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How to create a wirework pendant by Angela Finch

This is a great next step for those who made the wire fastening in the 3 strand weave project. Learn the basics of wire weaving, and make a pretty pendant. Do you have a bead that you love in your stash that’s too pretty to use? Then it is perfect for this project.

  • Beading and Jewelry
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner

Tools and materials required

  • 1mm silver plated copper wire
  • 0.4mm silver plated copper wire
  • A nice bead (1.5 cm long)
  • 1 silver colour headpin
  • Flush cutter pliers
  • Flat Nose pliers
  • Round Nose Pliers

Instructions

Cut 2 lengths of 12 inches (30.5 cm) of the 1mm wire. Now wrap around one wire with the 0.4mm wire 3 times. Keep the 0.4mm wire on the reel (if possible during wire weaving always keep the wire on the reel). Move the wrap about a quarter of the way along the 1mm wire. Use your nails to make sure the wraps are together.

1

Add the 2nd piece of 1mm wire. Wrap the 0.4mm wire around both wires twice, again use your nails to make sure the wires stay together. Now wrap the wire 3 times on the bottom wire. This is called the ‘3 2 weave’, and is one of the most useful weaves to learn.

2

Carry on weaving the same pattern for 3 inches, or count up to 30 of the double wraps. The weave should be in the middle of the 2 wires, if not gently move it along. Use your nails or pliers to make sure the weave is tight and even. If you are having difficulty with this weave, practice until you are happy with the results. It takes time to learn the correct tensions.

3

Cut the excess 0.4mm wire off the ends of the weave with the flush cutters. (Flush cutters enable you to get really close to the wires to cut, and are easier to use with wire work) Then use flat nose pliers to secure the 0.4mm wire against the 1mm wire. This may have to be done a couple of times so that there is no rough feeling to the ends.

4

Curve the weaved bit with your fingers into a U shape. Use the flat nose pliers to make sure the weave is flat. At this point check that the bead will fit in the middle of the U shape, and change the shape accordingly.

5

Bend the 2 left wires around the right wires like in the photograph.

6

Now continue to wrap the 2 left hand wires around the right wires like in the photograph.

7

Create a loop using one of the current left hand wires with round nose pliers. Make sure it lies in the middle of the pendant.

8

Wrap the wire that was used for the loop around the middle of the top of the pendant. Use the flat nose pliers to make sure the loop stays in the middle.

9

Add the bead to a headpin, bend the headpin at the top of the bead, and then make a loop near the top of the bead with round nose pliers.

10

Add the loop to the loop in the pendant, this can be a bit fiddly.

11

Hold the top of the loop on the headpin with the flat nose pliers. Wrap the end of the headpin around the base of the loop. Use flush cutter pliers to cut off the excess. Then use the flat nose pliers to squeeze the end, so that there are no rough bits. This is called a wrapped loop.

12

Choose 2 wires that will make up the pendant bail. Move them so that they are facing upwards together.

13

Individually wrap the 2 wires that aren’t to be used for the bail around the wires like in the photograph.

14

Wrap a couple of loops of the 0.4mm around one of the wires being used for the bail.

15

Now time for a new weave. (The photographs are just to help illustrate the weave that will be used on the bail) Wrap the wire over the bottom 1mm wire and then under the top wire. Wrap an extra loop around the top wire to keep it secure. You can use your nails to make sure the tension is right.

16

Now taking the 0.4mm wire go over the top wire and under the bottom wire. Wrap an extra loop on the bottom wire. When weaving think ‘over under’ to help, if you make a mistake you can unwrap it. I would recommend practising this weave before doing the bail if you have not done this weave before. It is a variation on the ‘figure of eight weave’.

17

Continue weaving until you get a length that you are happy with, it all depends on how wide and tall a bail you want. In this pendant, it is a couple of cm long. Cut off the excess wire with flush cutters and use the flat nose pliers to secure it.

18

Bend the bail around the round nose pliers, so the weave section is all the way around the bail.

19

Bend one wire at the end of the bail and then wrap it around the base to secure it.

20

Do the same with the other wire but the opposite way.

21

Make the 2 shorter wires face the same way. Cut them with the flush cutters so that they are both the same length. Create a small loop on the end of one with the round nose pliers.

22

Now use the flat nose pliers to hold the loop and move the wire in a circular motion. A swirl is being created. Do the same with the other short wire, and create another swirl.

23

Move the swirls so that they are close to the bail. One swirl may need to be turned the other way using the flat nose pliers.

24

Cut the two remaining wires so that they are just long enough to thread into the bail. Use flat nose pliers to place them into the bail. Then squeeze the wires flat so that the inside of the bail is not rough.

25

The pendant is now finished. All that is needed is to put it onto a necklace.

26