Braided Wire Bracelet

 


Braiding wire for jewelry making is not significantly more difficult than braiding string, and is probably easier than braiding your own hair.  Making jewelry out of braided wire requires learning how to wrap the ends so that the wire ends are covered and to provide a loop for connecting to your clasp.   


Braided Wire Bracelet

    Jewelry Making Supplies:

Tools Required:

  • 60 inches of 26G wire, 66 inches of 24G wire or 72 inches of 22G wire
  • 12 inches of 24G wire
  • 1 filigree clasp for a single strand bracelet
  • Two medium jump rings
  • Masking tape or other non-marking tape
  • Fine Step Jaw Pliers (preferred) or Round Nose Pliers
  • Flush Cutter
  • Bent Chain Nose Pliers
  • Any WigJig acrylic jig
  • 3 metal pegs
  • 30 minutes of free time

Jewelry Making Skills Required:

  • Use of a WigJig to make braided wire
  • Ability to wrap fine gauge wire to fix the ends of braided wire. 
  • Ability to open and close jump rings to connect a clasp to a bracelet.

 

This jewelry making project will make a braided bracelet about 7 1/2 inches long.    

Step 1:  Cut and straighten three 20 inch long segments of 26 gauge wire or three 24 inch segments of 22 gauge wire.  The delicate bracelet shown at right is made with 26 gauge wire.  If 22 gauge wire were used the bracelet would be thicker.  Obviously, 24 gauge would make a bracelet intermediate in size between these two. 
 

Braided Bracelet

Step 2:  Make a "U" shaped bend in the center of each piece of wire. 

 



Step 3:  Position three metal pegs in a row on your WigJig Jewelry Making Jig.  As shown at right, place your three "U" shaped bends on the pegs on the jig.  Now position two metal pegs about 1 to 1 1/2 inch from the first three pegs.  Place your wire around these two pegs as shown at right. 
 


Step 3

 

 

Step 4:  Now, using masking tape or other non-marking tape, tape the wire down between the three pegs and the two pegs.   Because we will be pulling against these pegs as we make the braid, the pegs will want to pop out unless the wire is securely taped. 


Step 4

 

 

 

Step 5:  Now we begin to braid.  The wire shown at right is 22 gauge as opposed to the 24 gauge used in the bracelet in the previous section.  Start by moving one of the outside wires over the wire in the center so that the wire you just moved becomes the center wire.  Then move the wire on the opposite side over the center wire, so that it becomes the center wire.  In the picture shown at right, the next step is to move the red wire over the blue wire, followed by moving the white wire over the red wire.
 


Step 5

 

Step 6:  Continue braiding until your braided wire segment is about 6 1/2 inches long.  Concentrate on keeping constant tension on the wire as you braid.  Also concentrate on keeping the two wire segments in each color together and parallel.  Don't allow the two wires of the same color cross one another.
 

Step 7:  When you have completed the braid, remove the wire from the jig.  After removing the wire from the jig, by hand, straighten the six wires on either end so that they are straight and parallel to one another.  You should have about 1 to 1 1/2 inches of straight wire on either end of a 6 1/2 inch segment of braided wire.


Step 6

 

 

Step 8:  With the braiding completed we need to finish the ends of the bracelet.  First,grasp the end of the braided segment with your bent chain nose pliers and bend the 6 wires about 75 degrees as shown in picture 8A.  Then grasp the wire near the bend, but on the end segment with six straight wires with your step jaw pliers or round nose pliers and make a "U" shaped bend in the wire as shown in picture 8B.  Next, using your flush cutters, cut the excess wire off about 1/4 inch beyond the "U" shaped bend.  See picture 8C at right. 
 


Step 8A

Step 8B


Step 8C

 

Step 9:  At this point we need to wrap fine gauge wire around the braided wire to fix the shape and cover the cut wire ends.  Square wire or 1/2 round wire is great for this, but if you don't have that, 22 or 24 gauge round wire will work.  Wrap the wire tightly.  The wire shown at right is 24 gauge wire used to finish the loop.  Finish both ends of the braided wire the same way.  The braided wire segment should now be about 6 1/2 inches long with a loop on either end. 


Step 9

 


Step 10:  Now we add the clasp.  Open a medium to large jump ring and use this jump ring to connect the clasp to the loop in one end of the braided wire that you just completed.  Then close the jump ring.  Repeat this process connecting the loop in the other end of the braided wire to the other side of the clasp. 

Step 11:  Gently bend the braided wire into a round shape either using a bracelet mandrel or by hand.  This completes this jewelry making project. 

Please remember to practice this project in inexpensive wire.  This is a project that can be completed by beginners, but like riding a bike you will get better at it with practice. 


Step 10

   


Click
here for the instructions to make the matching  braided ring shown at right
 

 

 

 

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