I’m constantly searching for new jewelry tools. Tools to form the wire, hammer it, texturize it, etc… The cost of these tools can really add up after time. I’ve been using household items: wooden spoons, pill bottles, knitting needles, and anything else I can find to give me the shape and size that I want. I own mandrels: round, oval, square; bezels: oval and square, jump ring formers, etc…..but sometimes these items don’t give me what I'm looking for, I seem to always turn to my wooden spoons and knitting needles. It’s difficult to form consistently evenly formed rings around them though, due to not be able to pull the wire tight. Which then lends itself to much fiddling to get them even in the end. Really, who’s got that kind of time? Not me…so I was thinking that I needed a couple of different size dowel rods and I would be set. I picked up a tube of six different size dowel rods (50 dowels total) from Michael’s for $9.99, got a good deal because I had a 40% off coupon. Today, I cut them in half and then drilled holes in them. The smallest dowel is missing, too tiny to drill, but that’s fine I have a jump ring tool the same size!
Just insert the wire into the hole and start winding it around. The hole provides the support to really pull the wire tight and get consistently even rings. There you have it, your own homemade ring mandrels for less than two dollars.