How to Use French Wire In Your Jewelry-Friday Findings

How to Use French Wire In Your Jewelry-Friday Findings

Hi there, Sandy here. Welcome to another Friday Findings video at Today I’m gong to talk to you about a really
cool and interesting finding that you may not have heard of or seen before and that
is French wire. Honestly I have no idea why it’s called French
wire, but here are two examples of the stuff and all it is is a very fine coil of wire. It’s kind of slinky. Well it actually is. It’s sort of like a very small slinky because
it’s just a coil of wire. So here’s one in gold and this is a larger
size and here’s one in silver that’s a smaller, finer size. And what do you do with this stuff? Well, let me give you an example. I recently made this bracelet and you can
see right here at the ends, this bracelet is strung on bead stringing wire and instead
of using a wire protector here, I used the French wire. You just cut a little piece of the coil and
then put that on and I will show you how to do that. So this is what we often use. I mean you don’t have to use a wire protector. You can just have a piece of wire going around
your clasp and that’s fine, but a wire protector definitely helps keep things from abrading. So these are wire protectors and I’ve shown
you how to use those before and I’ve done a Friday Findings video on those, but this
stuff is even more versatile. I think it has a more elegant look and there’s
a lot of other things you can do with it. One reason French wire might be better than
wire protectors is if your clasp has a particularly thick loop, this one isn’t too bad, but sometimes
these rings on these clasps can be very big, especially if you buy something from an artisan
and it might be difficult to get the wire protector around it. It may not fit or may just barely fit. I have run into that in the past so what’s
nice is you can just cut the perfect length of French wire that you need. Another place you might want to use French
wire is if you’re bead weaving with thread. Now I have used wire protectors before with
thread, but again, I think the French wire is just a nicer look and I will show you how
to do that. Another cool thing you can do with the French
wire is just cut little tiny pieces and use them as spacers. We often see the coiled jewelry, but just
having little pieces of the coil could be a very elegant look. This would look great like on a memory wire
bracelet because you could just have this long pretty coil as a spacer. Another thing, let’s see. This one, this silver one that I have is .9mm
and that is the inside diameter and what that means is that it will fit over any kind of
thread or cord up to 9/10mm thick. That’s pretty small. This one is much bigger. This one is 1.8mm so it will fit over cord
that’s 1mm thick. Here I have a piece of 1mm leather cord and
you can see it goes right over that. So it’s kind of fun to consider the possibilities
of combining your French wire with something like leather cord, cotton cord. So if you’re stringing something and you’re
concerned about your endings not being secure, if you’re concerned about it fraying, it will
fit right over that if you buy the larger size. There’s a few different sizes and it comes
in silver, silver plated, gold, gold plated, here’s another one. Cotton cord, so you just consider the possibilities
of having this in between knots, with beads in between. I hope that your mind is kind of going with
all the different ways you can possibly use this stuff besides what it was made for, which
is protecting the ends of your stringing material. So let me just show you how to use it. So on a piece of thread I have here I have
strung the first bead in the design and then about 1/2″ piece of French wire. The next thing to do would be to add one half
of your clasp and then you’re just going to string that thread back through the bead and
this is really the same whether you’re doing bead stringing with wire or bead stringing
with thread. If you’re stringing with wire you would put
on your crimp instead of the bead and then your French wire, the clasp and the wire would
go back through the crimp and then you would crimp it and add a crimp cover. Other than the difference between the crimp
and the bead it’s really the same. Now you do want to watch. Sometimes this stuff is so fine it will slip
through your bead holes. I don’t, yep, see that bead will go right
over it, which is another fun possibility if you think about stringing and having beads
floating over lengths of this stuff. So I’ll just show you what you do. I’m gonna use my thumb nail here to stop it. Find the end of the thread and just pull and
see, it just makes a loop. So when you cut your thread, you want to cut
it about 10″ more than you need for the project so that you have plenty to tie and I’m just
going to tie these thread ends into a knot and then all you would do is add a dab of
glue to the knot, let it dry, trim off the excess thread and then proceed with your project. So it’s pretty similar to using bead stringing
wire except now you’ve used thread and you don’t have to worry about your clasp or your
findings at the end fraying through your thread. So a few other cool things that you can do
with French wire: you can make fun, great wiggly dangles just by cutting lengths, clamping
the ends in something like a cord end and then you have these great fun wiggly dangles. You do want to be careful when handling this
because you can pull it out. Just like this piece that I pulled out to
demonstrate to you or you can kink it like I did with this one, but I’m not gonna throw
any of these pieces away. It is a little bit pricey. It works out to about $.28-$.30 an inch so
if you cut 1/2″ pieces, that means each one costs about $.14 per wire protector, which
is a lot more than wire protectors cost. But I think it’s just cool and it looks really
nice, but you can see it’s like a slinky. Remember with your slinky you could pull them
out of shape, but I picture using these in polymer clay projects. I’ve seen these wires pulled out and embedded
in epoxy clay projects. So don’t throw away any of your pieces if
they don’t work out. Save them and use them for other things and
find all sorts of creative uses for French wire. And by the way, if you’re looking for it,
you may find it also called gimp wire or buillon and I’m gonna keep mine stored in these nice
little packages so that I don’t mess it up because it really would be easy to destroy
it and pull it out of shape. So if you’re interested in any of these supplies,
make sure you click on the blog post link in the description box because at my blog
post I will have a supply list with tools and materials and links to the products that
I showed in this video. Be sure to subscribe if you haven’t already. Take a look at my Patreon page because you
can get great rewards for helping to support these tutorials with a dollar a month or whatever
you can afford. Happy creating. Bye bye.


  1. I have never even heard of French wire, so I got a good lesson on it. I agree, the possibilities are limitless with it! Thanks Sandy for keeping me updated! Loved the bracelet you showed, it reminded me of Easter. Blessings

  2. I wonder if you can make your own French wire using very fine wire and a very thin mandrel (like a hat pin or something)? Thanks for the video. I'd heard of the wire protectors but not the French wire.

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