Thursday, 25 April 2013

Jewellery Tip - Making Tiny Jump Rings

I make all my own jump rings, and have the scars on my fingers to prove it. I have read lots of tips and tutorials about making jump rings, and most of them were great, but were for larger ones. I got my scars by trying to make the very small or tiny variety...

What could I wrap the wire around that was round, sturdy, cheap, thin and disposable - and that I could saw right through? A brainwave - plastic cotton bud stems!!!

It works really well - and once you get the hang of it - it's quite easy to make a useful amount of tiny jump rings very quickly.

Here's how I do it:

I take a plastic cotton bud. The one in front is a standard size one, the one at the back is a tiny one from Muji (a Japanese store here in London. Japanese people must have tiny ears!).

Make a hole in one end with an awl / needle tool / tip of a round needle file. Thread the end of the wire through the hole to grip it. This is 0.8mm round silver wire.

Wrap a coil of wire round the stem of the cotton bud, as much as you think you will need.

Trim the stem flush with the wire, and start to saw. You will have a nice sturdy coil to grip, and the jump rings will stay on the stem once cut. You can place the bottom bud on a piece of blue tack to help keep it in place while you saw, or trim it off, and rest the end it in a dent on your bench pin - which ever is easier for you.

Cut right through the wire and stem, down to the last jump ring, then just pick them off and throw away the stem.

The jump rings on the left are made with 0.8mm wire on a standard ear bud, and are approx. 4mm outer diameter. Good general purpose size.
The ones on the right were made with the tiny Muji cotton buds, and are 0.6mm wire with an outer diameter of 2.7mm. Really tiny! And no sawn fingers!

Seriously tiny! On my fingertip...

I did practice this first with copper wire to make sure it would work, I would recommend you do that too! Good luck, and I hope you find this useful!



  1. Great tip Tania! I have made my own but always have trouble with the sawing bit so this looks like a good way to do it.


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