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Wire Wrapping Beads to Store Bought Hoops
These wire wrapped earrings showcase simple round gemstone beads. This is a great project to learn the basic skill of wiring beads to a hoop or frame. There are a few tricks that you need to learn to make them even (and to make it easier) but once you master those, you will want to add beads to all of the hoops you own.
Wrapping beads to a frame is easier in this project than others because the frame is large, making it easier to pull the wrapping wire through without it getting caught or... kinking. In smaller or closed projects, it can be more difficult, like this heart with wire wrapped beads on the edge.
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Wire Wrapped Beaded Hoop Earring Materials
To make wire wrapped beaded hoops, you will need one pair of hoop earrings. This example uses 1.5 inch round hoops with a built in hinged closure. A larger size hoop is easier to work with when you are just learning, since it will be easier to hold and pull the wire around the hoop.
A couple of other things to look for in the hoops: hoops made from a tube are better than ones made from a piece of wire. They are a little thicker and give an edge for the beads to sit on. Another nice feature if... you can find it is if there is a small lip where the earring post joins the tube. This helps keep the wire wrap in place so it does not slide on the post.
The hoops in this example are slightly over 1 mm thick. You can purchase hoops like these in retail accessory stores or jewelry craft supply stores. Mine are from Fire Mountain Gems, but they no longer carry them in gold tone, only in stainless steel.
In addition to the hoops, you will need about 24 inches of 24 gauge wire for each hoop. The exact amount of wire will depend on the size of your hoop and the size and number of beads you are going to use. If you are using similar sized hoops, start with 24 inches of wire and measure the amount you have left after the first hoop to get a more precise measure.
You will need round gemstone beads that are between 2 mm and 3mm in diameter. The turquoise hoops use just under fifty 2 millimeter beads for the pair. The carnelian hoops use just under forty 3 millimeter beads for the pair.
Last, you will need basic wirework tools such as flat nose pliers and wire cutters.Continue to 3 of 14 below.
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Start Wrapping the Hoop with Wire and Beads
Leaving about a one inch tail, start to wrap the wire around the hoop near the post at least two or three times. This is similar to the wrapping motion you use when making a wire wrapped loop.
It needs to be wrapped firmly around, although if your hoops is perfectly round, it will still be able to slide around the hoop. This is not a problem. You will be wrapping the wire without overlapping going towards the back side of the hoop.
After wrapping the wire, pick up one gemstone bead. The wire... should be coming from the side of the hoop, not on the top. As you are wrapping the wire, you will move the beads over on the front of the hoop.
Just like using a larger hoop is easier to hold, it is easier to learn to wrap the beads using smaller beads rather than larger beads. If you can, start with 2 mm beads.Continue to 4 of 14 below.
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Wrap the Bead in Place
As you wrap the wire over the front of the hoop, position the bead on the top front of the hoop. Wrap the wire around the hoop by pulling the wire through the center. Make at least a full wrap around the hoop before getting in position to add another bead..
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Positioning the Wire and Bead
Each time you pick up a bead, make sure the wire is positioned to the side of the hoop. Rather than sliding the bead all the way down the wire, move it up a little so it sits on top of the hoop. If you were to move the bead out of position, you would notice the wire has a small bend like you see in this picture. The wire needs to be in this position in order for the wire to enter and exit the bead with the holes on the sides and not visible from the front of the hoop.
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Pulling the Wire Around the Hoop
Each time you secure a bead, you will need to pull the end of the wire through the center of the hoop. Make sure you don't cause any kinks in the wire or let it get caught on any of the beads. If the wire gets bent, it is more likely to break and very difficult to slide the beads over. You may even have to cut off the beads and wire and start over.
It is easiest to pull the wire through the loop with your finger like shown in this picture. This is another reason starting with a larger hoop... is easier when you first try to make this project.
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Adjusting the Beads
As you add beads, you will be able to adjust the spacing between the beads by pushing them closer together or nudging them a little further apart. You can also twist them slightly so they lay at the same angle.
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Finishing the Wire Tails
When you are done wrapping, you will need to secure the tail wires so they cannot loosen or scratch anyone. Starting with the working piece of wire that you have been working with, wrap it around the earrings 3 or 4 times. This helps keep the beads in place as well as gives a little area for the end of the wire to tuck into.
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Trim the Working Wire
Trim the working wire using wire flush cutters at a point underneath the hoop so it cannot be seen. Using flush cutters is helpful because it allows you to get close to the work and get a flat, not pointed, end on the wire.
Use your flat nose pliers to press the cut end in place and to secure the wraps so they don't slide easily. Your flat nose pliers should be smooth inside the jaws so they cannot mar the wire. And be careful not to break any... of the beads!!
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Finish the Start of the Wire
To finish the wire end near the post, wrap it one or two more times if desired. Tuck the end of the wire in the small space under the first bead wrap as shown in the picture. This will help keep the wire from coming loose.
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Pull the Wire Taut
Using flat nosed pliers, pull the wire so the coil wraps tightly around the hoop. This will keep the end safely tucked in place. Trim the wire so it is held in place by the bead wrap. You may still want to use the flat nosed pliers to press on the wire wrap and keep it in place.
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Gemstone Wire Wrapped Hoops
Enjoy your new gemstone bead hoops!
These hoops are quick to make once you get the hang of positioning the beads and very versatile. They can be made with a variety of beads, including faceted rondelles, but different bead shapes and sizes are a little more challenging since the beads can twist and be harder to line up consistenly on the hoop frame.
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Alternative Ways to Wrap the Hoops
Once you are good at wrapping beads to a wire frame, you may want to try some variations. The black gemstone hoop switches the beads to the inside of the frame halfway around. This may look strange when the earrings are viewed from the side, but when you view them from the front, you will see that the gemstone beads are visible going down the front edge and up with back edge of the hoop.
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Inside and Outside Edge Gemstone Hoops
This gemstone hoop variation is a little more advanced to make, but uses the same wire wrap technique. It is only tricky deciding where on the hoop to change to adding the beads to the inside and getting used to lining them up on that edge.
For more wire wrap hoop variations, try the confetti beaded hoop project.