Win $25.00 for Beads & Beading Supplies!
One lucky winner each month

Click here to visit The Bead Peddler®

Full line of beads & beading supplies:
Beads made of glass, wood, bone & metal. Buy bulk bags or individual beads.
Full range of tools, findings & threads

Wholesale prices available to the public

Archived Projects:
Stretchy Ring, Fishy Bracelet with clasp, Wine Charms, Dangling Earrings, Leather, Y Necklace. Beaded Watch, Chandelier Earrings, Hoop Earrings, Dagger Bracelet, Pearl and Crystal Necklace, Hat Pins, Two-Strand Bracelet, Woven Flowers Bracelet, Chain-del-ears Earrings, Semi Precious, Crystal Cross Necklace, Triple Strand Necklace with Drop, Beginner's Stitched Bracelet, Intermediate Stitched Bracelet

Memory Wire Bracelet

by Dwyn Tomlinson


Memory wire bracelets are so easy to make, you'll feel like you are cheating! Strong and durable, you can make these by the handful.

Memory wire is steel spring wire. It retains its curved shape, all you have to do is thread on the beads and secure the ends.

Memory wire is often sold by weight, which can be confusing. However, it is fairly inexpensive, and you can get a lot of bracelets out of a package. It comes different sizes, 2 inches across, 2.25, 2.5 — but you do not have to worry about the sizes too much. For most people, it is a matter of taste. The wire expands to fit the wrist, so bracelets made with it have a "one size fits all" quality to them.


Sterling silver Stardust beads and curved tubes, Swarovski crystals in "Cantalope" and Crystal Rondelles.

A 1 oz package (just under 30 grams) in the 2 inch size (small bracelet) contains about 68-70 full coils. I like to use at least two coils for a bracelet, so that is a goodly number of bracelets. It also comes in different finishes, shiny and dark.

Another important thing to remember is that memory wire is a strong, hard wire — after all, it is essentially a steel spring! You do NOT want to cut it with your good flush wire cutters — the ones you use for your sterling head pins. Use heavy duty wire cutters for this — perhaps there is a pair in the toolbox in the garage? (It would make up for the number of times your good scissors have gone missing.) Failing that, a quick stop at the local hardware store will get you a pair for very little money. Some bead stores also sell special memory wire cutters, and these are very nice if you are planning a lot of bracelets.

You can also buy memory wire ends-caps. These are essentially small metal bead with a hole halfway through (Some have a small tube to give more gluing area). These are glued in place. Hypo-tube cement works well, as it is easy to get a small quantity into just the right place.

Supplies

  • 3.25 loops of memory wire
  • 9 x 15mm curved sterling tube bead
  • 20 x 5mm sterling Stardust bead (a Stardust bead is a sterling bead with a texture that makes it sparkle.)
  • 40 x 4mm rhinestone rondelle
  • 40 x 6mm Round (5000 series) Swarovski Crystal in Cantaloupe (or the color of your choice.) (Cantaloupe is a pale green in fluorescent light, and pale peach in sunlight, and a variety of shades in between in other lights)
  • 20 x 8mm Round (5000 series) Swarovski Crystal in Cantaloupe (or the color of your choice.)

Tools

  • Heavy duty wire cutters
  • Round nose pliers
  • Chain nose or flat nose pliers (optional)

This is the same bracelet as above, in different lighting. This particular color of bead has a very strong color change in different lights.

Ready to begin

Cut off 3.25 loops. (If you want to make a single wrap bracelet, cut 1.25 loops, as it stays on better if there is some overlap. Or go for a fuller look with many more wraps!)

Bend loop in end. Start by bending about 1/2 inch to 90 degrees. This wire is stiff and hard, so don't be afraid to use some muscle.
Position the round nose pliers at the end of the wire, …

… and roll the wire into the start of a loop (rotate your wrist away from you for a smooth, easy roll)

(If you haven't done this before, you may want to practice on some scrap wire that is softer, just to get the feel of it.)

Reposition the round nose pliers down at the bottom of the loop and continue to curl the wire around into a full loop.
 
Continue to tighten the loop until you have a full loop that will stop beads from sliding off.

Start threading on the beads!

The large hole of the stardust beads nicely fits over the end of the loop and hides it.

Thread the beads in the following order:

  • 1 x 5mm stardust bead (4 mm works also)
  • 1 x 4mm rhinestone rondelle
  • 1 x 6mm round crystal
  • 1 x 4mm rhinestone rondelle
  • 1 x 8mm round crystal
  • 1 x 4mm rhinestone rondelle
  • 1 x 6mm round crystal
  • 1 x 4mm rhinestone rondelle
  • 1 x 5mm stardust bead
  • 1 x 15mm curved sterling tube bead.

Repeat as often as needed to fill the wire.

End with a stardust bead.

Bend loop in other end.

 

Make sure you have slid all the beads to the end and there are no gaps.

Bend a loop in the end, same as you did in the beginning.

You may need to adjust the size of the loop to get the tension right.

 
 
And there you have it! It takes less time to make it than it did to go out and buy the beads!

Here's another variation to try. You will need:

  • 13 x 15mm curved tube bead
  • 14 x 8 mm Lt Siam 5000 (round) Swarovski
  • 28 x 5 mm sterling Stardust bead
  • 28 x 4mm rhinestone rondelle

Thread in the order:

  • 1 x 5mm stardust bead
  • 1 x 4mm rhinestone rondelle
  • 1 x 8mm Swarovski round
  • 1 x 4mm rhinestone rondelle
  • 1 stardust bead
  • 1 x 15mm curved tube.

Copyright 2005 Dwyn Tomlinson, All Rights Reserved. Used with permission by the Beading Times.

 

CLICK HERE TO BUY BEADS, SPACERS &THREADS AT THE BEAD PEDDLER®!