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Cost
$ $ $ $ $
Difficulty
• • • • •
Time
45 mins

Making rosary links for a necklace
Rosary links are made with wrapped loops either side of the bead. The beads shown in images A and B are 8–10mm diameter rounds set on 18AWG (1mm) wire. 24–20AWG (0.6–0.8mm) wire can be used for smaller, more delicate, beads. There is also the option of making swirly curls at the end of each wrapped loop either side of the bead, as in image B. Make the swirly curls using 3⁄8in (1cm) lengths of the wire tails at the end of the wrapped loops.

NOTE: The wire you use may depend on the size of the drill hole through the bead.

Tip
I prefer to work with longer lengths of wrapping wire so I don’t run out along weave lengths. If you want to work with shorter lengths, try to spot a point where you can add in new wire, tucking in the old end and adding in new where there is the least disruption to what you are trying to do.

Posted by GMC Group Published See GMC Group's 303 projects » © 2020 Rachel Norris / GMC Publications · Reproduced with permission. · Mastering Wirework Jewelry by Rachel Norris, published by GMC (£19.99, available from www.thegmcgroup.com)
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  • How to make a jewelry settings. Rosary Links - Step 1
    Step 1

    To make a wrapped loop necklace link

    Take a 4–43⁄4in (10–12cm) length of 18AWG (1mm) wire and loop it as shown about 1 3⁄8in (3.5cm) from one end of the wire, into a round shape using your round-nose pliers.

  • How to make a jewelry settings. Rosary Links - Step 2
    Step 2

    Grip nearer the base of the loop with chain-nosed pliers (if possible with the pliers placed flat across the whole loop). Bend the shorter wire tail to the side where it crosses under the longer length 
of wire. Straighten the longer length of wire, bending it slightly at the crossing point. Pull the shorter wire tail to wrap it around the longer wire length at the crossing point so that it points in the opposite direction.

  • How to make a jewelry settings. Rosary Links - Step 3
    Step 3

    Thread a bead onto the longer length of wire so that it lies tight against the first loop you made. Make a loop at the other side of the bead using chain-nosed pliers, adjusting the loop so that there is 
no “play” or gap between the loops and the bead.

    Tip
    Try to make sure the loops are all the same size by making them at the same point on your chain-nosed pliers.

  • How to make a jewelry settings. Rosary Links - Step 4
    Step 4

    Grip each loop with chain-nosed pliers and wrap the wire tails around the base of the loop with your fingers or another set of pliers. You have a few options now:
    • You can cut the wire tail with flush cutters and press the ends down around the wrap to press the cut ends in so they don’t catch on skin or clothing.
    • You can wrap the wire tails over to the other side of the bead.
    • You can make a swirl curl detail over the bead, as follows:


  • How to make a jewelry settings. Rosary Links - Step 5
    Step 5

    Cut the wire tails to 3⁄8–5⁄8in (10–15mm) depending on the size of curl you want to make over the bead or the size of bead you are working with.

  • How to make a jewelry settings. Rosary Links - Step 6
    Step 6

    Spiral the wire tails. Press the wire tails down over the bead using your fingers or the rubber ends of your pliers. Your little link is finished. Make more in the same way, but make sure you add on one link to the next before you close that loop.

  • How to make a jewelry settings. Rosary Links - Step 7
    Step 7

    Making the loop end of the clasp
    The loop end of the clasp is made in the same way as the links except with a much larger loop on the loop side.

    Take a 6in (15cm) length of 20–18AWG (0.8–1mm) wire and loop it near one end of the wire into a teardrop shape. Use your fingers or a pencil-sized mandrel to make a more circular loop.

  • How to make a jewelry settings. Rosary Links - Step 8
    Step 8

    Bend the shorter wire tail to the side where it crosses over the longer length of wire. Straighten the longer length of wire, bending it slightly at the crossing point.

  • How to make a jewelry settings. Rosary Links - Step 9
    Step 9

    Grip the base of the loop with chain-nosed pliers and pull the wire tail to wrap it once around the longer wire length at the crossing point in a 180-degree loop.

  • How to make a jewelry settings. Rosary Links - Step 10
    Step 10

    At this stage you can alter the shape of your loops using the chain-nosed pliers. You can make the loop teardrop shaped, angular, or completely circular by placing the loop around a ring mandrel to shape the wire.

  • How to make a jewelry settings. Rosary Links - Step 11
    Step 11

    Hammer the large loop on a steel block to create a flat, reflective surface.

  • How to make a jewelry settings. Rosary Links - Step 12
    Step 12

    Thread a bead onto the long length of wire so it sits tight against the large loop. Make a smaller loop on the other side of the bead as in Step 4. Grip the smaller loop with your chain-nosed pliers and pull the wire tail around the top of the bead to make a spiral over the end of the bead around the closed loop.

  • How to make a jewelry settings. Rosary Links - Step 13
    Step 13

    Cut the wire tail at this end to 3⁄8–5⁄8in (10–15mm). Grip the larger teardrop-shaped loop with your chain-nosed pliers near the base of the loop and across both sides of the loop, spiraling the wire end around and along the loop for a few wraps (you can also wind down over the bead; it is your choice).

  • How to make a jewelry settings. Rosary Links - Step 14
    Step 14

    Cut the wire tail at the large loop end to 5⁄8–13⁄16in (15–20mm).

  • How to make a jewelry settings. Rosary Links - Step 15
    Step 15

    Spiral the wire tails: Press the spiral at the small loop end over the bead and the spiral at the 
larger loop end over the base ofthe loop.

  • How to make a jewelry settings. Rosary Links - Step 16
    Step 16

    Making the hook end of the clasp

    Take a 6in (15cm) length of 18AWG (1mm) wire and make a small spiral at one end.

  • How to make a jewelry settings. Rosary Links - Step 17
    Step 17

    Shape this end of the wire into a shepherd’s crook shape. You can wrap the wire around a mandrel, bale-making pliers, or a round pen. Make a slight bend at the base of the hook leaving a straight wire tail (see arrow in image above).

  • How to make a jewelry settings. Rosary Links - Step 18
    Step 18

    Hammer only the “crook” end, leaving the straight wire tail unhammered.

  • How to make a jewelry settings. Rosary Links - Step 19
    Step 19

    Thread a bead onto the straight wire up to the base of the crook and the edge of the hammered 
wire section. Make a loop at the other side of the bead using round-nosed pliers.

  • How to make a jewelry settings. Rosary Links - Step 20
    Step 20

    Make a closed wrap loop (see page 21). Pass the wire tail over and around the bead to wrap the wire tail at the base of the hook end a few times, leaving a 5⁄8–13⁄16in (15–20mm) wire tail.

    NOTE: The wrap around the bead may cause the bead to travel up the hook end a little. Hold the bead in place as you make this wrap; once you have a few coils around the base of the hook the bead will be held in place.

  • How to make a jewelry settings. Rosary Links - Step 21
    Step 21

    Curl the wire tail and press into place over the base of the hook end.

  • How to make a jewelry settings. Rosary Links - Step 22
    Step 22

    Your clasp is now finished. You can join it to the rest of your necklace with a few jumprings or by slipping it onto a necklace link before you wrap and close the loop.

    Tip
    If the wire is difficult to thread through spaces, use your pliers to help grab the wire. Trim the tip if it looks ragged to make it thread through more easily.

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