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Wine Charm Tutorial – A Quick Gift Idea

December 7, 2016 , In: Tutorials
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If you’re looking for a quick, easy, handmade gift for friends, hostesses, teachers, or anyone who loves wine (YOU!), these wine glass charms are really fun gifts. Because of all the charm swaps I’ve hosted over the years, I have a LOT of charms made by several different artists. I’ve turned several of these little pieces of artwork into wine glass charms that I keep in a little bowl in my kitchen. Whenever we serve wine to guests, I get out my little bowl of wine glass charms and everyone has fun picking out which one they want to use for the evening. No two are the same, or even remotely similar, and I like it that way! This is a great way to use up orphan beads, charms, experiments you’ve tried but never took any further, etc. 

Supplies needed: 

  • Memory Wire, ring sized (3/4″)
  • wire cutters – DO NOT USE YOUR JEWELRY WIRE CUTTERS!!!! MEMORY WIRE WILL RUIN THEM!!! 
  • round nose pliers
  • art bead or charms
  • wire or jump rings for attaching charms to memory wire

Memory wire comes in a coil as shown below. 

memory wire ring size coil

Memory wire coil

First you will want to cut rings from the coil with non-jewelry wire cutters. I have a pair of heavy duty wire cutters I abuse with projects like this. The key is to cut the ring so the ends are overlapping. See the photo below. I don’t measure a certain length or anything like that. I just eyeball it. 

cutting a memory wire ring for wine charm

Cut memory wire ring with overlapping ends

Next you will take your round nose pliers and grab the very tip of one end of the ring. You want to hold it in your hand in a manner that you will be able to turn your wrist (and the loop) away from you, as shown in the photo below. Just FYI – memory wire is a bit fiddly to work with. The feature that makes it a great wine glass charm (it retains is shape and springiness) makes it kind of a pain to work with. 

loop on one size memory wire ring wine charm

Place one tip of memory wire ring into jaw of round nose pliers

Once you’ve positioned the tip correctly in the round nose pliers, turn them away from you, using the thumb of your other hand to help stabilize the motion, to make a loop. It is very likely it will spring back a little bit. You have to pretty much force it to do what you want. It may take more than one time to accomplish this. 

loop on end of memory wire ring wine charm

Making the first loop

Once you’re happy with that loop, repeat with the other cut end of the ring. Do not completely close the loop just quite yet.

loop on other end memory wire ring wine charm

Making the second loop

It is likely the loops are going to overlap. I personally do not like this. So we’re going to fix it. 

wine charm loops

We have to fix these overlapping loops!

Grab your cutters again and cut a small segment of the loop you just made. It will look like the loop below. 

cutting excess wire for wine charm loop

Cutting the excess wire from one loop

At this point, if you will being using an already existing loop on a charm (like the nichrome wire loop on this ceramic charm) slide it on before finishing the second loop. If you’re using an open jumpring or wire wrapping onto the ring, save it until the end. 

art bead added to wine charm

Adding the charm before closing the loop

Next, you want to place the round nose pliers in the partial loop and close it up. Do any shaping you feel is necessary because sometimes the loops get out of alignment. If your charm still needs to be added, do it now. 

completed wine charm with art bead

One completed charm! Several more to go.

Repeat this process until you’ve made a set of wine glass charms. Then make sure to make a set for yourself, because you deserve it and a glass of wine after all that hard work.

 

Jennifer Cameron

Combining fire and glass since 2005, Jen Cameron discovered jewelry making after realizing a small child could disappear in the growing collection of beads sitting around the house. Jen is the adoring mother of two, jackpot winner in the husband category, and zookeeper of several pets. Jen is also the instigator for bringing together this team of innovative, talented, passionate and dynamic women to write for Art Jewelry Elements.
  1. Reply

    What a great and fun idea!

    • Lola
    • December 7, 2016
    Reply

    I love the idea of a bowl filled with art bead wine charms for guests to choose from!

  2. Reply

    Great idea Jen – I too love the bowl o’ wine charms idea!

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