Why use coil beads?
Having dabbled a few times in glass bead making, I am in absolute awe of lamp-workers. I now know that their amazing skills require hours of practice in a cold studio, eyes behind special lenses staring non-stop at a flaming torch aware that the slightest false movement can result in a ruined bead. The downside is that such expertise is expensive and the beads usually come in small sets. Wire coil beads slotted in between will not only add sophistication to your work but also make your precious set of beads go much further. Using coil beads between large, heavy gemstones will also lighten the load. Coil beads require a lot of wire and are time-consuming but they are easy to make and useful as decorative connectors.
What’s in this coil beads bracelet tutorial?
The metals, gauges and mandrel sizes are indicated only as a guide. These coil beads can be made in countless permutations of wire and mandrels to give a completely different result. You can use a length of thick wire as a mandrel or long nails, electrical wires, coat hangers and even darning needles (for tiny coils) .
A coiling gizmo will save you time and effort although you will be restricted to the size of their mandrels. You can use a thinner mandrel and shorter coils to make small spacers or you can make very long coils between beads. The possibilities are endless.
You will find full detailed and illustrated instructions to make the coil beads bracelet but also instructions to make the coil beads bangle below as well as how to make a double-wrapped coil, how to troubleshoot coiling problems and many more ideas for using these versatile beads.
There are 12 steps, 17 pages and 28 photos in this tutorial.
Materials for 1 coil bead (approx:1″/2cm)
- 120cm 0.4mm /50” 26 gauge wire
- 15cm 0.6mm/6” 22 gauge wire
- 5 cm/2” piece of 1mm/18ga
- Round nose pliers
- Chain nose pliers
- Flat nose pliers
- Mandrel: 3.25mm= knitting needle 10 UK = 3US