What’s a jump ring again?
A jump ring is a little coil of wire used in jewellery making, which can be pulled apart with pliers and used to connect components such as clasps. They can be purchased in various colours and sizes ranging from 3mm to 10mm.
They differ to split rings in that split rings have a double coil, a bit like keyring chains and can be a bit tricky to use unless you own a pair of split ring pliers. In which case, they are easy to use! Split rings are more robust than jump rings because they don’t often break and components seldom fall off.
It’s worth having a go at making your own jump rings in case you run out halfway through a jewellery making project like I often do! And, sometimes you might need a really tiny jump ring and making your own is great way to get one!
All you need to make your own jump rings or split rings are the following supplies:
- Round nose pliers
- Wire cutters
- Wire of your choice
Cut off a length of wire with your wire cutters measuring approx. 10 inches. Use your round nose pliers to grip one end of the wire and start to curl it around the pliers. Start off by placing the wire at the base of the pliers (the widest part), like in the the picture below.
Keep winding the wire around and around. You have to keep releasing and turning the pliers to keep the loop going. Keep the wire loops as close together as possible.
You can keep winding the wire right up until the end of the pliers if you like. You’ll end up with significantly different size ends which is perfect if you want to make a range of jump ring sizes. When you’ve done, release the pliers and the wire should look something like this.
Use the wire cutters to start cutting the coils away. I tend to do this one by one so that I can cut the coils cleanly. Start at one end and work your way through. If you want to make split rings, you need to leave a coil in the middle so it’s easier just to wind a few loops on the pliers (rather then going all the way to the end) in this case before cutting.
In the picture below, the ring at the top is a split ring and the others are jump rings. I’ve used quite thick wire for this tutorial to show clearly (hopefully!) what I’ve done but you can use more or less any type of wire that you like.
If you’d like to have a go at making other useful jewellery findings, take a look at this free tutorial on how to make earwires!
Do leave a comment if you want to share your thoughts or just say Hello!