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Bead and Wire Pendant
This versatile bead and wire pendant is easy to make with a beginner's level wire working skills and tools. It might take a little practice to get it exactly right, and having some special tools will definitely make the project easier, but it is still a great introduction to making wire and bead jewelry. The custom beaded chain also helps make it look more special but is easy to make.Continue to 2 of 10 below.
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Materials and Tools
The pendant design starts by making a basic U-shaped wireframe. We used 20g red brass wire for the frame, but it will work just as well in other metals such as sterling silver, gold-filled, copper or craft wires. Half hard wire will work better than soft wire like copper, but you can always harden the wire by hammering it a little. You can also substitute a slightly thicker wire like 18g if desired.
Also, you will need around eight inches of 26g half hard or soft wire to add the beads to the frame. Soft wire is easier to wrap for a beginner. The amount will depend on the size of the frame. This frame is about one inch in diameter and required just over six inches of wire to add four rows of beads, but we cut it close.
You will also need basic wire working tools like round nose pliers, chain nose pliers, flush cutters and some assorted beads.Continue to 3 of 10 below.
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Attach the Thin Wire to the Frame
Attach the 26g wire to the horseshoe shape wireframe by wrapping it around two or three times. It is easiest to wrap the wires if you start adding the beads from the bottom and go up towards the open side of the frame. That way you can pull the wire through the open gap when you are wrapping around the frame.
Adjust the wraps so they are close together and placed where you want them on the frame. Once you start wrapping on the other side of the frame, you will no longer be able to adjust the placement of the beads as easily.Continue to 4 of 10 below.
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Pick up Beads and Attach Wire on the Other Side
Pick up enough beads to cover the distance across the wireframe. The tutorial uses 11/0 Delica beads for the first row. Make sure there are enough beads to cover the gap but the wire is straight and taut.
Wrap the wire around the frame on the other side two or three times to secure the beads in place. Go across the frame to wrap--not through the middle. If your wire is coming over the front of the frame like in this picture, wrap it over the front of the frame on the other side.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Add a Second Row of Beads
Pick up another row of beads. We used 8/0 Delica beads for the second row. Again, make sure you use enough beads to cover the wire but not so many that the wire will not fit between the frame. Also, keep the wire on the same side of the frame.
In this picture, we have flipped over the frame, so once again my wire wraps are going over the frame.Continue to 6 of 10 below.
06 of 10
Add a Third Row of Beads to the Frame
Add another row of beads to the frame. These are 4mm slightly irregular faceted cats eye beads. It is harder to get the large beads to fit exactly, so we added an 11/0 Delica bead to fill in the extra space. Wrap the wire around the frame to secure the beads in place.
Try not to distort the shape of the frame while you are holding and wrapping.Continue to 7 of 10 below.
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Add a Fourth Row of Beads
Use the wrapping wire to add as many rows of beads as you like. My last row repeats the 11/0 Delicas from the first row.
Wrap the tail around the frame to secure, push the tails close to the frame with chain nose pliers and trim the wire ends with flush cutters.Continue to 8 of 10 below.
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Choosing a Chain for Your Pendant
A nice feature of this design is the open loops on the pendant. You can easily try different chains to see which one you like best.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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Customizing the Chain
If your chain is a little short for the design, you can customize it a little by adding a section of wire wrap bead chain on either side of the pendant.
Wire wrapped bead chain is entirely optional, but it is relatively easy to do and a great way to add a little length to a chain that would otherwise be too short for your design. To make it, you will connect the pendant and chain with wire wrapped loops.Continue to 10 of 10 below.
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Connecting the Chain to the Pendant
Connect the chain to the pendant by twisting the loop open just enough to slide the chain in place. Twist the loop back into place.
Repeat on the other side of the pendant.