Make a wire wrapped pendant using an easy wire jewelry making technique. See step by step how to wire wrap a gemstone!
The bead in this wire wrap tutorial is called an amethyst point, or amethyst crystal.
It is in the rough, unpolished and has no hole. It's straight from Mother Nature!
You will usually find these more natural gemstones at bead shows vs. your local bead shop.
Online bead stores are a great source too.
For this type of wire wrapping, use a roundish bead. It does not have to have a hole in it.
Flat beads and cabochons will require more wraps (you will see exactly what a wrap is later).
With these wire jewelry making instructions, the wrapped wires will cage the bead or gemstone.
The pendant might look flimsy or unsound, but when you have finished it you will see just how sound your jewelry is!
1. Using a ruler, measure the length of your bead and note the measurement.
Multiply the measurement by 4. My bead is 3 inches (7.6 cm) long, so my final measurement is 12 inches (30.5 cm).
2. Tear off two pieces of blue painter's tape from the roll and
temporarily tape them to your work surface.
Using the wire cutters, cut two lengths of the 22 gauge round wire measuring the length of your final measurement (I cut two 12 inch (30.5 cm) lengths of wire).
Clean and straighten both wires by pulling them through a jeweler's polishing cloth (not pictured).
With both wires side by side with the ends even with one another, use the torn tape lengths to tape the wires together. (This will temporarily hold them together while you to wire wrap them.)
With the marker pen, mark the center of both wires.
Using the wire cutters, cut one 3 inch (7.6 cm) length of 20 gauge half round
half hard wire. This is the wrapping wire.
With the flat side of the wire facing you, use the chain nose pliers to make a 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) bend, towards you and at a slight angle, in one end of the wire. This makes a hook in the wire.
The flat sides of the wire should face one another.
Pick up the taped wires at their center between your fore finger and thumb.
Place the hook of the half round wire slightly to the right of the center mark on the two round wires.
5. Holding the long end and the tail of the half round wire hook, use the tip of the chain nose pliers to squeeze the bend of the hook against the round wires. This sets or secures the wrapping wire.
6. Bend the long end of the half round wire up over the two round wires. You have created one wire wrap.
7. Bend the long end of the half round wire down and behind the two round wires.
Continue to repeat Steps 6 and 7 until you have made three (3) to five (5) complete wire
wraps around the round wires (I made five (5) wire wraps). After making one or
two wire wraps, secure the wraps against the round wires as in Step 5.
The front of the wrap (as pictured below) will be the side where the half round wrapping wire is not cut.
9. On the back side of the wire wrap, use the wire cutters to cut the excess half round wire. Cut the wire about half way behind the round wires so that the ends will not be seen from the front side of the wire wrap.
10. With the wire wrap at the bottom center of your bead use your fingers to gently shape the wires around the bottom, along the sides and to the top of the bead.
11. Use the chain nose pliers to secure all the wraps against the round wires.
12. Slide the chain nose pliers in between the round wires where they meet the wire wrap and spread the wires apart.
Spreading the wires apart begins to create the cage for the bead.
With its bottom center resting against the wire wrap, place your bead or gemstone inside the cage.
Gather all four of the wires around the bead so that it is encased within them and so that the wires meet at the top of the bead. Hold all four wires between your forefinger and thumb (like you are pinching the wires).
14. Decide which side will be the front of the pendant. Locate the wire that is in front of all the wires and with your fingers bend it downward at a 45 degree angle.
15. Use your fingers or the chain nose pliers to wrap the bent wire around the other three wires where they all meet or cross one another.
Continue wrapping the wire around the other three to secure them. End the wrapping at the back of the pendant.
Using the chain nose pliers, tuck the wire into the wraps (not pictured).
Make sure that the wires are evenly spread around the beads. Now we need to
tighten the wires that encase the bead.
On one of wires, about halfway up the wire, place the jaws of the round nose pliers on either side of the wire. Now, rotate the pliers, making a double bend in the wire.
Repeat on the other three wires, making one or two double bends in each wire.
When you're done, shake the bead to make sure it cannot fall out of the wires.
Now decorate two of the top wires. Almost anything is possible. Try making a
few different bends, curls or twists in the wire.
I decided to loosely coil the top wires around an ink pen.
Gently untighten the coil by pulling the end of the wire downward.
Using the round nose pliers, make a simple wire loop on the end of the coil.
20. Repeat Steps 18 and 19 on a second top wire.
The third top wire becomes the bail. Coil it tightly around the ink pen, making
at least two wire coils. The end of the wire should fall in front of the pendant.
Make a simple wire loop on the wire end.
Here's how the wire coils/spirals/bends should look.
Make any necessary adjustments to the wires along the sides of the gemstones and the two that fall in front of pendant.
Make sure that the wires tightly secure the bead.
The wire wrap at the bottom of the pendant may no longer be at the center of the bead. That's okay...Afterall this is handcrafted jewelry!
On each of the three head pins, string a 6mm bead. Make a
simple wire loop on the end of each head pin.
Attach one head pin bead unit to each of the simple wire loops on the wire wrapped pendant.
Now hang your handcrafted wire wrap pendant from your favorite chain or strand of beads.
Enjoy wire wrapping your own gemstone to make a wire wrapped pendant!
Here's a wire wrapped bead necklace design idea for you to try.