How To: Make a round bead cage

Make a round bead cage

How to Make a round bead cage

This video clip from The Crafts Channel shows how to make a bead cage. A bead cage is where a piece of wire is wrapped decoratively around a large bead. For the example bead cage .8 mm wire was used. If the wire is too thin it will not hold its shape, but if it is too thick it will be hard to bend into the desired shape. Take some needle nosed pliers and make a complete circle, and then use some flat nosed pliers to begin forming a spiral going outwards. Now do the same thing beginning at the opposite side, eventually folding the two spirals on top of each other. Now you can pop the bead into the cage. Next attach the restraining pin. You will not want to use the actual bead cage to attach the bead to your jewelry or it will pull the bead cage out of shape. Form a small circle with your needle nosed pliers and put through the bead, then make another small circle at the other end.


Twenty five years ago I was making jewelry in London, with glass mostly. I had two girls working for me. One day I gave the girls a task, make something new with the materiel's at hand... silver wire, marbles, glass, etc. Two minutes later Sarah said, what about this. I was amazed to see an earring made, a marble with a spiral of silver plated wire rapped around. Hey presto the spiral for jewelry was born. We went on to sell a shed full, alas within a short time the wholesalers where selling just the cage.

I must say, there is a much easier way to make the cages, much easier and quicker, on mass, as we did back in the birth of the cage. Wrap a whole ream of silver wire around a piece of dowel or similar object, pull the wire off so what you have resembles a long spring, make sure your marble will fit into the hole, cut the spring every fifth loop, open your five looped spring slightly, insert your marble, with pliers bring the wire around the marble first one end then the other, turn one end up, fix ear catch, job done.

Takes a matter of seconds. When we first put them out we where getting three pounds wholesale. Not bad for two small marbles and a bit of wire.

PS: You see it was the shape of the marble itself that made the spiral. It was almost made by accident, so you could say what came first, the spiral or the marble. I would say the marble. I used to play marbles as a kid and win a lot, it seemed at the time of coming up with the spiral that a childhood wish had come true. If only marbles where money.

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