Learning how to use wire with scrapbooking can be a great way to add spice to your layouts. Many of the techniques used to incorporate wire into scrapbook pages are also suitable for making handmade jewelry.
Although you can purchase wire that is marketed as specifically for scrapbooking, this product is really no different than the wire used for other types of crafts. Craft wire is available in a variety of different colors. Wire is generally sold in spools and measured by a gauge number that indicates the thickness of the wire. For scrapbooking, 22, 24 or 26-gauge wire is the best choice.
To keep the blades of your regular scrapbooking scissors in top condition, you'll want to invest in a pair of wire cutters to use for adding wire to your layouts. Nylon jaw pliers are useful for smoothing the wire before working with it. Round-nose jeweler's pliers can be used to curl wire strips and form intricate details for your handmade scrapbook embellishments.
A wire jig is a tool that is used to make elaborate wire designs that have a uniform shape. For example, jewelry artists often use this tool to create the links in a bracelet or necklace. A jig is not strictly necessary for learning how to use wire with scrapbooking. However, it may be useful if you prefer layouts with a clean, uniform appearance. Wire designs created using freeform shaping techniques tend to have a much more organic look.
How to Use Wire with Scrapbooking
Like many other types scrapbook supplies, wire allows for great creativity on your layouts. Learning how to use wire with scrapbooking requires a bit of experimentation, so it may be best to start with bookmarks, tags, handmade cards, or other small projects before attempting to design wire embellishments for a layout.
Adding Beads to Scrapbook Pages
One of the easiest ways to use wire with scrapbooking is to string beads onto your pages. Slip the beads onto the wire, then poke a small hole in your page to attach the strand to the layout for a fun and sparkly border. However, this technique will work best if you select beads that are fairly thin and flat. Thick or bulky beads will create awkward bumps when placed in a page protector.
Freeform Page Borders
If you like layouts with a funky and eclectic look, try twisting and bending strands of colored wire to create a freeform page border. Craft wire is very easy to shape into whatever design you like. When you're finished, use a small drop of liquid adhesive to attach the embellishment to your page.
Writing with Wire
Writing with wire is a fun way to add a unique title treatment to your layout. Using a favorite computer font as a guide, shape the wire by hand until you've created the necessary words.
Anchor letters to the page with small U-shaped pins. If you're worried about damaging photos and other memorabilia on your layout, attach the wire letters to a piece of cardstock instead of adding them directly to the background paper.
Make a Memorabilia Holder
Since it's very sturdy, wire can be used to make a holder for tickets, programs, brochures, maps, and other memorabilia. Simply set a row of eyelets across your page, then run wire through the holes. When you're finished, tuck your mementos underneath the wire.
Make Your Own Shaped Clips
Decorative paper clips featuring designs such as swirls, squares, hearts, and stars have been popular scrapbooking embellishments for several years. However, it's easy to make your own clips when you have access to a spool of colored wire. Using a purchased clip as a template, simply use your pliers to shape and mold the wire into the desired format.