Kids Can-Do! Wired for Jewelry-Making

    Creative Possibilities Are Endless!

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    Crafting with wire and the beads or buttons of your choice, your jewelry designs will always be unique. What’s more, you can modify this creative technique to add a splash of style to anything that needs a decorative upgrade.

     

    What you need:

    • Old jewelry and found objects, like a bangle, ring, plastic headband, or a large shower curtain ring

    • Flat-nose pliers, wire cutters, or strong scissors

    • Craft or jewelry wire that is soft, lightweight, and easy to shape (18-gauge or thicker works best)

    • Beads and shank buttons that fit over wire

    What you do:

    1. Look for inexpensive, old jewelry pieces you no longer wear, as well as some fun and fancy beads. The jewelry item should be solid and have a smooth surface. This will serve as your base. We chose a plastic bangle. (Note: If you use a ring, keep in mind that the wire wrapping will make the ring smaller than its original size.)

    2. Cut a couple feet of wire, or a length that seems manageable. We used an 18-gauge, gold-colored aluminum wire.

    3. Firmly hold one end of the wire against the bangle and begin wrapping. Be sure that the wire wraps remain tight and close together.

    4. After about three tight wraps, cut off the excess wire from your starting point.

    5. Use the pliers to firmly press the wire end flush against the bangle. (Option: If you have a metal file, you can use it to smooth the end of the wire.)

    6. Continue wrapping the wire snugly around the bangle. Don’t worry if the wire gets tangled or kinked. Simply straighten it back out the best you can, and appreciate its unique character.

    7. After every ten wraps or so, string one or more fancy beads on your wire and continue wrapping the wire tightly around the bangle. Repeat this step to create a pattern.

    8. If you run out of wire, simply add more. Use your pliers to press the end of the wire firmly against the bangle, as flush as possible. Cut more wire and continue wrapping your bangle.

    9. After your bangle is completely wrapped, cut off excess wire. Again, using the pliers, firmly press the end of the wire flush against the bangle. Check to make sure that none of the other wire ends are sticking out. You can easily adjust some of the uneven areas, if necessary, by pushing your fingernail between the wire wraps.

    Take it Further: Try wrapping a variety of objects using different types and sizes of wire. (May require some adult supervision.)

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