Jewelry Tutorial – How To Make Stud Earrings By Wire Wrapping Herkimer Diamonds Or Any Bead

This method works for any bead, provided the hole is large enough for the desired wire to go through.  Ideally the post would be between 22 and 20 gauge (0.65mm to 0.8mm).  Too thin and it would fall out of the earlobe, too thick and it might hurt to wear.


Start by using a length of wire (make sure it is long enough for the number of wraps you want and the post, better to include extra!), leaving more for the post than intended.  You will be filing and trimming, and will also lose length against the base as you coil more wire around the bead.


Bend the wire at the other end, as closely against the bead as possible.  Slowly wrap the wire flush against the bead.  Tip – use soft wire, if possible, because it will form smoothly and stay more easily.  However, if you are using hard wire, you can use the back of pliers (anything hard that is smooth and won’t scratch) and push flush.


Wrap around either side of the post, around the bead.  Tip – if the bead is rounded or comes to a point in the middle, you want to crisscross the wire so that they do not slip off the slope.  If the bead is flat/rectangular, then you can make straight line coils if you wish – as opposed to crisscrossing (it is a matter of taste).


To end the wrap, wrap around the post as securely as possible.  Support the post by holding it with chain nose pliers as you wrap the wire – this will ensure that the post will not bend too much while wrapping.  However, do not worry if it bends, you will be straightening it in the end. 

Try to make sure the wrap is flat and the wrapping wire is not pointing up when you trim.  You want to achieve a flat base and not something pointy or sharp – which would make it uncomfortable to wear.  If it is pointing up, simply trim a bit more and push flush with the side of your pliers until there is nothing sharp.


Trim the post back to the desired length.  Do this a bit at a time (don’t be like cutting your own bangs for the first time when you were young and lop off too much!).  Tip – use flush cutters (flat on one side and wedged on the other), with the flat side to the post.  This will make it less pointy/sharp and more comfortable to wear.  Don’t worry if you don’t have those, it would simply mean that there is more for you to file down to get smooth.

  
File the post until smooth and you feel it would be comfortable to wear.
To harden the post, you can work harden it by repeatedly clamping down with nylon coated pliers.  If you don’t have those, wrap masking tape around pliers that you have – this would prevent them from making sharp scratches.  

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