You might remember interlocking friendship necklaces—usually, two halves of a heart that, when connected, read “best friends”—from your elementary school days. But who says you can’t continue to wear a symbol of your commitment to your friends today? Friendship rings are a fun way to demonstrate your loyalty and devotion to your friends. And best of all, you can create friendship rings yourself—making them even more memorable and sentimental. Here’s how.
What Is a Friendship Ring?
A friendship ring is a symbol of your commitment to a friend. The two friendship rings could interlock—just like the heart necklaces of your childhood—or be a matching set. Of course, friendship rings don’t have to match; you could also design them in each person’s individual style.
The earliest example of a friendship ring is the Claddagh ring, which displays two hands holding a heart, which is adorned with a crown. Together, the symbols represent friendship, loyalty, and love.
How to Make a Friendship Ring
One of the most thoughtful types of friendship rings is one that’s handmade—by you! In this tutorial, learn how to make a simple, wire-wrapped ring that you can gift to your closest friends. Make a matching one for yourself, and enjoy proudly displaying your friendship.
This ring requires no soldering; rather, it’s just wrapped wire. To make each ring, you will need:
- 20-gauge silver-plated wire: The gauge of a wire refers to its thickness. The lower the number, the thicker the wire. Generally, 20-gauge wire is flexible enough to bend easily with pliers, but sturdy enough to hold its shape.
- Jewelry pliers: These pliers feature a rounded nose which allows you to smoothly curl and bend the wire. They also include a wire cutting component, so you can easily snip the ends of the wire.
- Mandrel: This is a cylindrical tool used to size and shape your ring. However, if you just want to make a few rings—and don’t plan to start a ring-making business—it’s not absolutely necessary. Instead, try using something you have around the house, like a thick marker, which is generally about the size of a woman’s ring finger.
Step 1: Cut and Prep the Wire
Cut 12 inches of wire, and lay it across the mandrel at the appropriate size. For example, if you want to make a size 7 ring, lay it on the 7 or 7.5 mark. If you’re using a marker in place of a mandrel and find that it’s too thin, wrap masking tape around the marker until you reach the desired thickness.
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Step 2: Create the Base of the Ring
Wrap the wire completely around the mandrel (or marker) one time, so that it crosses in the back. Continue wrapping until both ends reach the front again, with one end of the wire extending to the left and one to the right.
Step 3: Form a Rose Shape
Cross the wires in front of the mandrel by pulling the top wire down and the bottom wire up. Continue wrapping the wire around itself to form a rose shape. During this step, make sure to pay attention to the tension of the wire. If you want the look of a tight knot, keep the tension high. If you prefer a more loose rose, make sure to give it some slack.
Step 4: Wrap the Ends
Once you are satisfied with the size of the rose, wrap each end of the wire around the base of the ring three or four times. Cut off the excess wire with your pliers, and then gently squeeze the cut ends of the wire into the base of the ring.
Once you know how to create a basic wire-wrapped ring, you can create different variations based on your friends’ individual styles. For example, you can make a thicker ring by wrapping the wire around the mandrel more times or create a different shape in the center of the ring—like a heart. Or, try adding a bead or a stone as a focal point of the ring.
It Takes Two
Of course, to create true friendship rings, you need two of them! So don’t stop with one finished product—create one for yourself and one to give away. This handmade gift can give you and your buddies a tangible and unique reminder of your friendship.
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