Saturday, May 31, 2014

Victorian Braid Ring

I took a few minutes to re-vamp this tutorial with some pictures and a different way to tie off this ring. The tutorial pictures are using thinner wire, but they still have the same effect. I hope it helps!! I apologize for the funky lighting in some of the pictures- My camera was acting up. 

I had some extra jewelry wire left over and was just playing around with it, when I had an idea. 

And that idea turned into a piece of jewelry that I wear almost constantly now. 

The best part of it all? 

It took about ten minutes to make. 

Victorian Braid Ring

9, 10" strands of silver/gold jewelry memory wire 
Wire cutters
Jewelry pliers 
Safety pin
Rulers are nice.

A word about wire...

 There is no right or wrong kind brand of wire to choose...just make sure that you are using one that's thin enough to braid. I have used either a 26 gauge wire (the one on the spool) or a 1/4 inch wire. The thicker the wire, the less space you will have in between the pleats of your braid. You can find both of these at your typical craft store.

Personally, I prefer the look of the thicker wire, as shown in the picture above. But some people like the thinner braid- There's a few shots of it at the end. Whatever you prefer!

Take the wire and fold it in half, looping it through the safety pin. Pin the safety pin to your jeans or a blanket across your lap. Securing it that way will make braiding the wire a million times easier. 

The loop I used in this picture is about as big around as my pinky. If you're using a safety pin, you'll have a much smaller loop, which is actually a lot easier to deal with, since it will act as a sort of clasp for the other end when you're done. 
You'll now have 18 pieces of wire. Divide them into three sections of 6. 
Here comes the braiding! Make sure that none of the wires within a section cross. Move slowly, pulling the strands upwards after each crossing to ensure an even braid. Keep braiding until you have enough braid to wrap around your finger of choice. 

Finishing it off. 

I found that it's easier and more comfortable to finish off this ring by making a hook and clasp out of your wire instead of physically knotting it off the way you do with most beaded rings. But before you go running off to find another tutorial, RELAX. It's actually a lot easier than it sounds.

When the braid is long enough to fit around your finger, take the section on the left and snip off three of the strands. To make it look neat, use your pliers to wrap them around the edge of the ring. (You can see the three I snipped in the picture).

Take the section of wire on the right and snip all six of the wires in half. You can see this in the picture- you still want them long enough so that they can wrap around the other two strands, but not so long that they'll be adding to the thickness of the ring. I'd say keep them about a centimeter long.

Take the remaining strands- the six from the middle group, the three from the left, and the short six from the right, and wrap them around each other. If there are any poky edges, use your pliers to smooth them out.

This end will act as your "hook". Loop it through the loop at the other end, and take a minute to form the ring to your finger.
 The ring should now be in somewhat of a circle shape.

Take the remaining straight end and bend it straight back and to the right. This should create a sideways U-shape, just like the hooks on a bra. Sorry for the lingerie comparison...I honestly don't know how else to describe it!! Trim off any excess and use your pliers and some good old muscle to seal the two together.
This process takes a little practice, but if you find a better way to tie off this (or any) ring, please comment below! 

You might have to play around with it until it shapes to your finger the way you want it to.

There you go! Simple, classy, and quick!