Friday, August 21, 2015

Wire Wrapped Dia or Silky Beads Earrings Tutorial

By on Friday, August 21, 2015 10 Comments

Czech beads are not just for beaders!  If you love working with wire, consider using them for a wire wrapped project.  Here I take advantage of the two diagonal holes just as I did with the beaded earrings tutorial earlier this week.  Four of these are grouped into a square and placed in a diamond orientation.

What You Need :
I used jeweler's bronze (copper -zinc alloy) wire from Fire Mountain Gems for this tutorial because it is a lovely alternative to expensive gold and has a clear anti-tarnish coating.  However, it is not as soft as other types of dead soft wire, for example, copper.  So it is harder to get the wire wrapping even. Beginners should use either pure copper or coated copper wire. 

Cut an 8 inch length of 26 G wire and string 4 Dia beads with the same side facing. Feed one end of the wire through the first bead in the opposite direction.

 Slowly pull on the ends so the wire circle closes and groups the beads into a square. You will not be able to complete butt the sides of the beads together. So don't force it or you will break the bead.

Note that the wire ends are situated so one can be used to wrap around the gap between the beads in a vertical way and the other, horizontally. This in effect "fills" the gap.

Once wrapped, take the wire ends behind the bead square (i.e. the side without the pattern) and wrap the wires together once or twice.
Trim the wires enough so that small loops can be made and then tucked down into the gap between the beads.
Straighten about an 8 inch length of 20 G wire.

Measure the sides of the bead square.  I then marked this length (5x needed) at intervals along the wire, beginning at the center of the wire and moving outwards.

Use the broad nose pliers  which has a better grip than chain nose pliers for this application. Place the edge at the center mark and bend the wire at a 90 degree angle.

Continue to bend at this angle at the other marks to form a square.  Bend the wires outwards when they meet.

Work harden the frame.  I went further and hammered the frame flat (optional).

Take a length of 26 G wire about 12-14 inches long and feed it through the outer hole of one of the Dia beads.  Position the bead square so it sits within the frame.

Take one wire end and firmly wrap around the frame.  The frame is still open at the top which makes feeding the wire around the frame easier. Wrap until the wire wrapping reaches the outer hole of the next Dia bead. Wrap the other side.

Feed the wire end through the next Dia bead's outer hole and continue wire wrapping on the other side.

Neatly trim both sides of the wire.  Tuck down the cut wire end with chain nose pliers.  Take a short length of wire and wind around the top of the frame.

I used the medium bail forming pliers to create a simple loop bail.

Trim all the excess wire. Tuck down the ends of the binding wire.

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I used my iPhone 5, the camera+ app and the Modahaus Tabletop Studio TS400 in artificial lights - 2 angle poise lamps each equipped with 100 W daylight CFL bulbs with a boost from nearby ceiling LED light strip. Most of the photo editing was done in app but some photos needed a quick touch to lighten and contrast quickly in Adobe Photoshop Elements.  Click here for more information on my How to Photograph Jewelry webinar.

Before You Go:
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 



  1. What a great tutorial Pearl!!

    It's obvious that you put a lot of work into making this! Thank you!!!!

    I think the design is gorgeous. And even though it is a form of bead work I think it's something I would do because of the wirework.
    Wonderful design - now to get some of those beads.....

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Aims! Wire work is definitely an alternative if you are not into beading.

  2. Thank you Pearl for a lovely tutorial. I really like this design and when you posted the beaded version I had my fingers crossed that the wire wrapped version would soon follow. I had wondered how you managed to cross the wire between the 4 Dia beads and your tutorial explains that most clearly. Thanks again. :)

  3. Greta Marullo gdmar@comcast.netAugust 21, 2015 at 2:42 PM

    I really love these earrings. I usually shy away from wire work but these look totally doable. I think they look so professional. Great job! Now I have to make a trip to the bead store.

  4. Thanks, Pearl! Are the Dia beads the same as Silky beads?

    1. Yes indeed they are! I used the name Best Beads Shop used. Thanks for the nudge - I will amend the posts to add this name.

  5. I love this project! Thanks for sharing with such nice pictures, you inspire me!

  6. Does the jeweler's wire come in silver as well? thank you

    1. No jeweler's bronze is only in that color because it is a specific metal alloy. It is like copper being that colour only. If you want a silver colour , get either sterling silver, argentium or silver plated wires. The craft wires like those from Parawire are fine silver plated over a copper core.