Memory wire is a really quick and easy way to make a multitude of crafts, but it is predominantly used to create relatively simple beaded jewelry. Here we have an awesome tutorial on how to make a wine charm with memory wire, a few beads and a charm of your choice. But first, here’s a little info about memory wire, just in case you’re not familiar with it.
What is memory wire?
Memory wire is wire that has been strengthened to the point where it will hold its shape completely, unless it it put under extreme stress. The process used to make wire which keeps its shape is called Annealing and usually requires the metal to be heated to a specific temperature before being cooled rapidly. Annealed wires will spring back to their “remembered” shape, which is where the term memory wire comes from.
NOTE: Memory wire is not suited to wire wrapping crafts as it is not malleable like artistic or crafting wires such as Soft Flex Craft Wire.
How to spot memory wire
Memory wire is usually purchased in coils of varying sizes which are specific to different uses. Small or tighter coils are usually known as ‘ring size’, the next size up is for bracelets and larger loops of wire can be used to make necklaces. You can find memory wire in most craft stores and often you will be able to source a variety of colors to suit your projects.
Now to the tutorial
Wine charms are a really simple craft and are super handy at parties. These cute charms hook onto the stem of a wine glass and are usually made with different colored beads or different charms so everyone can tell which glass is theirs. So let’s make wine glass charms!
You will need:
- Ring-sized memory wire
- Memory wire cutters (these are different from regular cutters)
- Round nosed pliers
- Small beads in different colors
A quick warning:
Before cutting your wire with your usual jewelry making cutters – just don’t! If you don’t have the ability to buy memory wire cutters or have them to hand, then you could use an older pair of normal cutters that you don’t care about as you will more than likely end up with nicks in the cutting blades.
Where to begin:
Get all of the beads and charms you want to use and come up with a basic design plan for your wine charms. You could make each charm with a different color scheme or you could just pick a different charm and keep your colors the same. Also, make sure your beads fit onto the wire easily.
Also decide how many you want to make – 6 is a good place to start.
For each charm you will want to cut a loop and a half from your memory wire coil. The extra length will be where you make loops and the overlap will keep the charm in place on the stem of your wine glass.
Grab your round nosed pliers and make a small loop at one end of the memory wire. You will have to exert a fair amount of force to do this, so be careful. Bending the loop inwards will be easier than trying to go against the curve. This loop will stop beads from falling off your wire.
Thread half of your bead design onto the wire.
Next you will want to add your charm. Depending upon the positioning of the loop, you may need to add a small jump ring to your charm so that it faces the right way. The charm will just be directly threaded onto your memory wire loop.
Finish your beaded design and then make another small loop at the end of the wire to hold the design in place.
Do this 6 times (or more) to make a complete set!
You could make multiple sets of these and give them as gifts – they’re great for birthdays and Mother’s day! Or if you get carried away and make a lot of wine glass charms, you could add them to your Etsy listings.
There are so many themes to choose from when making your wine charms, as you can suit them to certain occasions or even a party theme. They are super simple to make and quite addicting so you might end up with a set for each of the holidays!