Craft Wire Comparison Chart

AWG and Metric Gauge

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Craft wire is used in many rubber stamping and papercraft projects. There are many different types of craft wire available. You will find craft wire for sale in your local craft store as well as a wide variety of different types for sale online.

Craft Wire Gauge

The gauge is the diameter of the wire. It is noted as American Wire Gauge (AWG), which has a metric equivalent in square millimeters (noted as mm). In most projects, the precise gauge of wire doesn't really matter. When you look at the chart below, you will see that there are tiny increments in the width of different gauge wires. The difference between an AWG 22 and AWG 24 gauge is a minuscule 0.1 mm. If you are doing precision work then that 0.1 mm could make all the difference, however, in most general craft projects slight variations won't matter at all.

Most craft wire is sold by gauge. The list below is a guide to the popular wire gauge sizes in AWG with the metric equivalent. These are the thicknesses that are most likely to be used in general craft projects.

Craft Wire Comparison Chart

  • 12 AWG = 2 mm
  • 13 AWG = 1.8 mm
  • 14 AWG = 1.6 mm
  • 15 AWG = 1.4 mm
  • 16 AWG = 1.3 mm
  • 17 AWG = 1.1 mm
  • 18 AWG = 1 mm
  • 19 AWG = 0.9 mm
  • 20 AWG = 0.8 mm
  • 21 AWG = 0.7 mm
  • 22 AWG = 0.6 mm
  • 24 AWG = 0.5 mm
  • 26 AWG = 0.4 mm
  • 28 AWG = 0.3 mm
  • 32 AWG = 0.2 mm

Tools for Using Craft Wire

Little in the way of special equipment is required to use craft wire, however, a pair of pliers and wire cutters are useful. There are many other tools that might be useful if you start to do a lot of wire work, including a wire jig that can be used to make wire shapes for embellishments. However, if you are simply using a little bit of craft wire to add texture or interest to a rubber stamping project then just the basic tools will be fine.

Craft Wire Uses

Craft wire is often brightly colored with a metallic sheen and this catches the light adding decoration to your project. Craft wire can be used to add an embellishment to a handmade made greeting card, as part of a jewelry project using shrink plastic or polymer clay, to attach elements of a card or scrapbooking project together, or in a vast number of other ways.

Try rolling some craft wire around the end of a pencil to create a small wire wreath to add to a project. You can also make curls in this way, winding the wire around a thin knitting needle or pencil to create even curls.

You can use craft wire to stitch around the edge of a card to add both a design feature and extra support to the card.

Tips

  • Craft wire works out cheaper when it is bought in bulk. Consider buying larger pack sizes of a popular color and size which can be used in many projects. For instance, buy a 2-ounce reel of 0.6 mm (22 AWG) in a silver color which can be used in a wide variety of ways.
  • If a project calls for a thick wire, and you only have thin wires, try doubling the wire.