Wire Wrapping Cord Ends
& Hook 'N Eye Closures

You'll need a pair of round nose pliers, wire cutters, and bent nose pliers. I used 18 Gauge Artistic® Wire for these components. You could use 20 gauge if you were only doing the cord ends, and not the hook part of the closure.

Step 1:

Cut a 13" length of wire for a hook-n-eye closure, or 10" for two cord ends. Run the wire through a jewelry polishing cloth or other soft cloth two or three times to harden the wire, and straighten it.

Step 2:

Using your round nose pliers, form a fairly large loop about 4" down the wire. The long end of the wire should be going straight down, and the 4" tail should be out of the side.

Instructions for using round nose pliers to make a loop can be found here.

Step 3:

Cut a necklace length of satin rattail cord, leather cord, or other cording. Leaving about 1/2" of cord sticking out, grip the cord and loop firmly, and start to wire wrap around both the cord and the center wire.

Step 4:

Make sure your wire wrapping is nice and tight. I push the wire firmly with my thumb to exert the maximum pressure and tension. This wire wrapping is what will hold your cord in place. Wrap four or five loops around the cord and center wire.

Instructions for wire wrapping can be found here.

Step 5:

Using your wire cutters, snip the piece of wire running down the center. Continue to wire wrap one or two more loops to cover up the rough end. Use a little less pressure and tension with your wrapping after you have wrapped past the snipped end of the center wire. With some practice you'll be able to adjust the tension so perfectly that your wire-wrapped coil will be perfectly even on the ouside, even though the volume of material you're coiling the wire around changes where the wire ended.

Step 6:

When you've got six or seven complete coils, snip the extra wire off.

Step 7:

Snip the 1/2" of extra cord sticking out the "eye" end of your component. Be very careful that you don't cut the loop itself. Be sure to test your first couple of tries to make sure the cord is securely wrapped. If it comes out - try again using more tension (and maybe an extra coil) to make a tighter fitting end.

If you just want cord ends, then repeat with your left over wire on the other end of the cord.

Congratulations! You've finished one end of your cord. If you want to add beads, or a bail, or a pendant that won't fit over your cord end, be sure to add them before you wire wrap the other end.

Step 8:

To make the hook, you should have about 8" of wire left over from making the eye (steps 1-7). Using your round nose pliers, gently bend the wire at a point about 3" up the wire.

Step 9:

Bend the wire all the way around as shown. You can very, very lightly squeeze the top of the U to shape the wire, with your round nose pliers.

Step 10:

Leaving about 1 1/4" of the two-wire U-shaped loop, bend the LONGER wire out at a 90 degree angle with the round nose pliers, as shown.

Step 11:

Grip the U-shaped loop just above the bend, and the cord, with the bent nose pliers.

Step 12:

Holding the wire very firmly, make four-five very tight coils around the central wire and the cord. Remember to wire wrap very firmly and tightly - it is this pressure that holds the cord in place.

Step 13:

Snip the central wire, and make another one or two coils around the cord to cover the rough end of the snipped wire. Use less tension on these loops to give your coiling a neat, even appearance.

Step 14:

This step is optional! I like to gently flatten the hook using a steel bench block and a chasing hammer.

Step 15:

This is a matter of asthetics (and tools on hand) - I just enjoy the flattened look better.

Step 16:

Using the round nose pliers, gently bend the wire loop as shown.

Step 17:

If you've hammered the wire to flatten it, you'll need to use a little more muscles to bend it - the hammering hardens the wire. It isn't hard, just takes a little more umph than you'd expect.

Step 18:

If you flattened the U-shaped loop, don't forget to flatten the "eye" side of the cord, too.

Inspect your work. Any little irregularities in the coiling can be smoothed away with a very gentle hand on the bent nose pliers.