How to Make Wire Bangles with Beads

In this jewelry making tutorial for beginners we are making wire wrapped bangles with beads. It's a quick and easy technique to create these bracelets. And once you know the basics, you can a whole stack of beautiful bangles. Christine White in the Beads, Inc. studio will show you an easy and simple method for creating these bangle bracelets.



Video tutorial: Wire bangle bracelets with beads





Supplies for DIY wire bangles:

Before we get started, let’s talk about the materials that you'll need to create this project. For this project, you'll need:

20 gauge gold or silver craft wire,

wire cutters,

flat nose pliers,

beads of your choice,

soda can to wrap your wire around to create that bangle form.



Step-by-step instructions: how to make wire bangle bracelets

Step 1: Prep supplies

One thing to note about this project is that flat beads tend to work best for this style of bangle because they lay the smoothest along the edge of the wire. So for our project we are going to work with flat oval crystals first. Now that we've selected our beads, we will move on to our wire.


showing woman measuring one wingspan of jewelry making wire 

I'm going to cut some of my gold wire to start with. I'd like to start with about 10 feet of wire -- and this can be a very approximate measurement. I'm not even going to necessarily use a tape measure. One pro tip I like to share is to use your wingspan to measure quickly. Your wingspan is typically equal to your height, so it makes for an easy measurement estimation. I'm just going to do approximately two wingspans of wire and then use my wire cutters to cut the end there.


We use a soda can for this project because it’s the perfect diameter to use as a form for our bangle. A standard sized can will produce a medium size adult bangle.


Step 2: Wrap the wire to create the bangle

showing wire wrapped around a can to create a bangle bracelet


To start, we're going to line up our 20 gauge wire on the front side of our soda can, holding about 18 inches or so of overhang on the front side and placing our left thumb on the wire on the soda can to hold it in place. Using our right hand, we're going to then wrap the remaining wire to the right side of our soda can.


And we're going to continue to wrap the remaining wire in a row side by side, nice, clean, tight wraps, making sure that the wire does not overlap with one another until we have about the same amount of wire on the front side of our soda can as we do on the back side of our soda can, around 18 inches.


The next step is to transfer the wire wraps from our left hand to our right hand. This requires a little bit of coordination. Pass the wire wrapped soda can from your left hand to your right hand. Then, wiggle the wire wrap off the end of our soda can and set the can aside.


Step 3: Secure the wire bangle

close up of wrapping wire around wire bangle to secure it and pliers flattening wire to secure it

Now we're going to use our left hand, grab our bangle form that we've created and then begin to bundle all of those wires together using our right hand and one of our little wire tails. You’ll want to wrap the wire about four or five times. You will not use the whole 18-inch tail. And DO NOT trim the excess. You will use the excess to add beads.


Then use your flat nose pliers and flatten our wrap that we've created. Don't be afraid to squeeze hard. You won't hurt the wire. And that's what's really going to give it some shape.


Step 4: Add first bead

close up of stringing a bead onto a wire bangle

Now we're ready to add our first bead. I am using some large crystal beads. Like I said above, it’s a good idea to use a bead that will lay flat against the wire. So we will thread the bead onto the tail and manipulate it so that it sits flat against the edge of our bangle. Then hold it in place with your thumb and your finger of your left hand and start wrapping to the right side of that bead. This wrap will be similar to the last one we created. Wrap the wire three or four times around the bangle and then flatten that wrap with your flat nose pliers. Now you're ready to snip off your extra wire. We want to snip off the extra on the front side of our bangle so that it's never sharp on the inside where we'll be wearing it. Then you can take your pliers and flatten the cut edge to make sure it's not sticking up and sharp.


Step 5: Add your second and third beads

Next, we're going to flip our bangle around and start working with a piece of wire tail that faces the opposite direction. So this piece of wire, we're going to follow it along the edge of our bangle about three quarters of an inch or so to the place where you want to put your next bead. Place your thumb where we want to start wrapping again using the wire tail.  We are going to repeat the wrap, bead, wrap sequence that we did to secure our first bead.


So start wrapping, just like we did before, three or four times. Then flatten that wrap. Then, add your second bead, making sure again that it lies flat against our bangle edge. Hold that in place and wrap the wire again on the other side in the same way, and flatten that bundle as well. Do NOT cut the excess wire. We are going to continue to use the wire.


Now, this is a little bit more complicated because we're going to continue to use the second wire to add the next bead on the alternating side of the bangle. So we're going to follow this piece of wire along the back side of our bangle about three quarters of an inch again., You'll have to kind of eyeball the spacing depending on the size and shape of the beads that you're using. This will be our third and final bead that we will be adding to the bangle, so you want the beads to be positioned in thirds along the bracelet.


 Step 6: Finish the bangle

wrapping bangle with wire

Just like we did before, we will use our thumb to hold that piece in place And begin wrapping again. Then, flatten that wrap and get ready to add our third bead and final bead. Hold it in place with our thumb and forefinger and then begin wrapping on the other side. Flatten this warp, and then we'll snip off our extra again. And I'm going to go back with my flat nose pliers and just make sure that we don't have any sharp edges where we've snipped off the wire. And that is our finished wire wrapped bangle.


Step 7: Create a stack of bangles

close up of finished bangle and bangle stack

Now this is the fun part! You can use the same technique to create a whole stack of bangles that are fun to mix and match. Now that you know how easy these are to make, you can be creative with your designs! Using a variety of beads to create different looks. These bangles make a great bracelet stack, especially when you wear two or three or four at a time.


Another variation that you can do with this is you can wrap wire around different size cans or different sized cylindrical shaped items to create different sized loops. For example, you can use a smaller sized can to create hoop earrings. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you're making a bangle and you need a larger or smaller size, you can try different sized cans to create different size bangles.


I hope you learned how to make a bangle bracelet with wire in this jewelry making tutorial. This project is a fun and easy way to make a wire bracelet which makes a great gift or an accessory for yourself.