I’ve started the year by making some new jewellery, and as last year’s efforts were mainly bracelets and necklaces, I decided to buy some earring kits in the new year sales. I’ve made quite a few pairs already, which I’ll tell you about soon, but before I start showing you those, I thought I’d do a quick post about making loops, wrapped loops and how to open and close jump rings, as these are all techniques used in making the earrings.
The pictures for these tutorials aren’t the greatest, as they were taken from the back of one of my instruction leaflets, but hopefully they show what you’ll need to know. And once I’ve found some better ones I’ll pop those on instead.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!
How to Make a Loop
- Hold the beads with one hand, and with the round nose pliers push the wire back away from you to make a right angle. Check there’s not too much of a big gap between the beads and the bend in the wire – it only needs to be a few mm’s!
- Continue to hold the beads, moving the wire so it’s resting on your finger to keep in place, and trim the wire to approx. 1 cm with cutters.
- Using the round nose pliers again, hold the wire in the centre of the pliers and twist your wrist away from you as far as you can slightly pulling back as you do this so you’re resisting yourself (imagine someone’s trying to stop your hand from twisting away from you).
- To finish the loop, put the round nose underneath the loop and bring the loop round. If it’s still not completely closed, use your chain-nose, rest the loop on your finger and, with the very tip of the pliers, grip the end of the loop and twist it up and back until it closes – do not pull or push it, it will lose its shape.
How to Make a Wrapped Loop
- To control the length of your stem, position the wire on the thick area of the pliers; now bend the wire away from you to make a right angle.
- Twist your wrist clockwise, move the wire to the thin area of the pliers, and then bend the wire back on itself to form a half loop. Again re-position the pliers by opening them, and move your wrist anti-clockwise then push the wire round to finish the loop.
- Hold the loop in place, twist round approx. 3 times, snip the end with the flush cutters, and gently flatten any sharp edges.
How to Open & Close a Jump Ring
- Hold either side of the jump ring, using two pairs of pliers (or one pair and an opening ring), with the split of the ring in the middle at the top. The pliers should be held close to the top of the ring.
- Holding one hand still, twist the other hand towards you, opening the ring.
- Place on your jewellery, keeping hold of the ring with the other hand.
To close, grip the ring again with the pliers and twist back in the same way you opened it. If there is a gap, twist it past the middle and back to the middle again, until you feel it click or grind on the other side.
NEVER pull or push jump rings to close them – they will lose their shape and won’t close properly. The twisting action will keep the ring in its exact shape, therefore you can close it securely.