September 7, 2012

How I made a Cocktail Ring with a Braided Band

I didn't set out to make a cocktail ring - it just happened.  One of those ideas that just got bigger than I ever expected.

I made this ring for a swap with one of the online jewelry groups I belong to.  The theme was 'Back to School'.  It was a tough theme, but I decided it reminded me of the turn of seasons from Summer to Fall.

I love the way the band on this ring turned out.  I used a jump ring to start and folded the wires in half over it.  I think I started with 3 groups of 3 wires (9 wires) of equal size in 26g silver.  I put them through the jump ring and folded them in half.  Then I braided them to the length I needed to make a size 7 ring.  The braid came out really nice and neat.

When I was done with the braid, I slipped it into the jump ring and pulled it tight around the mandrel.  A tricky part was adding the pearl in the center.  It is a top drilled pearl.  I put the wire through the hole and threaded it into the jump ring from the top.  Then I wrapped this wire around the base of the jump ring to secure the ring size.

Now, I have a beautiful ring band with lots of spiky ends sticking out and pearl in the center! I used 2-3mm gemstones and twisted them onto the wire ends - trying to make them into a flower.  Once the stems all had gemstones, it was easy to move them around and make the ring more full or flat as I liked.

I will try this style of ring again, but will probably use a few less wires in the ring band, so it is not quite as fluffy - although if I want to make a cocktail ring again, I know how!!

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