Beginners Guide to Wire Wrapping Jewelry with Copper

When I first got into wire wrapping, roughly circa 2012, information on how artists were doing the amazing things they were doing with copper wire was hard to find. It was a struggle figuring out where to purchase pure copper, how to oxidize my pieces, polishing them, etc. I resorted to using plated and coated craft wire that wore down, looked tacky, and didn't have longevity. The only places I could find to purchase wire were my local craft stores, which up charged MASSIVELY and didn't carry the wire types I needed for professional wire wrapping. Additionally, the cabochons available there were insanely expensive! For these reasons, I didn't actually get into WRAPPING with copper until quite a few years later - circa, 2017.


I really put my mind to doing heavy digging on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook groups, and any platforms I could to see how other artists were getting these incredible tones and designs in their wire. And while there are quite a few tutorials out there for wire wrapping designs, choosing your initial tools, learning how to properly oxidize and polish pieces, and where to purchase wire and high-quality cabochons/gemstones can be difficult. With this in mind, I hope this guide will give you a rundown of everything you'll need to get started as a wire wrapping artist. While I won't be going over techniques on oxidizing, polishing, how to wire wrap, or anything other than the basics, this will serve as a shopping list to get you prepared. I'll also include some links to my favorite supply websites at the end of this article!


Let's get into it!


Tools

Necessary:

Needle nose pliers

Flat jaw nylon pliers

Round nose pliers

Wire cutters

Metal file


Wire for basic pendants (all are dead soft copper)








18 gauge square

22 gauge half round

22 gauge round





Wire for tree of life pendants (all are dead soft copper)

18 gauge square

26 gauge (for tree)

22 gauge half round


Wire for weaving:

18 gauge round

28 gauge round


Wire for coils:

24, 22, or 20 gauge round for coil base

26 or 28 for coiling wire


Recommended Extras:

Table clamp

Multi speed drill

Liver of Sulphur



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