Sunday, September 6, 2015

Tutorial - Zoe's Ring

Hello everyone!

I've got a new tutorial for you today; a ring set with a cabochon. I've named it after my niece who is just awesome :3

This one might appear kind of complicated but really it's pretty straightforward. Hope you enjoy it, and if you make one, please show me! :)

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Note: this tutorial is protected by an International Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence. This means that you are free to post this wherever you like as long as you give proper Attribution (that is, to me, Jet Kosanke, and my website,, it may not be used commercially (you're not allowed to make money off it, that is, sell this tutorial to other people for money), and you're free to make changes to it as long as you also share it under these same restrictions (that is, you still give Attribution to me, you don't sell it, and you allow it to be shared freely.) For more information, click the Creative Commons link at the end of the tutorial.By the way- NonCommercial doesn't mean you can't sell works you make using this tutorial. If you make a necklace, bracelet, or whatever using this tutorial, feel free to sell it- however, you may not mass-produce it, and the Attribution part still applies, that is, you still have to attribute the design to me.If you're unsure if what you want to do is allowed, just ask me! I'm really pretty laid back about things like this :) I'd rather share my knowledge and discoveries for free so others can learn than charge money for my tutorials. With all that said, on to the good stuff! :)

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Click any image to view a larger version


  • 1 14x10mm glass or stone cabochon (this tutorial uses a vintage glass cab from myAtlantis on Etsy; another great source is Yummytreasures on Etsy)
  • 24 inches of 20 gauge round wire
  • ~40 inches 26 gauge round wire
  • ~35 inches 20 gauge 1/2 round wire
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Flush cutters
  • Ring mandrel
Let's get started!


Cut three 8" lengths of 20 gauge round wire. Decide what size you want your ring to be, and wrap one of the three lengths around your ring mandrel. It helps to first wrap your wire tightly at a size or two smaller than the size you want, then slide the wire down to the size you want. This will help ensure your ring comes out at the correct size instead of being too big.


Your wire should be in a circle with two 'tails' - bend the tails upward, but make sure that the wires overlap for about 1/4 inch to 3/8 inches.


Straighten out the circle in the wire, but be sure to keep the bends you made in the last step.


Cut 16 inches of 26 gauge wire and 16 inches of 20 gauge half round wire. Wrap them both around the 20 gauge wire at the same time, just before the first bend in the 20 gauge wire. It's ok if this part is messy, we'll be undoing it later.


Add the other two 20g wires cut in the first step, and use the 26g wire and the 20g half round wire to wrap the three 20g base wires together. Notice how the wrapping alternates from half round to 26g. By wrapping those two wires around the base wires at the same time, you end up with this look. It's best to continue wrapping by first wrapping the 26g around once, then the half round around once, switching back and forth. This step can also be done with only 26 gauge round or 20g half round if you prefer, but be sure you double the length of the wire when you cut it so you'll have enough to go down the length of the ring band.


Continue wrapping until you get to the second bend in the 20g base wire.


Wrap the wires around your ring mandrel again, starting at a smaller size and then moving it down the mandrel to the size you want. Note the section in the middle marked in purple where the wires on each end 'overlap'.


Unwind the wrapping wires in the area marked in purple in the last step. Adjust the size of your ring one more time by wrapping it around a smaller size on the mandrel and then sliding the wire down to your preferred size.


Cut a 3" length of half round wire, and use it to bind the base wires together as shown, snip off the excess, and press the ends flat with your pliers.


Bend the topmost base wire up, and use a 10" length of 26g wire and wrap around the base wire for 1 inch.


On the middle base wire, use 8" of half round wire to wrap, also for 1 inch.


Repeat steps 10 and 11 on the base wires on the opposite side.


Carefully gather a 'set' of 3 base wires together and bend them up and over so they're pointing in the opposite direction. Repeat on the other side.


This part can be a little fiddly, but it's not too terribly bad. Insert your cabochon so the 2 sets of three base wires are positioned across the top and bottom of the cab. Notice that the cab is not oriented straight up and down, but instead it lays at a bit of a diagonal.


On one side, guide the three base wires up around the band and then push the ends down through the ring band so they're 'hooked' onto the band.


Repeat the last step on the other side (these base wires will be pointing down, and you want to bend them UP through the ring band).


Guide the base wires up around the band on both sides.


Trim the wire ends somewhat close to the band; repeat on the other side.


Carefully bend the wires cut in the last step around to the back of the band. Try to push them down pretty firmly with your pliers. Repeat on the other side, and you're done!

Here's a look at the back/inside of the ring, for reference-

I hope you enjoy making this ring! If you have any questions or to show me what you've made with this tutorial, let me know in the comments :D

Creative Commons License

Today I'll leave you with my mom's cat Vinnie, who seriously sleeps like this for some reason.

Til next time!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Tool Review - Conetastic Cone Mandrel Tool

Hello everyone!

Today I have another tool review for you. My last tool review featured Convex-Flat nose pliers. This time, I'm going to review the Conetastic Cone Mandrel tool from Artistic Wire.

This little tool was created by Sandra Lupo in order to more easily create custom bead cones/caps using wire. 

It could seem like a one trick pony, but because it includes cone mandrels in three different sizes it is somewhat more versatile.

Besides the three cone sizes, this tool also comes with a hex key, used to swap out the different sized mandrels. All the pieces are stored inside the tool which is a very nice feature (I'd have managed to lose all the parts after a day or so otherwise, so this design is very useful).

Swapping out mandrels is easy with the included hex key. Simply insert the hex key into the screw hole near the top of the tool. A few counter clockwise turns will loosen the screw and allow you to remove one of the mandrels to replace it with one of the other two; insert the mandrel you want to use into the hole on top, and use the hex key to tighten up the screw to secure the mandrel in place.

Each mandrel has a hole near its base in order to secure the wire in place while you use the tool. Just insert your wire into the hole, bend the tail end of the wire to anchor the wire, and then begin your coiling.

The tool isn't difficult to use at all, but I found it still does have a small learning curve. A little bit of practice on scrap wire is useful - in the photo above, you can see my first attempt; there are gaps in the coil which is not very attractive. However, after a bit of playing, I quickly got a feel for it. After inserting the end of the wire into the anchor hole, I found that it's easiest for me to hold the tool in my left hand (I'm right-handed, so lefties can reverse these instructions), guide the wire with my right thumb, and then with my left hand, steadily turn the tool clockwise. Getting the coil started can be a little tricky, as the wire tends to want to slide either up the cone, or down toward the anchor hole. Again, however, ten or so minutes of using it to practice with scrap wire quickly takes care of that problem.

Above are three cones I created with the tool using 20 gauge wire. The one on the left is with the largest mandrel, the medium mandrel in the middle, and the small mandrel on the right. The leftmost cone I'd modified a little bit- I added a small loop at the bottom of the coil to neatly end the wire, and I didn't wrap the wire the entire way up the mandrel. Once i reached the point where I wanted to stop coiling, I took the cone off the tool and then used my flat nose pliers to bend the topmost coil vertically, to create a loop that can be strung with chain or cord. The rightmost cone was the third one I made and you can see how with just a little bit of practice, my cone is neat and even.

In the end, I used the coil made on the largest mandrel to create a wire bead cap for this large glass drop. I added four weaves with 26 gauge wire around the cone- this is the first time I've used this technique but it wasn't too difficult. A little too many tool marks, but for practice, I'm happy with it. After some more practice I intend to replace this bead cap with another one with less marring on the wire.

I got my Conetastic tool from FireflyStudiosAtFDJ on Etsy for $13.50; this is the lowest price I've seen for this tool. This tool is somewhat specialized, but it is very good at what it's designed to do, and I think the price is reasonable for what you get. My only quibble would be that I wish it included a large mandrel component that's shorter and wider at the base- the included mandrels create kind of long-ish cones, but I think a squattier mandrel would be most useful for instances that you want a cone with a wide base but don't want it to be very long from base to tip.

I hope this review has been useful for you! Today I'll leave you with my mom's kitty Vinnie, who loves to curl up in your lap and cuddle and knead and nurse on his 'mommy blanket', purring away. :)

Til Next Time!