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What is Memory Wire?

Memory wire is a versatile material that gives the look of stacked jewelry with very little effort.

Updated October 03, 2018
What is Memory Wire
What is Memory Wire
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When you are new to making jewelry, it can be quite the challenge to learn about all of the different supplies, materials, and jewelry making tools that are used. It can be particularly challenging to keep track of the different kinds of wire used for making jewelry. Beading wire is the go-to material for stringing beads for necklaces and bracelets, and artistic wire is used for wire-wrapping jewelry but what is memory wire, and how do you use it?

Memory wire is a strong wire that maintains its coiled shape, making it the perfect material for creating bangles and wrap bracelets. Most memory wire tutorials involve stringing beads on the wire for a chic stacked look. However, you can also wire-wrap or even macrame around the strong wire base.

What Kind of Memory Wire Should I Buy?

Memory wire comes in a variety of sizes, shaped for rings, bracelets, and necklaces. The most common type of memory wire is round, followed by flat memory wire, which works well for coiled bracelets. There is also steel memory wire, which has the shiny appearance of gold or silver-plated metal for a more luxurious look.

How to Work With Memory Wire

Working with memory wire can be very easy and fun once you have a little bit of experience, but keeping a few tips and tricks in mind will make the process much easier for beginners.

Check out our guide on How to Work With Memory Wire When Making DIY Jewelry for all of the details you need to know while working with this handy wire.

Memory Wire DIY Jewelry Guide

How Do I Cut Memory Wire?

You’ll want to set aside your good flush cutters when working with memory wire. Since memory wire is so strong and thicker than many other bead stringing materials, it can damage flush cutters, side cutters, and small scissors that are all intended for more delicate materials, such as thin wire, or nylon thread.

Luckily, many bead shops and craft stores stock memory wire shears, which are specifically designed to cut memory wire with ease. In addition to keeping your go-to cutters in tip-top shape, memory wire shears ensure a clean cut with no sharp edges.

How Do You Finish Memory Wire Jewelry?

Many memory wire jewelry projects can be finished very simply by looping the end of the wire with a pair of round nose pliers. Cut the wire using memory wire shears approximately half an inch from the end of your last bead, and grab the end of your wire with your round nose pliers. Loop the end of the wire in toward the beads on your wire.

You can also buy tiny findings that are specifically designed to finish memory wire jewelry, but the looping technique is a great way for beginners to get started without shelling out any extra dough.

Memory Wire Bracelet Patterns

Using memory wire to make fun and fashionable jewelry is very easy once you know the basics. Simply cut the same number of coils as the number of wraps you would like your bracelet, necklace, or ring to have. Finish off one end of the memory wire with either a simple loop, or by attaching a specialized finding. String a selection of beads onto the wire. You can use any type of bead, as long as it has a hole larger than the diameter of the memory wire! You can stick with seed beads to clear out your stash, or use a variety of pretty beads for a fun jewelry piece no one else with have. Once you have filled all of the coils of your bracelet, necklace, or ring, loop or attach a finding to the other end of the wire to finish.

Beadalicious Memory Wire Bracelet

Use memory wire to give the illusion of several stacked, beaded bracelets! This beadalicious bracelet pattern uses a variety of beads for a fun bracelet that is eye-catching, but still very wearable. Follow the step-by-step video tutorial to make this bracelet with hardly any effort.

Shining Bronze Memory Wire Bracelet

Get ready to sparkle and shine with this metallic bracelet! In this tutorial, you will learn how to make a memory wire bracelet embellished with shining bicone beads. Add a charm or two to personalize this bracelet into a cute, customized jewelry piece.

Black and White Beaded Bangle

Black and white is a timelessly elegant combination that goes with practically everything! If you're looking for a bracelet pattern that you'll want to wear all this time, this beaded bangle is a great choice. Pick out a selection of monochromatic beads for this beauty, or use leftover beads from your stash to create this chic bangle.

Blush Memory Wire Bracelet

Who knew that memory wire jewelry could look so luxurious? This bracelet tutorial uses freshwater pearls, Czech glass rondelles, glass focal beads and curved metal tubes, all in shades of blush pink for a classy combination. A simple strung bracelet like this one makes a wonderful gift for a loved one, and everyone will be shocked to know you made it yourself!

Caribbean Blue Memory Wire Bracelet

Memory wire bracelets are a fabulous idea for a DIY gift. Who could resist one of these effortless bracelets without the hassle of a clasp? Bold blue seed beads and crystals are reminiscent of the colors of the Caribbean waters. This serene bracelet pattern also has a video tutorial perfect for visual learners!

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