MAKING A BRIOLETTE WRAP



There are several ways to make a briolette wrap. You can use this technique for briolette beads, teardrop beads, or any top drilled beads. 

Practice with an inexpensive 24g wire, if it is your first attempt. It will take some practice to make a well formed wrap. Higher gauge wires like 22g, 24g and 26g are used for briolette wraps. I use 24g wire for most of my projects. Perseverance is the keyword in this technique.

​It is a great way to add a drop to a chain or component. It is a bit technical but with practice, it gets easier. Take your time, and be willing to make lots of mistakes. It does get easier with practise and it's worth the effort.

This is a simple technique but needs a little perseverance to produce neat and consistent results. This technique is basically the same as wire wrapping any other bead, but with a briolette you can continue to wrap the wire down the top part of the bead to form a cap.

Briolette Wrap Example

MATERIALS:

  • 22g, 24g or 26g wire

  • Briolette Bead, or any Top Drilled Bead

  • Round Nose pliers

  • Chain or Flat Nose Pliers

  • Wire Cutters

  • Safety Glasses (optional)

  • Beading Mat (optional)
  

TUTORIAL

Slip the briolette onto the wire
Form a triangle shape

STEP 1

STEP 2

Cut a length of wire approximately 15 - 20cm long (it is easiest to have a little extra wire than you will actually use, as it gives you more to hold onto and grip whilst wrapping the wire). Slip the briolette onto the wire.

Pinch both ends of the wire together at the top of the briolette to form a triangle shape and check that the briolette is centred.

Cut the end on the short end of wire
Bend  the wire to a right angle

STEP 3

STEP 4

Cut the end on the short end of wire so that it is only about 2-3mm above the bead.

Holding the longer end of the wire with the round nose pliers just above the short end, bend it to a right angle and then wrap the end of the wire up and over the tip of the pliers to form a loop. Make sure the loop is centered above the top of the briolette.

Wrap around the stem of wires
Continue to wrap around the stem

STEP 5

STEP 6

Switch to using the sharp nose pliers and hold the loop flat between the tips, take the length of wire between your fingers and holding it taught, wrap around the stem of wires starting at the base of the loop and working downwards towards the bead.

Continue to wrap around the stem with the wire, making sure that each wrap sits neatly and close to the last.

Continue wrapping around the top of the bead to form a cap
Tuck the end of the wire under the last loop

STEP 7

STEP 8

When you reach the top of the bead continue wrapping around the top of the bead to form a cap. This will give the bead stability and stop it from twisting on the wire. Make sure that you keep the wire taught whilst wrapping and the wire loops stay tight together for a neat and consistent look.

When you are happy with where the wire sits on the briolette, tuck the end of the wire under the last loop around the briolette and pull through carefully and as neatly as possible. This will prevent the wire from unraveling.

Trim the remaining end neatly
Completed Briolette wrap

STEP 9

COMPLETE!
Trim the remaining end neatly with the side cutters.

Remember that it takes practise (and a little patience) to master this technique. So persevere if it doesn't look as you wanted on your first attempt or experiment with the technique until you find a way that works for you. Once you have mastered this technique you will find it useful for many different beading projects. Wire wrapped briolettes can be attached with a jump ring to a section of chain and made into drops for earrings and pendants or attached to bracelets as charms.

TIP:

Test fit wire in all of the briolettes you intend on using. Gemstones are not drilled the same, and wire may fit a few but not all. If this is the case, use the next gauge up (smaller size wire) until you find one that fits most of your beads. Do not exceed 28 gauge wire.

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