Coiling Wire |
Wire Jewelry Making Technique


Coiling wire is a basic wire working technique when making wire jewelry.
Learn how to coil wire in this easy wire jewelry tutorial.

Coiling wire is a basic wire working technique when making wire jewelry. Learn how to coil wire in this easy wire jewelry tutorial.

How to Coil Wire by Hand

It's easy to learn! All you'll need for this easy wire jewelry project is wire, a pair of jewelry pliers, wire cutters and your hands.

Once you get the hang of it, coiling a piece of wire (called the wrapping wire) around another wire (called the core wire) is pretty easy.

In fact, coiling wire is wire work that is considered a form of wire wrapping.

When you've completed this wire jewelry tutorial, you'll have a length of wire that looks like the one pictured below.

Example of Coiled WireExample of Coiled Wire

Then you can shape it into a jewelry component that's part two of this wire tutorial.

First, practice this wirework with brass wire or copper wire.

In time, you'll see that it's easy to learn making wire jewelry techniques. You'll soon make beautiful wire jewelry in no time at all!

Let's do some basic wire work - learn to coil wire.

Tutorial Category: Wire Jewelry Tutorial

Skill Level: Beginner Wire Jewelry Making

Wire Jewelry Making Supplies

  • 5" (12.7 cm) length of 16 gauge half hard or soft wire
    (Wire is sold by the foot. So, more than likely you'll have to buy at least one feet of wire.)
  • 2' (61 cm) of 18 gauge (or 3' (91.4 cm) of 20 gauge) half hard or soft wire
  • ruler or tape measure
  • fine point marker

Wire Jewelry Tools and/or Pliers

  • chain nose pliers or flat nose pliers
  • wire cutters

If you need it, here's a review of jewelry pliers used in wire and bead jewelry projects.


Wire Jewelry Making Instructions for Coiling Wire

Note: For these jewelry making instructions...

Work with the pliers in your dominant hand. Hold the wire in your non-dominant hand.

1. Using the wire cutters, cut a 5" (12.7 cm) length of the 16 gauge wire. This will be the core wire.

With a fine point marker, mark the length of wire at 1" (2.5 cm) in from both ends (mark at the 1" (2.5 cm) and 4" (10.2 cm) measurement numbers).

Step 1 of Wire Jewelry Tutorial on Coiling Wire
Core Wire Cut to 5" (12.7 cm) in Length


2. The 2' (61 cm) length of 18 gauge wire (or 3' (91.4 cm) length of 20 gauge) will used as the wrapping wire.

You will make a bend at about a 45 degree angle in one end of the wire. Steps 4 and 5 show you how to make this bend.

Step 2 of Wire Jewelry Tutorial on Coiling Wire
Wrapping Wire with One End Bent to Grab Core Wire


3. Using flat nose or chain nose pliers, grasp bend one end of the wire about 3/4" (1.9 cm) from the end. (Here, I'm using flat nose pliers.)

Step 3 of Wire Jewelry Tutorial on Coiling Wire


4. Rotating the pliers towards you, bend the end of the wire downward and at about a 45 degree angle to the long piece of the wire.

You've created a tail that gives you a better grip on the wrapping wire to begin to coil the wire in Step 5.

Step 4 of Wire Jewelry Tutorial on Coiling Wire



5. Between the index finger and thumb of your non-dominant hand, hold the tail end of the wire so that the bent portion of the wire extends slightly beyond your fingers.

Now, slide the 16 gauge core wire into the bend of the tail of the wrapping wire so that the bend rests at the mark you made at the 4" (10.2 cm) measurement in Step 1.

Use the pliers to gently squeeze the bend in the wrapping wire close against the core wire.

Step 5 of Wire Jewelry Tutorial on Coiling Wire


Making Wire Jewelry is Fun!

Wire Jewelry Making Instructions
for Coiling Wire Continued

6. Using the pliers, grasp both the tail wire and core wire at bend, holding both with a firm grip on the pliers.

Now, push outward, or downward, on the wrapping wire to begin coiling it around the core wire.

Step 6 of Wire Jewelry Tutorial on Coiling Wire
Begin Coiling Wire


7. Here, you can see how holding the first couple of coils with the pliers (I've switched to using chain nose pliers) give you leverage to coil the wrapping wire around the core wire.

Step 7 of Wire Jewelry Tutorial on Coiling Wire


8. After a few coils, you work both hands in concert to coil the wire.

Push downward on the wrapping wire as you slightly twist downward with the pliers gripping the coiled core wire.

Coil the wrapping wire around the core wire until it reaches the 1" measurement mark on the core wire that you made in Step 1.

Step 8 of Wire Jewelry Tutorial on Coiling Wire


9. When you have finished coiling the wire between the two marks, use the wire cutters to cut the wrapping wire where it meets the last wire coil.

Step 9 of Wire Jewelry Tutorial on Coiling Wire


Step 9 of Wire Jewelry Tutorial on Coiling Wire: Using wire cutters to trim excess wire.


10. Using the chain nose pliers, tuck each end of the wrapping wire close to the core wire for a tidy finish.

Step 10 of Wire Jewelry Tutorial on Coiling Wire


Wire Working Technique Learned:
How to Coil Wire

You're done! You've completed this wire jewelry tutorial on coiling wire.

You've learned how to coil wire by hand, an essential wire working technique to know for making wire jewelry.

Wire Jewelry Tutorial on Coiling Wire: Picture of Finished Coiled Wire
Results of Coiling Wire by Hand


Now your coiled wire is ready to be made into a wire jewelry component.

Here are wire jewelry instructions to make this wire coil into a lanyard id holder and then make a beaded lanyard.


Or, use your new wire working skill to make wire jewelry from a wire wrapping tutorial e-book of five wire jewelry projects. You'll learn other ways to wrap wire too!

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Return to Making Wire Jewelry page


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