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Jewelry Tutorial: Make a Wire-wrapped Bracelet Lesson 8

This is the 8th lesson in my step-by-step tutorial on how to make sterling silver bracelets in wire.

Make the Bracelet

Now that you have the tools, design plan, and techniques, you're ready to begin fashioning the bracelet itself. The first step in making your bracelet is cutting the wire into pieces that will hold the beads.

Cutting the Wire

Before cutting the pieces of wire that will be "wrapped" around the beads, you must know how long the wire pieces should be and how many pieces to cut.

Determining how long the wire pieces should be

  • This measurement depends on the size of the beads.

Seat of Your Pants Method

Try to visualize how long the pieces need to be. Make them several inches long. Don't forget, much of the wire ends up wrapped around itself and forming the loop. It's better to have extra wire than to come up short.

The disadvantage to going by the "seat of your pants" is that you will end up wasting precious sterling silver wire. If you are going to use this method, practice first with copper wire.

Exact Method

There is an easy formula that will allow you to measure exactly how long each piece needs to be.

Quick Formula

3" (1 ½" for each end of the wire)
enough wire to span the length of the bead.


Your bead is 10mm from hole to hole.
3 inches are needed for the "wrapping" part.
Your wire must be 10mm + 3 inches.

How to convert inches into millimeters

One inch is the same as 25mm. So, the total length of your wire is 3 inches x 25mm, plus 10mm, which comes to 85mm, or 8.5 cm.

How long the wire needs to be is 8.5 cm. You will use the metric side of your ruler to cut pieces of wire to this length.

Determining how many pieces to cut

This measurement depends on
  • the length of the wrapped bead
  • the number of wrapped beads you will need for the bracelet length

You can figure out the length of the wrapped bead by wrapping your first bead.

Next, the tutorial will cover how to wrap your first bead.

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All Images and Text Copyright Ornatia 2009. All Rights Reserved.

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