Wire Wrap A Coin
by Judy Larson
Wire wrap a special coin to make a beautiful
pendant that is sure to become a treasured
keepsake. Hint: If you want to hang this on a
keychain, cut the decorative swirl wires short
and snug them down next to the bail wrap.
21 gauge square wire
21 gauge half round wire
One coin Hint: A large coin such as the Sakagawea
or Presidential dollar works best for your first coin
Note: Silver plated craft wire in a gold color has
been used to make this pendant in this tutorial. This
type of craft wire is considered dead soft.
Flat, chain, bent, and round nose pliers
Ultra fine point Sharpie marker
Mandrel the same diameter as the coin
¼” and 3/8” dowels
Optional: Pin vise
Step 1: Measure the circumference of your coin: Wrap the outer edge of your coin with a strip of painters
tape. Remove the tape and place it on a piece of paper. Measure the tape length. Draw a line on the paper
the length of the tape and divide this length into quarters. The length of wire you add to this measurement is
determined by what you wish to do with the excess wires after the bail is made at the top of the pendant.
The following are circumferences of US coins:
Penny: 2 and 3/8”
Nickel: 2 and 5/8”
Dime: 2 and 3/16”
Kennedy half dollar: 3 and 7/8”
Susan B. Anthony dollar:
Sakagawea and Presidential dollar: 3¼”+
Step 2: Straighten and cut the square wires needed for your coin. For this design on the Presidential dollar
coin, you will need 4 wires, each 7½” long-4¼” longer than the circumference of the coin. For the Sakagawea
dollar, you need 5 wires because it is just a bit thicker. Note: The number of wires used is determined by the
thickness of the coin. Most coins use 4 or 5 wires. Stack the wires until they equal the thickness of the coin, then
add two more.
Step 3: Lay the wires side by side, ends even. Use painters tape to secure the ends together. This makes the
wire bundle easier to work with.
Step 4: Using a Sharpie, mark the center of the bundle. Line
this mark up on the center mark of the line drawn in Step 1.
Use the Sharpie to transfer the other lines to the wire
bundle. There should now be 5 lines marked on the bundle.
Step 5: Using your half round wire, make four
wraps to show on the three center marked lines.
Place the bundle next to your line and check to
make sure that the wraps are lined up with the
marks. If the wraps need to be moved, use your
fingernail, NOT a tool, to move the wraps. If you do not have fingernails, you can use the ¼” dowel. Once the
wraps are where you want them, you can snug them down tighter with your flat nose pliers.
Step 6: You will be making a 90°
bend AWAY from the wrong side of
the bundle, TOWARD the outside or
right side of the bundle. Place your
flat nose pliers on the outer line so
you can barely see the line. You
could even cover the line just a hair.
With your fingers, bend the bundle
of wires 90° over the top of the
Step 7: The mandrel you use for bending your wire bundle does not have to be exactly the size of the coin but
it should be very close. Center the mandrel between the wraps on the wrong side and bend the bundle
around the mandrel. When you pull the top wires close together around the coin, they should meet and the
coin should be tight in the wire bezel you just created.
Step 8: Remove the tape from the ends of
the wire bundle. Close to the cut ends of the
straight wires, tape all the wires together.
Step 9: Using painters tape, temporarily
secure the coin in the bezel.
Step 10: Make a hook about 1” from the
end of the half round wire. The bend
should be wide enough to accommodate
two thicknesses of square wire.
Position the hook at the base of the
straight wires with the cut end toward
the back and the bend on the front of
the assembly. Wrap tightly around the
down the half round wire after each bend, until there are 3 wraps showing in the
front and 2 in the back. Try not to overlap the wraps but to have them nestle
tightly side by side. DO NOT CUT THE WRAP WIRE OFF!
Step 11: Remove the tape from the bail wires. Pull the front 4 wires slightly to the front. Pull the center wire
on each side to the outside (if using 5 wires) and the back 4 wires slightly to the back. The whole thing looks
like a porcupine! Separately twist the back center two wires. Hint: Count the number of twists to get the
twists even on both wires. Do not overtwist or you could break a wire. Push the back 4 wires back together,
with the two twisted wires between the two straight wires.
Step 12: Place the ¼” dowel on the back of the wires, 1/3
of the way up from the base of the bail wires, and bend the
wires over it until they touch the back of the coin.
Step 13: Make a 30° bend in the bail
wires about 1/8” up from the last wrap.
Hold the cut ends of the bail wire tightly
to the coin and make three more wraps
with the half round wire, securing the
bail wires tightly to the assembly.
Step 14: Below the wrap, bend the wires out, away from the wraps,
at a 90° angle. Evenly trim the bail wire ends below the wrap to a
Step 15: Remove the painters tape from the coin. Use your round
nose pliers to make bends in the top wire close to each wrap on the
back of the coin. Notice that the tips of the pliers are spread a bit.
Turn the assembly over and repeat the process on the front. Note:
Be extremely careful to not scratch your coin. Once you make a bend,
you really can’t go back and fix it, so go slowly and be patient.
Step 16: Use your chain or round nose
pliers to make a small curl in each short
cut wire toward the coin.
Step 17: The wrap wires should now be
tightened and secured to either side of the
wrap. They can be cut a bit long and
spiraled or cut to fit. Pull the original wire
from the hook under the bent up wires on the back of the bail and to the side, pulling tight. Tighten the wire
ends down with flat nose pliers.
Step 18: If using 5 wires: Bend the
two center side wires out at a 90°
angle. Trim each to about 1/8”.
Bend each wire down close to wire
Step 19: Pull the front two wires forward and twist
the remaining two wires in the same manner as the
wires in Step 11.
Step 20: Trim the front 4 wires to the same length.
Step 21: Wrap each twisted wire outward around a 3/8” dowel. Use the tip of a round nose pliers to finish
the curl, making a loose spiral. Not shown: Pull the spirals together and slightly down over the top edge of
the coin (see bottom right photo).
Step 22: Wrap each untwisted wire outward around a 3/8” dowel.
Use the tip of a round nose pliers to finish the curl, making a loose
spiral, mirroring the spiral on the untwisted wire behind it.
Step 23: Make adjustments in the spirals so that they sit on top of each
other and mirror each other. Your coin pendant is finished!