Saturday, January 21, 2012

Links: Beaded and Crazy -Tutorial - Basic Wire Working Technique Series

Welcome back to my teaching series featuring basic wire working techniques. I hope you've had a chance to practice the first technique in the series - "Wrapped Loops" - as it is a building block for today's tutorial "Links: Beaded and Crazy". If you missed it, you can check it out here.

Today I will be sharing how to make a few different styles of links; a couple with beads and one without, that I like to call a "crazy" link. The link is an important technique to learn because it will allow you to incorporate uniquely handcrafted chains into your jewelry.

Tools and Supplies:
Pliers: round-nose and chain-nose
Flush cutters (one side of the cutters are flush and make a straight cut, the other side makes a "V" cut)
Small jewelers file
Wire: I've used copper for my photos. I suggest you begin with copper; it's malleable which makes it easy to work with and it's inexpensive.
Beads of your choice

Single Beaded Link
Begin by making a wrapped loop (click here to refer to my earlier tutorial on wrapped loops). Add a bead.

Place the chain-nose pliers below the bead.

 Make a wrapped loop. 

It's as simple as that! Your finished link should look like this.

To make a chain, use another piece of wire to make a loop and thread it through the loop of the previous link.

Wrap the wire and finish the link as before.


Swirl Wrapped Double Beaded Link
Use a long length of wire to make a wrapped loop (click here to refer to my earlier tutorial on wrapped loops). Add two beads. Make a wrapped loop but do not trim the wire.

Wind the wire tail around the beads.

Wrap the wire a few times just under the loop.

Trim the excess wire.

Your finished link should look like this.

Crazy Link
Make a wire link with a wrapped loop at each end (click here to refer to my earlier tutorial on wrapped loops).

Place the chain-nose pliers about 1/3 of the way into the link.

Use your fingers to put a slight bend in the wire.

Place the pliers about 2/3 into the link and make another slight bend.

Your finished link should look like this.

Or, if you're really feeling crazy, kink the wire a little more.

Here are a couple of examples of how I've used
beaded and crazy links in my jewelry designs.

If you would like to learn more techniques, please return in a few days for the next tutorial in my Basic Wire Working Series
as I will be showing you how to make


  1. Another great tutorial! Your pictures are wonderful also. I see that you posted your tutorial on craftgawker and now that post is your most popular. Way to go!

  2. Wow Kathy this technique is beautiful. You make some lovely things. I do like the look of the wrapped beads, especially with the pearls.


  3. your picture are so wonderful nice techniques use thanks for shearing.

    Usmle Step 1

  4. Hi, Kathy; your tutorial is simply clear but so useful! I'm a "new" bijoux-creator and I love using wire to make chains with different kind of beads. I'm still learning, then your tutorial is precious, thank you!

  5. These tutorials are wonderful!! You Rock Art Sis!!

  6. I can't wait to try these! Love the wrapped beads, so fun. Easy tutorials...thanks and BB )O(

    1. Hello,
      I love your tutorial on wire sculpting, it's fabulous for a beginner for me to understand! I have a blog that I do on fashion and fashion accessories, and it has about 10,500 followers counting Google Blog-Spot, Twitter, Facebook, Etsy, and the 3 contest groups I ran on Polyvore had about 3500, to 4000 members a piece. An they all are followers now also. They all get emails as soon as I add something new to my blog!! Each blog focus (or company) gives up prizes to the followers who comment on th blogs. All you have to do is become a follower of my blog, and comment on all the blogs that you are interested in winning something from! Here take a look at it:
      I became a follower of your blog and will deff be keeping up with it. I heard about your blog thru Jamie Anderson from who has a store called BeadingOnABudget!! Love this blog!!

  7. We have recently started a craft group at church, we want to combine paper beads with wire wrapping. This will truly help.Thank you.


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Have a great day!