Wednesday, October 8, 2014

How to Make a Wire Wrapped Shank Button Ring Tutorial

By on Wednesday, October 08, 2014 2 Comments

I remember struggling with my first wire wrapped ring.  What I didn't know then is it really helps to use soft temper wire if you are new at it!  But here is another way to make it easier for beginners. Use a finer gauge wire which is easier to wrap.  This tutorial shows you how to make a wire wrapped shank button ring with 26G wire.



These awesome metal buttons came from Bead and Button UK.   I was able to decorate them with resin clay and crystals - flatback and chatons.  But any shank button will work if you like it as a ring.

Wire Wrapping
Ring mandrels are typically tapered. So unless you are careful, multiple wire coils around a ring mandrel can be uneven.  So if you've never done wire wrapped rings before,try and use a 3/4 inch wooden dowel. It will be easier.

Cut about 2 feet of 26G wire and straighten it with nylon jawed pliers. If you don't have one, fold up a paper towel and use it to grab onto the wire. Stroke a few times. Don't over do this as you will harden the wire.


Place a strip of painter's tape on the dowel with about 6-7 inches of wire on the left. Feed the rest of the wire through the shank.


Now refeed the main wire length through the shank and around the dowel 5 times in all.


Try and lay the wires parallel to each other and not overlapping.


Grasp the wire end tightly and wind neatly around the button shank. This will help stabilize the button and stop it from flopping over.

Trim the wire and use pliers to make sure the wire end is well tucked in.  Bent nose pliers do a fine job of getting underneath the button.

Remove the painter's tape and wrap the other end of the wire also around the shank. Trim and tuck as before.

Harden the wire with some blows with a nylon hammer.

As 26G wire is thin on its own, wire wrapping all 5 coils together will give the ring itself strength, Cut another 2 - 2 1/2 ft length of the 26G wire. As it is hard to wrap underneath a large button, start wire wrapping just outside the "shadow" of the button. The short end of the wire is on the right. After you got a few wraps in, ease this section closer to the button shank.


Trim the wire end under the button (on top of the ring not underneath) so that it doesn't poke the wearer.  Use pliers to make sure the end is flattened down.  Now apply the Goldilocks principle for wrapping around the wire bundle - not too tight and not to loose.


Using a 3/4" wooden dowel will yield an approximately size 8 ring. As you can see from the pictures at the end, it fits my middle finger.  But if you prefer smaller rings, you will have to use a ring mandrel.  I haven't tested a 1/2" wooden dowel, though.


Applying Resin Clay and Crystals

If you have buttons like the ones I used then you might like to add some crystals to the cups.  I used a resin clay called Crystal Clay in gold because the colored clay will be less noticeable.  Some of it will show around the crystals when viewed in closeup.  I also had some chatons and flat back crystals from my own collection which more or less fit the cups.


As I may have mentioned before, resin clay has a definite shelf life.  So don't go buying tons of it unless you are planning to use lots.  Mine was over 2 years old.  I have found that when preparing 2 balls of the A and B parts, the colored part is inevitably the one that is dry and hard as shown in the right ball below. Very difficult to blend both together in that case.


The best solution to save the buy is to slice off the outer parts of the hardened block.  The inside part will still be soft and useable. So I was able to have two workable balls of Part A and Part B to blend together.

I found it very tricky to make very small balls of resin clay and inseting them into the ring's cups. It was all too easy to overfill.  For this ring below, I filled every cup with resin clay and topped with vintage and Swarovski crystal chatons. The blue stick with the slightly sticky tip helped me lift each crystal into position before pressing in.


I had better luck with the other ring as the cups were larger.  I used flat back rhinestones for this ring.





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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 

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2 comments:

  1. Excellent tutorial Pearl!

    Explaining the intricacies of how to get the wire up close to the button is invaluable to newbies!

    Plus the info on attaching the chatons and flatbacks was surprising. I was expecting you to use something like Gemtac!

    Well done and thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you! You do not need to use Gemtac because the resin clay is adhesive. That's what makes this stuff so useful.

    ReplyDelete

 

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