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Wire Braid Bangle & Necklace

by: Pam Kearns

First of all, I'm not a wireworker but I see lots of possibilities for the new Artistic Wire Braid and the crimp tubes!

In this set of projects I've created a simple bangle using the 12 gauge Stainless Steel Artistic Wire Braid. I cut the wire using flush cutters to the measurement of the widest part of my hand. The braid is quite stiff but easy to cut. At this point I slipped on a combination of large hole stones. Joining the two ends is quite simple using the tube crimps. Slip the crimp tube so that the one end of wire halfway fills the crimp (you can 'pre-measure' the amount by laying the wire beside the crimp to determine the length and either mark it a sharpie or holding your fingernail in place). Using the ends of crimping pliers (not into the notch), squeeze the tube at one end; the wire will be held in place. Repeat with the other end of the wire into the remaining half of the crimp tube. I then used bracelet bending pliers to create a gentle curve in the crimp tube. The nylon jaws of the pliers will not damage the crimp.

If you don't care for the visibility of the crimp tube, there are ways of covering it. Consider wrapping the tube portion with matching or contrasting wire; covering it with epoxy clay (and adding sparkle with the mica powders); or stitching a small amount of peyote stitch and zipping it around the crimp tube and securing it with glue.

You can get a lot of bangles out of one package of wire braid and crimp tubes. Think about slipping on charms, large hole Swarovski donuts, or beaded beads to really personalize the look.

For the necklace, I created a self-closing 'necklace' using about 19" of  the same wire braid. Using round-nose pliers, I created an S-hook with a spiral ending in a vertical plane. I then added some large hole round stone beads, including a small donut onto the wire. To close the necklace, I created another S-hook with a spiral ending in a horizontal plane. The two S-hooks simply hook into each other. Although the wire is already quite stiff, you can gently work harden the wire for more security by tapping the finished ends with a rubber mallet.

The crimp tubes are available in a variety of sizes. Consider also using them to connect thin cording, rubber tubing and more!

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