Arts & crafts: how to bend wire into a circle

I would like to make a wire mobile that requires me to bend several pieces of (stiff) wire approx three feet long into circles approx. one foot in diameter. My attempt to do it freehand looked uber-crappy. Is there any good way to do this?

Have you tried wrapping it around a form of some sort?

The only way I know of is to find a 12-inch cylinder, like a cake pan or a lamp or one of those big spools and coil the wire around it. Snip through the wires in a straight line, and you’ll have 12 inch circles.

I’m with Wile E. Maybe a cook pot or waste basket would give you the right size? Tapping the wire with a rubber mallet while on your chosen form would might give it a more uniform shape as well.

Thanks all! I’ll see what I can find for a form and give it a try.

Depending on the malleability of your wire (and you do say it’s pretty stiff), you might have to experiment with forms that are a little SMALLER than the finished size, if the wire tends to spring back after forming.

Scarlett, jewelry wireworker

Ooh! I don’t want to hijack this, so I am going to start a new thread. I have some quick questions about this.

I tried using a round form, but no luck! The wire (I’m using coat hanger wire) is springy enough that I can’t get it to follow a form closely. Worse, it quickly acquires bends and kinks off the plane of the circle I’m trying to make, and it won’t flatten. At this point it would probably be easier just to buy wire hoops from somewhere.

What you need is a small version of a pipe or tubing bender. The manual typrs look like a side view of an umbrella. You could probably fake one by running the wire over a curved form like a wine bottle. You are trying to get a contatnt bend in the wire, and you can repeat the application until you get the degree of bend you want.