|Red BEAD WHEEL Necklace by Linda Jones|
This BEAD WHEEL project has evolved over
many years, beginning it's life as a smaller scale chain
link system ... and now becoming a much bolder and
more simplistic design! It can be tweaked and altered
to suit your individual style and creativity ... and I hope
it sparks off a new playful route of inspiration in your
So, take a minute to read through the tutorial
and once you've had time to digest the
progression of images, you'll be able to adapt
it to suit whatever beads and coloured wires
you have to hand!
1. The first step is to create 7 circles of wire for the
beaded 'wheel' centrepiece of the necklace. I wrapped
0.8mm (20-gauge) silver-plated wire around the nylon
head of my Whammer hammer and cut each of the wire
circles off my spool, leaving overlapping wire of just under
an 1". (Because if you cut them like jump rings, or
complete circles ... you'll end up with squashed oval
units - and that's another design altogether!).
2. Choose a mixture (or palette) of beads you wish to use
together for the 'wheel' decoration. I used a selection of blue
toned and silver coin spacer beads and I created a thin coil of
0.5mm copper wire, which I cut into small segments (this
coil can be made on the thin handle of a Coiling Gizmo, or
wrapped around a thin knitting needle ... or even the tip ends
of your round nosed pliers). However, anything goes ... as long
as the beads aren't too big and can be threaded onto
3. Thread a selection of chosen beads onto one of
the wire 'wheel' circles and create a small link with
the tips of your round nosed pliers - positioning it
on the same plane as the circle. (P.S. some of your
larger beads are going to be a little stubborn about
being threaded onto a curved wire ... so just gently
TWIST them on, so as not to distort the circle).
4. Using the tips of your chain nosed pliers, bend the
overlapping wire upright, where you've made the
5. Open the link and secure the upright, extending wire
within it to complete your first circular 'wheel' of beads.
Then, using your round nosed pliers, create a small loop to begin
the start of a spiral ...
6. Spiral the wire down towards the top of the circular
frame and flatten it over the edge, using your flat nosed
7. Now you're on a roll! Connect the next silver
circle into the first and repeat steps 3 to 6 once again,
but varying the choice of beads slightly to provide
a random, 'organic' feel to the necklace.
8. Keep on connecting all the circles of beads together
until you have 7 bead 'wheels' all joined up as a chain.
Stop here - and you've got a bracelet, OR ...
you can now connect each side to a ready made chain
or cord and "Ta Daa!" it's ready to wear ... OR ... you
can make my 'Lucky Horseshoe' Chain below ...
9. For the 'Lucky Horseshoe' Chain: I used a felt pen
as a mandrel and cut 2.5" (5cm) lengths of 0.8mm
(20-gauge) silver-plate and copper wire for each unit.
The centre of each wire was molded around the pen
to create a 'U' shape.
10. Use your round nosed pliers to create links at
the ends of each unit. (Don't make these links too
small in diameter ... as you'll see below in *step 12.)
11. If like me, you wish to Whammer the rounded
end of each link to work harden and shape: place
each unit on to a steel block and 'stroke' hammer.
(You will need to spend a little time re-adjusting
the shape of each unit after hammering, as it can
distort the top part ... but, just take your time to do
this, as it will toughen the wire, making the overall
chain much more durable.)
12. Once you've made enough units to create a chain
to your desired overall length, attach to each side
of the beaded 'wheel' centrepiece and connect to each
other, alternating the silver and copper units. *(As
referred to in step 10 - don't make the top links on
each unit too small, as they must be able to be
flexible and have movement when worn.
Here is the finished piece - all you need to do now
is make a wire clasp for one end and you're done!
Ready to wear the dancing Bead Wheel Necklace!
And of course, a pair of matching earrings is easy-
peasy-lemon-squeezy to make, once you've mastered
Now ... try making it in other colours to suit your
... OR ... without any beads at all!
Here I have distorted and 'tweaked' the circles, plus
added a bit of therapeutic Whammering to create an
original 'Puddles of Wire' chain!
GO ON - HAVE A GO - AND DO
LET ME KNOW HOW YOU GET
ON! I WOULD LOVE TO SEE
YOUR FINISHED IMAGES
ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE!!
P.S. I know I have been doing quite a few 'Circular' based wire tutorials lately ...
but that's because I am 'round the bend'!!
... LOOK WHAT CHRISTINE GAIGNARD,
from Montreal, Quebec made following my
tutorial ... Well done, Christine!! :D