Craft wire is used in many different rubber stamping and papercraft projects. There are many different types of craft wire available. You will find craft wire for sale in your local craft store as well as a wide variety of different types for sale online.
Craft wire can be used to add an embellishment to a handmade made greeting card, as part of a jewelry project using shrink plastic or polymer clay, to attach elements of a card or scrapbooking project together - or in a vast number of other ways.
Craft wire is often brightly colored with a metallic sheen and this catches the light adding decoration to your project. Try rolling some craft wire around the end of a pencil to create a small wire wreath to add to a project or use craft wire to 'stitch' around the edge of a card to add both a design feature and extra support to the card.
In most of the projects that you will find here, the precise gauge of wire doesn't really matter. When you look at the chart below, you will see that there are such tiny increments in the width of different gauge wires, that the difference between a AWG 22 and AWG 24 gauge, is a minuscule .1 of a millimeter. Of course, if you are doing precision work then that .1mm could make all the difference, however in most general craft projects slight variations won't matter at all.
Most craft wire is sold by gauge. The list below is a guide to the popular wire gauge sizes in AWG with the metric equivalent.
These are the thicknesses that are most likely to be used in general craft projects.
Craft Wire Comparison Chart
- 12 AWG = 2mm
- 13 AWG = 1.8mm
- 14 AWG = 1.6mm
- 15 AWG = 1.4mm
- 16 AWG = 1.3mm
- 17 AWG = 1.1mm
- 18 AWG = 1mm
- 19 AWG = 0.9mm
- 20 AWG = 0.8mm
- 21 AWG = 0.7mm
- 22 AWG = 0.6mm
- 24 AWG = 0.5mm
- 26 AWG = 0.4mm
- 28 AWG = 0.3mm
- 32 AWG = 0.2mm
Using Craft Wire
Little in the way of special equipment is required to use craft wire, however a pair of pliers and wire cutters are useful. There are many other tools that might be useful if you start to do a lot of wire work, including a wire jig that can be used to make wire shapes for embellishments. However if you are simply using a little bit of craft wire to add texture or interest to a rubber stamping project then just the basic tools will be fine.
Tips for Buying Craft Wire
Here are some tips for buying craft wire:
- Craft wire works out cheaper when it is bought in bulk. Therefore consider buying larger pack sizes of a popular color and size which can be used in many projects. For instance a 2 ounce reel of .6mm (22 AWG) in a silver color which can be used in a wide variety of ways.
- If a project calls for a thick wire, and you only have thin wires, try doubling the wire.
- Craft wires can be twisted into curls and swirls before adding to rubber stamping projects as embellishments. Wind the wire around a thin knitting needle or pencil to create even curls.