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Working with Ring Shanks

January 4th, 2012 · 20 Comments

Design professional jewelry with personal style with our collection of ring shanks! The ring shank is the term for the band part of a ring, and these flat ring shanks and hollow tubes are a quick and easy way to create one-of-a-kind ring designs. Each flat shank is made from pre-measured, textured, flat wire, with pre-drilled holes, while the ring tubes are pre-measured, hollow and easy to feed sterling or gold-filled wire through. Though there are limitless ways to embellish these ring shanks, we will show you one quick way to get you started for each type.

Hollow Ring Shank Idea

Step One:
If you’re working with a hollow tube shank, you must first choose your wire. We used a 22 gauge sterling silver wire. Depending on the beads and components you want to work with, your size may vary. However, be sure to choose a wire that is size 20 gauge or smaller. Feed the wire through one end of the tube until it comes out the other side of the tube to expose both ends of the wire.

Step Two:
String your bead onto one end of the wire. Pass the other end of the wire through the opposite hole in the bead.

Step Three:
Create a wire wrap on both sides of your bead. You may want to keep your ring on a mandrel at this point to keep from misshaping it. Once your wire wraps are complete, cut excess wire, and enjoy your creation!

Flat Ring Shank Idea

Step One:
To use a flat ring shank, first use your fingers to bend the shank around a ring mandrel at the appropriate size. You can roll the mandrel with the ring shank attached on a hard, non-marring surface to help get the shank perfectly round.

Step Two:
Once the ring shank has been bent to size, it is ready to embellish. For our design we decided to use our chain nose pliers to make a bend just under the pre-drilled holes in the shank. Your shank ends should now be pointing up.

Step Three:
Cut a piece of wire to the appropriate size. We used a one inch piece for our particular design.

Step Four:
Finish one end of the wire. We finished ours with a small loop. Then, trim any excess wire.

Step Five:
Pass the open end of the wire through the small hole on one side of the shank, then through the bead, and then through the hole on the opposite side of the shank.

Step Six:
Finish the open end of the wire with a loop. You may want to finish your ring while it’s on the ring mandrel to keep from misshaping it. Then, trim any excess wire.

You’re now ready to show off your fun new design! Make unique rings for friends and family that will look like professional pieces by incorporating your favorite colors and components.


Tags: Ask The Experts · Beader's Resource · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

20 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Glenda Bollivar // Jan 5, 2012 at 4:55 am

    These are beautiful. I can imagine so many possibilities! Great for non-metalworkers like me!

  • 2 Ashley // Jan 5, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Instead of making a wrapped loop on the first example, do you think you could use a small memory wire end cap?

  • 3 Taina // Jan 5, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Great easy designs. I haven’t attempted making rings before. Maybe I will try some this year.

  • 4 Shanti // Jan 5, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    What size bead should we use for the first ring example?

  • 5 Cindy // Jan 6, 2012 at 4:37 am

    What great ideas! These rings are very pretty! I too wonder what size bead should be used on the first ring example? Thanks!

  • 6 sonia drapeau // Jan 6, 2012 at 5:58 am

    That is KOOL!!

  • 7 Teri // Jan 6, 2012 at 6:44 am

    For Ashley: You can use jewelry wire and a 2mm crimp tube, it will fit inside the tube.

  • 8 Marissa // Jan 6, 2012 at 8:48 am

    For Shanti and Cindy-

    Depending on your particular design and how you finish your ring, it will slightly vary as to what will fit. As a good rule of thumb, though, it’s best to work with beads 8mm and smaller.

  • 9 Amy // Jan 6, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Ashley: Whether or not you can use the memory wire end caps really depends on several factors.The biggest being if you can get the end caps to stay on the sterling wire? I would not try to use the memory wire with the ring tube as the ring tube is delicate and the memory wire is too stiff. If the pull of the wire isn’t too much for the end caps to bear, then they may work well. I might add some Epoxy to the end caps to secure a hold if I were to use them.There are endless possibilities when using these ring shanks so have fun, be creative and experiment, experiment, experiment!!

  • 10 Brenda // Jan 8, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Oh how gorgeous! I’m going to have to try these! Thank you so much!

  • 11 Cathy // Jan 10, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Fun and pretty! I want to try this!

  • 12 Janet Williams // Jan 10, 2012 at 8:31 am


  • 13 Carol Rozich // Jan 10, 2012 at 8:41 am

    This is yet another reason why I LOVE ArtBeads, you always show us how to use the latest things on the market. Is that red heart bead a Swarovski bead? It looks bigger than 8mm. Thank You!

  • 14 Annette // Jan 10, 2012 at 9:42 am

    can’t wait to give it a try….just love rings….

  • 15 Mary // Jan 10, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Great idea but how about some larger sizes like 8 & 9.

  • 16 Marissa // Jan 10, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Thanks for the feedback, Mary. Right now we carry size 6 and 7 rings, but hope to add new sizes to our collection!

  • 17 Marissa // Jan 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Hi Carol!

    That red heart bead IS a Swarovski! It’s an 8mm 5742 heart bead in the color Siam. Here’s a link to that particular product:

  • 18 Vivianne // Jan 10, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Great new products and ideas! I really wish you’d have smaller sizes though, I never find rings small enough for my fingers, which are size 4 to 5…

  • 19 Marissa // Jan 10, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Hi Vivianne-

    I’ll pass your suggestion along to our purchasing team!

  • 20 Amy // Jan 11, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Vivianne- I was able to create a size 4 ring using the flat ring shank. I used a size 6 flat ring shank and I chose a 6mm bead.I created a loop on one side of my wire and fed it through one side of the shank, then through the bead and then through the other side of the shank. When I was making the final loop I gently squeezed the sides of the shank so it would be tight. This made a very nice size 4 ring. I would not try this with the tube shanks as the tube may kink.

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