Wire Wrap Small Gemstones: How To

6 Dec 2011

How to Wire Wrap Small or Tiny Gemstones

Wire Wrapping Small Stones with no Holes

It is easier to wire wrap stones that have holes because the holes give you an base/anchor for your wire to start.  However wire wrapping small gemstones with no holes is not quite the same.  Its small size makes it hard to wire wrap in the normal way (as in Border Wire Wrap).  

However I have found a way to wire wrap these tiny non-holed gemstones that is quite satisfactory.
My first finished example is this wire wrap gemstone charm bracelet:
Wire Wrap Gemstone Charm Bracelet

How to Wire Wrap Small Non-Holed (undrilled) Gemstones

Note: though I call this wire-wrapping, it is more for convenience and for the fact that I don't know what else to call this.  It does involve some wire wrapping but not exclusively so (as you will see).

how to wire wrap small gemstones

Photos here are not very clear as they were taken using my mobile phone, and in the dead of night.

Materials & Tools for Wire Wrapping Small Gemstones
  • handful of small gemstones - irregular size would be nice
  • fine wire (here, I am using 0.25mm wire thickness)
  • crochet hook
    (here I am using 7mm sized crochet hook but you can try any size you want.  Making use of too small a hook will result in small chains which might overly cover the beauty of the gemstone. Larger holes give the final look a more airy effect without unduly cover too much of the gemstone).

how to wire wrap small stones

Leave about 6 inch of wire and make your first loop (chain stitch) with your crochet hook.
Make a number of chain stitches. (I normally find between 4-5 will work).  

how to wire wrap tiny gemstones

Make as many as you will need to achieve a length that will allow you to wrap around a gemstone (i.e. twice the length of the gemstone)

(sorry, that is all the pics I took so I will have to continue these steps in text alone)
When you have the length (in chain stitches) you require, cut off about 12inches of wire from where your last chain stitch is.  Finish off by pulling the wire through the last chain stitch.

Wrap the chain stitch wire around the length of your stone and as best as you can, hold the stone in place.
Cross the wires at the top, twist together to hold wires in place: one or two twists will do.

wire wrapped small gemstones  wire wrapped small gemstones
These pictures here give you some idea of what the finished wire wrapped gemstones look like.

Using the longer wire, weave into the stitches of the crocheted chain stitch.
Hold the gemstone in place while working.
Keep weaving around the stone till the stone is secure.
Bring the wire to the top (where the other beginning 6" starting wire is)

Now keep twist the 2 wires at the top together; twist till the end.  IMPORTANT: do not twist wires too tightly together - fine wires tend to break off if twisted too tightly.
Once the top 2 wires have been twisted together, make a wire-wrapped loop/bail (as you normally would with one wire).

Optional: you can add a small bead/crystal at the top before making the bail/loop.

The end!

Other Uses of Small Undrilled Gemstones

There are many ways to use small stones with no holes - the easiest that comes to mind is to glue them.  I will be doing some more experiments with small gemstones at a later stage.

Note also that with the method above and with a bit of variation you can make charms for necklaces and also 2-ring (or even multi-ring) wire-wrapped gemstones.