Many people collect interesting little stones, seashells, sea glass, and similar items as souvenirs from trips. Instead of letting them collect dust in a bowl or forgetting about them in a drawer, you can make a nice piece of jewelry out of these items. This project provides step-by-step instructions to use wire to wrap a simple pendant—in this case, a polished stone—that you can add to a necklace, charm bracelet, or another jewelry type. A good stone for the wire-wrapping technique is wider around the middle than it is at the ends. You can wrap small or large stones, and it's OK if they're slightly irregular in shape. That just makes the jewelry more interesting. This wire-wrapped pendant necklace is a fairly quick and easy project. And it makes for a great personalized gift, especially if you use a pendant that is meaningful to the recipient.
One of the best places to find wire for your jewelry projects is your local hardware store. Copper, steel, and aluminum wires are great options for wire-wrapped pendants. You often can find them in the electrical or picture-hanging sections of the store.
Equipment / Tools
- Wire cutters
- Round nose pliers
- 24-gauge wire
- Stone or other pendant material
- Necklace chain
Cut the Wire
Cut two pieces of 24-gauge wire each at least 5 inches long. The exact amount of wire will depend on the size of your stone. The stone in this tutorial is a little over 1/2 inch wide by 1 inch tall. For a heavier stone, you might want to use 22-gauge wire, which is a little thicker.
Twist the Wires Together for 1 Side
At their center points, cross the two wires and twist them together (as shown in the photo below). For the twist, use your thumb and index finger to hold both wires near the intersection, and twist your wrist. You want both wires to twist around each other, not for one wire to wrap around the other in a coil.
This twist will form one side of the pendant. Twisting takes a little practice to come out evenly, though nothing has to be perfect for these types of pendants. They are very freeform and natural.
Align the Wire on the Stone
Hold the section of twisted wire along the side of the stone, and place the stone between the two wires (as shown in the photo below). Make sure the wires sit beneath a wide point of the stone, so it can't slip out. You might have to add or subtract some side twists to get the wire to sit in a secure spot.
Twist the Wire to Form the Basket Base
Twist the wire on the other side of the stone just enough to secure it.
Finish the Wire Twists for the Other Side
Finish twisting the wire until this side is the same length as the other side (or an appropriate length to line up with this side of the stone if the stone has uneven sides). It is typically easier to make even twists if you temporarily remove the stone.
Now you have formed a wire basket for your stone. Check the stone's fit. The wire twists should go up each side, and the stone shouldn't slip through the base.
Secure the Stone
Holding the stone in place, take one wire from each side and bend each pair together in the front and the back.
Twist the Wires Together
Twist the pairs of wires together on the front and the back to secure the stone. Twist up at least an inch with each pair. This extra twisted wire will be used to hang the pendant.
Secure the Wires
Bend one of the twisted wires at roughly a 90-degree angle, and wrap it around the other twisted wires at least two times. This will help to tighten the wires around the stone.
Trim the Ends
Trim the end of the wire you just twisted in a spot on the side or back of the pendant, so it will be out of sight.
Make a Wrapped Loop
Use your round nose pliers to form the loop for the top of the pendant. Wrap the twisted wire extending from the top of the pendant around one side of the pliers as close to the top of the pendant as possible. Then, take the twisted wire and wrap it twice around the base of that loop in the spot where you already wrapped the other length of twisted wire. Trim the end in a spot on the back where it won't be as visible.
Adjust the Wires and Add a Chain
Adjust the wires to make sure the stone is secure. If any of the wires have loosened during the wrapping process, you can use your round nose pliers to tighten them. Just grasp one of the single wires (not a twisted piece) between the jaws, and give a slight twist with the pliers. The motion will add a small kink to the wire, which will tighten the wire around the stone.
Finally, add your necklace chain through the wire loop you created, and try on your new pendant jewelry.