Thursday, November 15, 2018

Jewellery-Making Basics - How to Turn a PERFECT Loop on Memory Wire

There are a few basic jewellery-making skills that every jewellery maker should master and turning a loop on memory wire is one of them.

How to make a perfect loop in memory wire.

It seems quite straightforward... until you actually go to do it and end up with a lopsided, half-open loop that small beads slide around or, the unclosed loop catches on your clothes.

But this simple trick will change all that and make your memory wire jewellery look really professional. Read on...

You'll need:
These are absolutely essential. 
Memory wire is made of steel and trying to cut it with your regular jewellery wire cutters will destroy the cutting blades.
I know this from FIRST-HAND experience! 

This is what happened to the blades of my wire cutters when I used them on memory wire. 

Pink-handled wire cutters with nicks along blade

Detail view of nicks on blades of wire cutters

Eventually, they were unusable even for soft wire. Investing in a pair of memory wire shears is TOTALLY worth the outlay.

How to Turn a Perfect Loop in Memory Wire 

Cut the memory wire long enough to go around your wrist PLUS 5cm (2"). This will give you a little more than you need but it's better to have a little extra than not enough.
Using memory wire shears to cut a coil of memory wire.

Grip the very tip of the wire in the jaws of the round nose pliers. 

How far along the pliers you place the wire determines the size of the loop. I like to make my memory wire loops about 1/3 of the way down from the tip of the pliers, but how far you choose will depend on the diameter of the jaws of your pliers.
Holding the tip of the memory wire in the round nose pliers.

I'm showing you how to turn an inward-facing loop. 

With the thumb of your non-dominant hand pressing on the outside of the wire, rotate the pliers inwards and turn a loop. You need to use a bit of effort to do this because the steel wire is so strong.

To turn an outward-facing loop, you'll rotate the pliers in the opposite direction.
Turning a loop in the memory wire using round nose pliers.

Your loop will still be partially open but this is where my EXPERT TIP comes in. 

Instead of trying to rotate the pliers again to close the last bit of the loop, use the thumb of your non-dominant hand to wrap the memory wire around the jaws of the pliers until it meets the end of the wire.
Pressing your thumb against the wire to finish turning the loop.

It should look like this!
The completed memory wire loop.

You will have formed a perfect loop, with no gap to catch on your clothes or space for little beads to slide around.
Perfectly formed inward facing loop on memory wire.

Now that you know how to make perfect loops in memory wire, you're ready to string your favourite beads to make some pretty jewellery.

Here's some designs to get you started:

Pin this Jewellery Technique!
Jewelry technique project sheet - How to turn a loop on memory wire

'Til next time.....

Want to learn how to make jewellery? Click here to find my books and printable pdfs

Would you like to comment?

Thanks for stopping by today. Your comment is really appreciated.