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Making Basic Loops


Hello, welcome to making basic loops. I'm Lisa Niven Kelly and I'm going to bring to you this free demo. We're going to talk about how to make a nice sized loop, make sure it's strong and most importantly how to get even size loops on either side of your bead. That is the part that people struggle with most.

Here are the tools and materials I'm going to be using. A nice flush cutter, I like this one especially because it's very flush and very pointed for getting into tight spots. A round nose plier where the jaws are round, you can see either of those plier jaws are round for making loops, you'll also see those with a little bit longer, not in a Lindstrom but in German, have a long jaw so it's a little thicker down at the base, giving you more options for different size loops. And a chain nose plier, we'll be using that for making edges, kinks and holding the wire flat while manipulating it.

I'm going to work with, we got here some six millimetre Swarovski crystals and this is 20 gauge wire. You definitely can use any wire any size to do your open loop, your basic loops, but a 20 gauge or thicker will be stronger just naturally in its natural state and it will keep a nice strong loop. So we'll get started with the 20 gauge.

First things first you want to make sure the end of your wire has a nice flat flush, cut not all cutters are flesh and they'll leave it a little bit bevelled at the end rather than flat. So you want to use a flush cutter and use the flush side of the flush cutter, not both sides cut flush and cut just the smallest bit off of the tip of your wire so you don't have a lot of waste but you're giving it a nice flush cut to start with.

Now I'm going to come in with my round nosed, decide what size loop I want to make, I generally make a loop right about here and I know that it takes about a half an inch of wire to make that loop but I'm going to start out at the tip. So you want to hold the wire between the jaws of your pliers and make sure it's not poking up at all. If it pokes up even just the tiniest bit and you make a loop, you are going to have a teardrop shape.

Does that look familiar to you? Let's just cut that off and start again. So make sure it is down between the jaws of your pliers, you don't want to feel it poking up. Now I like to roll away from me, I can get a lot of movement that way and ergonomically it's the best way to go and I push the wire against the plier with my thumb.

This fingers just sort of hanging out over here, but don't let it get in the way. It really doesn't have any purpose but really push here with your thumb to make sure that you really, really, obtain this roundness of this loop. So pushing with my thumb here, I roll away from me. When you can't go any more don't try to get all tricky and keep going because you'll just end up twisting it. Loosen the grip on your plier, bring it back, squeeze and continue doing that as many times as you need to, until you have it touching like a ‘P’.
I just want to show a couple problem-solving things right there before I complete my loop. Now here's where people go wrong, they've got this part down, not poking up, they'll roll away for themselves and when they loosen to come back, they scoot the wire up the plier. Did you see that? Now I'm on a different part of my plier and if I complete my loop it will no longer be round.

It's kind of like a funky long oval. So make sure that you stay on the spot of your plier that you began on and mark it with a pen if you need to. So here we go, loosen your grip, or actually sorry squeeze roll away from you, loosen your grip, bring it back, squeeze, continue, keeping it on that spot until you feel it touch and you'll have a ‘P’ shape.
Now we need to come in and centre that P on the wire so it's like an ‘I pin’. If you're working with the 20 gauge or thinner, after you've completed your loop you can come back with your round nose and pinch right there and kink. So you're grabbing the wire and bending it off to the right in this case and really pushing with your fingers. See that line on my finger? Then you've got your nice centered ‘I Pin’ Sometimes with the heavier gauges you're not able to do that with your round nose because they may not be strong enough.

You're wanting to do it out at the tip. I don't think I really showed that but when you kink it to the side, look where I'm holding it, sort of out towards the tip, so with the thicker gauges you will need to do that with your chain nose. So let me show you that. Okay starting again with it within the jaw of your pliers, roll away from you, loosen your grip, do that as many times as you need to until you feel it touch and then instead of coming in with your round nose here. You'll come in with your chain nose.

Especially with the heavier gauge is like 18,16 and thicker than that. So notice one side of my pliers in the loop and one side is right on the outside as low down as you can get and I'm going to kink it to my right like that, while pushing against it with my finger to get a nice tight kink and you've got your ‘I Pin’

When you kink it to the side like that, it will open up your ‘I Pin’ a little bit, so just grab with your chain nose and rock it back and forth as you bring it in. Don't be tempted to do this, because you'll probably smash it. So just close it like you would a jump ring, just bringing it in like that.

There's one side, let's now do the other side. Put on your bead, like I said in the beginning, I know from making this loop a gazillion times that it takes about a half an inch of wire. So I'm now going to come in and cut it at a half an inch. Notice that the flush side of my cutter is facing down so it's going to leave this wire with a flush cut and this one will have to be bevelled so we'll trim it when we go to start again.

Just like before, I'm going to come in with my round nose, grab it on the top so we don't feel it and roll away. Now you want it to come around and touch right at the bead. This actually could have gone a little bit further, sorry and now coming in with my chain nose, I'm going to grab as far down towards a bead at the base of the circle as I can but the crystals are very fragile. So be careful and it really opened it up because it wasn't all that way all the way closed. So I'm going to come in and wiggle it to bring it together. I just naturally make my loops perpendicular, notice how they're facing, not like a figure eight. If you wanted it otherwise, if you want to really go figure eight you can grab it and shift it.

So let me do that all over again a little bit quicker so we can get it down. Starting with a flush cut, round nose, not feeling it on top, run away from you, loosen your grip, bring it back, keep going until it touches. I can cheat with my round nose and come in right here, kink to the side.

I'm going to show you some problem-solving now on the second side. Okay so let's say you're not sure how much wire it takes to make that second loop and you're thinking that is this much wire is about right? This is actually a little long, but let's pretend like we don't know that yet. I'm going to come in with my round nose and make my loop roll away from you, keep going, till it touches.

Now see that big long neck between the bead and my loop? That's going to be way too much space and the bead is going to wobble back and forth. So what you need to do here, is try to guesstimate the length of that neck there and cut off that amount off of the loop. So I'm going to say it's about like that and notice again which side my flush cutters facing. It's going to be here on the wire that we're going to keep working with not the tail. I'm going to snip that off, now go back in with my round nose at the same spot on my plier and continue my loop. See if I was right and there perfect it's right down touching and come in gently without cracking my bead and open it up. To link these guys together you want to open and close the loops as you would a jump ring, so remember if this was your ring don't open it this way because you're likely going to distort it into a weird shape when you shut it.

Open it this way, so to the side and bring it back. We're going to do the same thing here and you want to do that with your chain nose. If you hold that wire with your round nose here's what not to do. It will put a big dent in your wire. Come in with your chain nose, pull it open just enough to slip another wire in, and rock it back and forth as you're sort of pushing it in like this to make sure it's nice and closed. I take this opportunity to make sure it's little friend here on the other side is closed as well. So let's come out here now, pull this open, insert the next link and close it. There you go, you are on your way. I really recommend practicing this first with some copper wire so you don't waste sterling while you're learning the process and have fun.

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