You can make this lovely ring (or a version of this design) yourself, using just some basic tools, wire and a lip balm! Yes, in this tutorial I am going to demonstrate that just basic beginner tools and a wire from Michael’s can go a long way! Wouldn’t this ring make a great present??
For the purpose of this tutorial I am going to be using the very basic, cheap tools that are available almost everywhere. Instead of a ring mandrel you can just use a tube of a lip balm, like I did. I chose to make my ring from a simple gold-plated wire (20 gauge) but you could also use 18-gauge wire, twisted wire (wouldn’t that be nice?), sterling silver, colored wire or if you want your ring to last, If you are making a present, I would recommend using 14K gold filled wire. You can see everything that you’ll need on the picture below. However, I would also recommend a filer (you can even use a nail file for acrylic nails, or the old fashioned metal one that is attached to nail clippers)…
PLEASE excuse the state of my nails in these pictures..
First thing to do is to cut a piece of wire.
Next, wrap your wire around the tube of your lip balm. Wrap it on tight and slip it off.
Cut of the extra bits, if any. I cut of the parts that were sticking out, about 8mm from each side. You can even leave it as it is and not cut anything. I didn’t want the ends that were going to form the ‘knot’ to be too long, but sometimes that can be an advantage. You can see the ideal length of the wire on the photos below. (You can also see my nails.. my apologies.. can you tell that wire working is not nail polish friendly?)
Now bend the wire coming from your left to aim away from the ring and then bend again to aim it slightly upwards, as shown on pictures below.
Now you are going to put the other size of the ring (the wire from the other side) through the loop that you almost created. Ideally, you have left a little space between the ring the wire crossing itself (hence forming the loop) and so you can slip the other wire in very easily. If you can’t do it that way, just get it in any way you can and then ‘reform’ the ring shape again using the lip balm tube.
Now you can ‘close up’ the first loop a bit (bring the wire closer to the ring) and do the same with the send wire end, forming another loop, as indicated in the picture below.
Use your chain nose and bent chain nose pliers to close up the knot, shape it the way you want it, and adjust the wire ends to a place where they are not visible and where they don’t irritate the skin. Once you adjust the ends, you can use a nail file to file off any sharp edges and blemishes.
You may have some tool marks on your ring, like I do, this could be because of the wire you’re using or you may need to use some tool accessories (like silicone slips on your pliers) to prevent leaving marks. You can also polish the marks away on some wires. For me, this is ok. It’s a handmade ring and I like that it looks handmade. No fuss necessary for my little fingers…
If you find that your fingers do require some fuss, but you don’t have the tools, time or patience, a talented jewelry artist sells rings of this design in her shop Elephantine on Etsy. Her rings, however, are made of quality sterling silver and look very professional.
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