (17.8 cm)
  • Gold-colored craft wire: 24-gauge (0.5 mm), 2 ft. (61 cm)
  • 4 jump rings: 5 mm inside diameter
  • 2 ear wires

To make the flowers, follow the same steps as you did for the bracelet, just work on a finer scale. You can also use 22-gauge (0.6 mm) wire for a more delicate look. Bend the petals for the larger, nine-petal daisies to 3⁄8 in. (9.5 mm) and for the smaller, seven-petal daisies to 1⁄4 in. (6.5 mm). Use jump rings to attach pairs of flowers, and attach each pair to an ear wire.

Part 2: Hook-and-loop clasp
Wire daisy chain hook 1
Step 1
Cut a 3 1⁄2-in. (89 mm) piece of 20-gauge (0.8 mm) gold wire, and make a tight U-bend at its midpoint. Hold the wire against a 1⁄4-in. (6.5 mm) wooden dowel, leaving 3⁄4 in. (19 mm) of the U-bend, and wrap the wire ends around the dowel so that they straddle the U.
Wire daisy chain hook 2
Step 2
Slide the wire off the dowel. Using flatnose pliers, grasp across the loop you just made. Using another pair of pliers, rotate the U 90° so it’s on the same plane as the loop. Wrap each wire end around the base of the U to secure both ends.
Wire daisy chain hook 3
Step 3
Using roundnose pliers, bend the U into a hook. Grasp the tip of the hook with your pliers, and curve it outward in a slight bend.
Wire daisy chain hook 4
Step 4
Use a jump ring to attach the hook to the small flower at one end of the chain. Add a single jump ring to the small flower at the other end of the chain to act as the other half of the clasp. If desired, add a second, larger jump ring to provide a larger catch.
Wire daisy chain opt 1
Option 1
Wire daisy chain opt 2
Option 2

3 WAYS TO CHANGE UP YOUR FLOWER CENTERS 

Option 1: Incorporate pearls or crystals

Wrap across the center of your flower with one layer of 24-gauge (0.5 mm) gold wire as you did in the featured project. On the second layer, slide a pearl, 4 mm crystal, or a 3–4 mm seed pearl onto the wrapping wire, and position it where the wrapping wire surfaces between the petals. Position another pearl or crystal where the wrapping wire goes down between the petals. Work your way around the flower until there is a pearl or crystal between each petal. Give the center a border as you did in the featured project by wrapping around the base of each petal, working your way counterclockwise around the flower. To finish the flower, twist the ends of the wrapping wire together underneath the center, use flush cutters to trim the twisted ends, and then bend the ends into the center of the flower. 

Option 2: Add glint with small beads

Follow the steps in option 1, but instead of adding a pearl between each petal, slide seed beads on the wrapping wire where it crosses the center of the flower. It’ll give the center a bit more texture and glimmer.

Wire daisy chain opt 3a
Wire daisy chain opt 3b

 

Wire daisy chain opt 3c

Option 3: Frame one focal pearl

Select a pearl that’s slightly smaller than your flower center. Using 24-gauge (0.5 mm) gold wrapping wire, make a complete wrap around the base of one petal. Then, cross the wire over the next two petals and bring the wire down underneath the flower. Bring the wire back up in the space to the right of your starting point. Repeat, always wrapping over two petals on each wrap, until you’ve gone around the flower once, achieving a spiral pattern around the edge of the flower center. Position the wrapping wire at the back of the flower. 

Check the fit of your pearl in the flower center. If necessary, add another round to the spiral pattern.

Slide your pearl onto the wrapping wire, and push the pearl up into the flower center from underneath. To anchor the pearl, wrap around the base of the nearest petal. Then, give the flower center a border, as in the featured project, by wrapping counterclockwise around the base of each petal.

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More from this author

The author of this project, Karen Rakoski, has a book available: Chain Mail & Wire Reimagined unites chain mail and wire techniques to create jewelry with an entirely new look! Jewelry makers will first learn how to shape wire motifs into diamonds, ovals, twists, and more. These wire shapes will then act as decorative links, connecting traditional chain mail weaves. The resulting jewelry is both glamorous and wearable for all occasions. The 18 elegant projects include necklaces, pendants, and bracelets. The instructions are broken down step-by-step with process photos and illustrations, using common tools, wire, and jump rings. Anyone who enjoys wirework or chain mail will be able to pick up this book and make the projects with success.

Purchase Karen’s book, Chain Mail & Wire Reimagined, here.

 
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