How to Make a Wire-Wrapped Stone Pendant Necklace

Wire-wrapped stone pendant necklace

The Spruce / Lisa Yang

Overview
  • Total Time: 60 mins
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $5 (plus the cost of the necklace chain)

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.

Tip

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.

Assorted polished stones
The Spruce / Lisa Yang

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Wire cutters
  • Round nose pliers

Materials

  • 24-gauge wire
  • Stone or other pendant material
  • Necklace chain

Instructions

  1. 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. 

    Materials for wire-wrapped stone
    The Spruce / Lisa Yang
  2. 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.

    Wires twisted
    The Spruce / Lisa Yang
  3. 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.

    Sizing wires to stone
    The Spruce / Lisa Yang
  4. Twist the Wire to Form the Basket Base

    Twist the wire on the other side of the stone just enough to secure it.

    Twisting wires around stone
    The Spruce / Lisa Yang
  5. 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.

    Making wire basket
    The Spruce / Lisa Yang
  6. 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.

    Crossing wires to front of stone
    The Spruce / Lisa Yang
  7. 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.

    Twisting front wires
    The Spruce / Lisa Yang
  8. 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.

    Side view of stone and wires
    The Spruce / Lisa Yang
  9. 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.

    Wires wrapped around stone
    The Spruce / Lisa Yang
  10. 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.

    Wrapped wire loop
    The Spruce / Lisa Yang
  11. 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.

    Wire-wrapped polished stone necklace
    The Spruce / Lisa Yang