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Simple Tips

Have a great beading idea, technique or time-saving tip? View helpful tips from other beaders and submit your own to share with the worldwide jewelry-making community.

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Some wire spools have plastic holders to keep wire from unraveling. This makes a cute bracelet. Can be wire-wrapped, strung or glue flat back beads ... use your imagination.

- Nancy
You can use safety pins as your own personal wire coiling gizmo to create small wire coils for detailed wirework and maybe even for wire guardians.

- Angelica from Wisconsin
Finishing Memory Wire

When finishing the ends, use either a basic loop or ball ends. For loops, bend the wire against the natural curve. This is easier than forcing the wire to bend into the curve. If using ball ends to finish, adhere with E-6000 Epoxy or similar glue to hold the balls in place.

- Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Tip
Cutting Memory Wire

To cut loops of memory wire, use shears that are made specifically for hardened wire. Memory wire will cut into regular wire-cutter blades, ruining them. When placing beads onto the wire, it's important to keep the wire in its natural shape. Avoid pulling the wire straight or the ends may bounce back, causing the beads to fly off.

- Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Tip
Avoiding Un-Centered Loops

How to avoid the un-centered loop ... When you rotate your wrists as you pull the wire, you undo the right angle you are trying to create. Try pushing your wrist down slightly to counteract the natural tendency to pull up while twisting wire loops, because you don't want to move the bend up at all.

- Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Tip
Working with Memory Wire

Memory wire is tempered wire that remembers its shape and retains its coiled form. It's one size fits all and comes in pre-formed necklace, bracelet and ring sizes. You don't need a clasp to connect the ends because they automatically stay in one place around your neck, wrist or finger.

- Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Tip
A Cut Wire Catch

If you cut wire and it goes flying across the room only to be found when you step on it later, here's a tip that will catch those flying pieces. When you cut your wire, hold a damp paper towel in your hand over the tip that will fly. As you are cutting, you will feel the wire tip fling against the damp paper. Now you know exactly where it is, and clean up is a breeze!

- Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Tip
Consistent Loops

When making a project that has multiple wire-wrapped loops, such as chandelier earrings, make the first loop, then use a permanent marker to mark that place on the jaw of your round-nose pliers. Use this mark as a guide for making the rest of the loops the same size. Since the jaws of the pliers are metal, the mark wears off.

- beadandbutton.com
A Tight Closing Loop

To prevent loops from opening, use half-hard wire and slightly over close your loops to create extra tension at the opening. If that still isn't enough security for you, try making a double-wrapped loop.

- beadandbutton.com
Wire Frenzy

Keep your wire organized by storing it in Tite-Lip™ clear bags, using a permanent marker to write the gauge and type of wire on the outside of the bag. Not only will your wire be easy to find, the zip-tight bags will limit oxidation.

- Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Tip
Lids of All Sorts

Save lids and caps with unusual sizes and textures and use as molds for clay projects. Cut uniform shapes or press the textured side of the lid into clay to create unusual patterns.

- Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Tip
Toilet Paper Rolls

Toilet paper rolls are the perfect size for making napkin rings. For Art Clay™ projects, the roll disappears when the clay is fired. For polymer clay projects, simply pull the roll out of the design before firing.

- Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Tip
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