Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wire-wrapped Bails–How to…

I’ve been on a bail making buzz this week!  I have some beautiful Lampwork glass focals and semi-precious stones that I don’t want to ‘cover’ with wire-wrapping but do want to create something a little special to hang them from.
I thought I’d share a how to…
You will need…. 20 gauge and 28 (or 26) gauge wire, a crochet hook or something of similar size, round nose pliers, flush cutters, and nylon pliers.
Cut a piece of 20g wire – around 15cm (depends on the size of bail you want), and hand form a loop in the middle.  Use your round nose pliers to make the loop smaller and bend the wires to the side.
Use your nylon pliers to create even bends in the wire (you can use ordinary flat nose pliers but be careful the don’t ‘marr’ the wire.
Repeat on the other side, then reposition your pliers past the 1st bend and bend your wire outwards
The bail is now ready for wrapping.  Cut a piece of 28 gauge wire (an arms length or less will be fine). You can do simple figure-of-eight wrapping, ie, over one wire frame under the next, over, under etc.  Here I have done figure-of-eight but with a ‘loop’ in between, ie, once around one wire then over wire, under other wire, full around, then over wire, under next wire, full around etc…
Wire wrapping complete, use your crochet hook (or similar) and place at the widest part of bail and fold over.  Bend the remaining 20g tails outwards.
Wrap them around a couple of times and create a swirl on each end of the wire to finish… waalah!
Back view is as good as the front!
You can also use a wire jig to form the bail instead of pliers if you wish…
Some finished bails, and one displaying a beautiful Bobbie Pene focal lampwork bead..
I think these focals will also look fab attached to wrapped bails…
Do let me know if you give it a go!!


  1. Very nice bails! This is something I'd like to try when I get the time.
    Thank you for this tutorial.

    1. You're welcome - I do hope you give it a try :)

  2. Very cool indeed Mel, you have a knack with wire. cheers Marie

  3. Wow so that is how you do it!I think it is great when people such as yourself share your "how too's"

    1. Thanks Kate - I love to share the things I think others might like to know or find useful :D

  4. Hi Mel, that is a really great tutorial, clear with super photos. Thanks so much for sharing:) Cheers Jane

    1. You are so welcome Jane - would you try it with your cool pendants?

  5. Hi Mel - visiting from the last blog hop - cool tutorial - but I will leave the wire and pliers to you!


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