Continuum Designs Beads

Copper Wire Choker/Necklace Tutorial


Create a funky, front-fastening choker length necklace, incorporating copper wire with a large bead for a dramatic focal point, and clasp in disguise!

Note: The beads used here are examples from my British Hedgrow series - more can be seen in the Shop or Gallery links on the right.

Supplies:

1 focal bead
4 accent beads
copper wire 08.mm
copper wire 1.25mm
24 small copper jump rings
4 medium copper jump rings
2 large copper jumprings.
length of copper chain

Tips:

A large lentil bead works best in this design, as it should rest more comfortably in the hollow of the wearer's neck (i.e. at choker length)

The focal part can be easily changed for another by unhooking both sides of the wire curves: why not make several focal pieces and used them interchangeably on a special chain of sterling silver maille?

Any type of bead will work, although materials such as polymer clay or wood will feel warmer against the skin!

Instructions:

1. Measure the length of your focal bead, add 3 inches to the measurement, and cut a piece of 1.25mm copper wire to this length.

2. With the tip of your round-nose pliers, make a small loop at one end. Starting at this end, shape your wire around a mandrel or cylindrical object, making sure that the loop is on the outside of the curve.

curving the wire

3. Thread on the focal bead, and repeat step 2 on the other side of the wire. Gently adjust the two hooks so they are symmetrical if neccessary. Now carefully give the whole piece into a slight curve by manipulating it over a bracelet mandrel, or your wrist.

focal bead on wire

4. Place one of your accent beads onto a piece of 0.8mm copper wire and make a wrapped loop at each end. Repeat for the rest of the beads.

5. Place three small jump rings onto one of the large rings. Go through these three rings with two more, and then go through the bottom two rings with a single jumpring. Repeat on the other side.

jumprings

6. Connect the large jumprings to the focal piece, one each side, and then add the accent beads, linking them with medium size jumprings. If you want, you can add further jumpring embellishments (as seen on the large rings) to these too.

7. Measure how much longer the choker needs to be (that's right, it's time for the tape measure around the neck) and cut a length of copper chain to this size. Link the ends of the chain to the front portion of the choker to complete the piece.

polymer clay and wire choker

8. To fasten your choker, slightly rotate the copper curves inside the focal bead foward, and hook one of the large jumprings onto it, before twisting the piece back to the original poition. Reverse this direction to undo it (yes, I know that last part is evident, but you never know if someone's going to start panicking because their jewellery is stuck on them!)

clasp