Easy-Peasy Wire Wrapped Pendant!
40 Days, 7 Hours 10 Minutes, and Counting
I couldn't believe it when I saw that headline! Only 40 days left until Christmas?
Oh, my God! We still have Halloween candy in the house!
Our American neighbours haven't even celebrated Thanksgiving yet, and the push is on for Christmas shopping.
Color me guilty!
Color me guilty - I am now totally focused on Christmas.
I mean no disrespect, and I certainly am not overly commercially minded. I just like everything that goes with this holiday.
The ceremony, the meaning behind Christmas, the sparkling lights, and the music, shiny wrapping paper, the thought that goes into finding that special gift, the holiday spirit, good will and selfless actions.
I love the beautiful decorations, the hustle and bustle, fresh snow, caroling, the shoppers, the food - oh the food - chocolate treats and candy canes, and the look of wonder on children's faces.
A few of my favorite things
Wrapped up with all these wonderful sights and sounds, is the fun - yes, I did say that - the fun of shopping! I love all the pretty sparklies! However, I know that not everyone feels the same way I do when it comes to Christmas shopping. It isn't easy coming up with that special something, for that special someone...And do it without breaking the bank.
After all, not everyone has a lot of cash to spend on gift giving. I know many times, I didn't have any extra money for gifts for my family, and I really wanted to see the looks on their faces when they opened up their presents Christmas day, so I started making gifts. As I grew older, and gathered more experience with my creative abilities, I realized that I had a talent for making pretty sparklies. (Not that my father wears 'pretty sparklies'...)
These are pieces of my own creation, that I have been selling at craft shows, and occasionally online for several years now. All of them are original, one-of-a-kind, artistic creations in sterling silver and 14k r.gold varying in price from $20.00 to $45.00.
Individually, these pieces stand out, and show beautiful workmanship (if I do say so myself...) that any woman would be proud to wear. Each one is individual in design, and carefully crafted to last for years to come.
I don't want my readers to get the impression that I am only writing this to promote sales. I will be honest though - if this hub generates interest in my wares, I won't turn them down! However, I find that my designs show better in person than in pictures. So for that reason, I like to book a couple of Christmas craft shows and ply my wares there...
I am writing this to show that there is beautiful jewellery that any woman would love to own, for a fraction of the cost of big jewellery stores. The pieces pictured here are all made with 14k and sterling silver wire, and best of all, no one else will have a piece like it! They are as individual as the women who wear them.
Your own creations
Have you ever considered, not only purchasing hand crafted gifts, but making them? I realize that a lot of readers have already given, or intend to give, hand made presents, and some have even crafted many gifts already.
However, few people have considered making a beautiful piece of jewellery (that will have more value because you crafted it,) because they think it's too difficult. Even though this is possibly shooting myself in the foot, I can honestly say, making wire wrapped jewellery isn't as difficult as it looks, and I will show you a simple way to make an elegantly beautiful pendant that will thrill and surprise that lucky someone...as long as you agree not to put me out of business! Just kidding!
Step one, selecting your 'ingredients'
Making a classy piece of jewellery is very much like preparing a great dinner...they both begin with the right ingredients!
The first thing you need is a nice gauge of wire. It can be copper, silver, colored or 14k. Since I have been working with wire for quite a few years, I feel confident using 14k. and will be using it for this tutorial. However, for your first attempt, I would suggest either copper or sterling silver. Neither is very expensive, and both are precious metals.
I prefer to use square wire as I believe it adds more definition to the finished piece, however, don't be discouraged if you only have round wire at your disposal. The reason I prefer square is because the edges catch the light and give it more sparkle, but I have made many pendants with round wire that were just as successful, and my customers were thrilled with them!
The next ingredient is the stone. In previous hubs, I have shown you how to wrap cabochons and gemstones. For this example, I am giving you my easy, peasy, always stunning, secret tip...a drilled, (meaning a hole runs through it,) stone.
You can find many beautiful glass beads, or gemstones, like citrine, jade, hematite, (Alaskan black diamond) or agates in the most unlikely places. Or if you prefer, you can simply purchase one at a rock and gem store. Either way, make sure you find one with a well drilled hole in it.
Step two, cooking...or putting the pieces together
Now that you have got your ingredients, it's time to start cooking! The first thing you need to make is the bail. This is the part of the pendant that suspends it from the chain, and is one of the most important features.
All you need to make a great looking bail is a round pencil, or for those men brave enough to tackle this task, a large nail.
Cut a length of wire no less than 6 inches long.
Grasp the cut wire approximately in the middle - it doesn't have to be exact, and is generally better if one side is longer than the other - and wrap it around the pencil (or nail) twice.
Once you have completed two revolutions, twist the wire together just under the pencil, two or three times - just like twist tying a bread bag closed.
Grasp the pencil in one hand while holding the wire together in the other and twist the pencil - easy-peasy!
Remove the pencil, and you have a perfect bail!
The images to the right show each step. You can click on the images to view the full size picture in case you need a better look.
Next, take one of the wire ends and make a small loop over top of the twist.
This helps to disguise the 'behind the scenes' work and the eye focuses on the design instead.
*note to beginners* All the free-form twisting can be done with your fingers, however, the closing loops that anchor the wires together need to be done with pliers. The ends are too small and too hard to twist with your hands.
Take the other wire and thread your stone all the way up to the twist.
Bend the wire that is through the stone, towards the top.
This anchors the stone so it won't fall off.
If there isn't enough wire to wrap around the stone, make a loop.
If there is enough wire, wrap it around the back of the stone, and attach it in the front by sliding the free end underneath the part that is wrapping around the back and fasten it with a nice loop.
Your finished project
All that is left to do is the finishing.
* note for beginners* use the natural curve of the wire after making the initial loop to cover the twists under the bail instead of forcing the wire into an unnatural pattern. If you look at the earlier pictures, you can see the wire is already curving underhand to the right. I have merely continued curving it in the direction it was already going.
Twist the loose wire into a pattern of your choice - being careful not to kink the wire, and either fasten it to the lower wire (that holds the stone in place) or leave it free-form.
The images on the right show each stage - notice how I have bent the wire into a curve, or half loop.
There is enough wire to make another semi-loop (to make the piece a bit more appealing,) and I have slipped the end of the top wire underneath the anchored bottom wire in preparation of making the final loop to join the two wires. All you need to do is slip the top wire (the one with the swirls,) underneath the bottom wire, and grab the end with small pliers, pull it through just enough to curl it over so it forms a loop and voila!
I prefer to fasten it as this gives the piece a more anchored feel.
It also keeps the wire in place so the design doesn't move when being
Either will look wonderful and the recipient of your creation will be amazed at your creative abilities! Remember now, you promised not to put me out of business!