01 of 09
Forget-Me-Knot Bow Pendant Tutorial
Gifts wrapped with shiny paper and glittering bows are the essence of all of life's celebrations, so why not keep those memories alive by making keepsake wire bow jewelry? It's a perfect way to thank your bridal party or commemorate an event like graduation.
Of course, every day is special, so you don't need an event to celebrate, just choose some jewelry wire and pick up a few basic wire jewelry tools. The projects pictured use 20 gauge soft wire made of either red brass (gold colored) or twisted sterling silver wire.Continue to 2 of 9 below.
02 of 09
Using a Template to Shape Wire
Making a wire bow can be a lot like making a ribbon bow–it can turn out larger than you expected or the sides are slightly uneven. One way to make the process easier is to make a paper template to guide your wire bending. Finding a simple line drawing on the internet and re-sizing it can help you envision your finished project.Continue to 3 of 9 below.
03 of 09
Starting the Wire Bow
The finished wire bows in this tutorial are between 5/8" and 3/4" wide (15-20mm). To make bows of this size, start with a piece of wire 3" long. To make a larger bow, cut a longer piece of wire.
Mark the center of the wire by making a slight bend. This makes it easy to find the center with your pliers and does not affect the finished shape of the bow very much. It can make the sides of your bow tilt up if you make a deeper bend, so experiment to discover what you like best.Continue to 4 of 9 below.
04 of 09
Wrap the First Side of the Bow
To make the bow, we like to use a special type of pliers called bail making pliers or step pliers. They are similar tools because both have consistently sized round plier jaws instead of the cone-shaped jaws of round nosed pliers. Step pliers have multiple sizes on each side of the pliers (usually three sections of different sizes, sometimes on both sides) while the bail making pliers typically have a different sized round barrel on each side (two sizes total).
Using the pliers of your choice, make a loop as shown in the picture.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
Make the Second Loop of the Bow
Grasp the wire on the other side and make another loop. If the wire from the first loop is on the front side of the center bend, pull the wire around the back on this loop. This will make your bow sit evenly.
To make even loops, you may need to place your pliers a little more off the center than you did for the first loop.Continue to 6 of 9 below.
06 of 09
Adjust the Bow Shape
Now you have a basic bow shape. It is time to make adjustments like you would with a normal ribbon bow. You can adjust the sizes or angles of the loops or how the wires overlap in the center.
To make the bow more ribbon-like, you can curl the wire ends. Make sure you flush cut the wire ends and file them smooth so they don't scratch or get caught on clothing. An old nail file is perfect for this!
You can also hammer the sides of the bow and the ends. Hammering makes the ends flare as a real bow does.Continue to 7 of 9 below.
07 of 09
Hammered Bow Necklace
The bow pendant pictured is hammered on the ends and loops. To hammer jewelry, you will need a hard, smooth surface and a smooth ball pein hammer. Tap lightly on the edges until the wire flattens. The wire will harden as you hammer, which helps the pendant keep its shape. You can lightly hammer the center where the wires overlap, but if you hammer this area too much, the wire can get weak and break.
Use jump rings to add a chain.Continue to 8 of 9 below.
08 of 09
Bow Charm Necklace
Your wire bow can be used in a variety of ways. Add a jump ring to one loop to make a charm.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
Variety of DIY Bow Necklaces
Some other ideas to make your bow necklace stand out is to add a loop on the end for a bead dangle. Make the bow sparkle by using twisted wire, which will catch the light more. The chain can also be customized to your needs, by using a doubled thin chain or even making a wire wrapped chain to match a special outfit–like a bridesmaid dress!