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Saturday, May 7, 2011

How to Wire-Wrap Briolette Gemstones a Photo Tutorial

1) Start with about 3 inches of wire and a briolette. You only need three tools: needle nose pliers, chain nose pliers, and flush cutters. I use regular hardware store wire cutters (shown at top) for any metal other than sterling/fine silver or gold fill.

2) Put the wire through the briolette hole so that it’s fairly centered. Gently pull up on ends of the wire evenly.

3) Continue bringing the wires together until they cross. Slide your finger down between the crossed wires until the “x” is about 2-3mm above the tip of the gemstone.

4) Take your needle nose pliers and squeeze then at the “x” in the wires. This will bend then at the crossing point.

5) With your chain nose pliers, hold the triangle portion that is left just above the top of the gemstone.

6) While holding the chain nose pliers with one hand, use needle nose pliers in the other hand and grab the end of one of the wires.

7) Bend the wire to a 90-degree angle so that it’s perpendicular to the remaining wire, and begin wrapping it around the upright remaining wire 2-3 times.

8) Wrap from as close to the chain nose pliers as possible, upward away from the briolette.

9) Clip the wire off close and press the end in with your chain nose pliers.

10) Make a 90-degree angle in the remaining wire, about 2mm above where the wire-wrapping ends.

That space is where the rest of the wire-wrapping will go.

11) From that right angle, make a circle (loop) with your needle nose pliers.

12) At this point, you can grab the wire tail with your fingers and wrap it the rest of the way around that side of the pliers…

,,, until it looks like this.

13) Use your chain nose pliers to hold the loop.

14) Take the remaining wire tail with your needle nose pliers and wrap it from top to bottom (from as close to the chain nose pliers as possible downward toward the briolette).

15) Clip this wire and press it in as with the previous one.


If you want to wrap part of the gemstone, see below…

This time take a 9-inch piece of wire.

Make the “x” as before, but not in the center of the wire. You only need about one-inch of wire on the short side.

After pinching (step 4 from above), take the short end and wrap 2-3 times (continue steps 5-14 from above).

When you’ve wrapped the wire to about this point, you can release the pliers and begin holding the top with your fingers…

… as you continue wrapping the long wire tail down and down and down…

… when the wire ends, you press the tail as tightly as you can into the body of the bead.

Some people tuck the end of the wire under the wrapping, but I’ve never had great luck with that.

You can have a neat wrap like this….

… or a more chaotic wrap like this.

Have fun!


  1. Hey Laura .. Thank you for sharing with us .. do appreciate it, even if you do make it look EASY .. LOL

  2. How do make it look easy! Thank you for sharing :)

  3. This is great. I have tried the messy wrap several times but my OCD (funny, never knew I had OCD until making jewelry) won't let me.

    1. Well my hat's off to you because I do the messy, chaotic wrap BECAUSE I totally suck at the neat as a pin wrap. :-) I don't see how y'all get that final end tucked in.

  4. Thank you Laura, I wish you had this as a video.... In your spare time! The beginning up until the wraparound the beadi got down, it's the messy or straight wrapping I am not good at doing! Dead soft is key and I don't have any of that. I love the oxidized silver with the green stone.... very classy

    1. As a matter of fact, I just last month bought some video editing software with the intention of beginning a series of video blogs and tutorials.

      I will make sure this is one of them and if I forget, please do remind me. I need help remembering things at times.