Last Minute Gift Idea: 10-Minute Wire Pendant Tutorial

You’re headed out the door to this year’s holiday celebration, and it hits you: Did you remember a present for Aunt Silvia? You know, your brother-in-law’s cousin’s mother twice removed?

Don’t worry, we have a quick and easy jewelry solution for your gift-giving needs!

finished pendant

Here’s a quick wire pendant tutorial to get you out with that last minute gift-giving crunch!

Materials

Materials Needed:

  • A decent-sized pendant bead, preferably with a larger hole (Come on, dig through that bead stash! You know you’ve been hoarding a few for “just the right project.”)
  • A length of heavy gauge 1/2-round soft wire twice the length of your bead, plus 2 inches. Use the heaviest wire that will fit through your bead when doubled. Round and square will also work in a pinch. For mine, I’m using 12-gauge, 1/2 round wire.

Tools needed:

stepped round nose pliers

Mandrel to form the loop in the wire.  My personal favorite is the stepped round nose pliers with six different step sizes.

plain stepped mandrel

You can use a plain stepped mandrel, a wooden dowel or large bail making pliers — whatever you have available — though pliers do work best.

You’ll also need flush cutters, regular round nose pliers and a ruler.

grasp the center of the wire

Step 1:

With large round nose or bail pliers, grasp the center of the wire with the flat side of the wire facing away from you.

forming a large U shape

Step 2:

Place your thumb and index finger on the wire on either side of the pliers, and push straight down, forming a large U shape.

pliers on the side of your loop

Step 3:

Loosen the pliers a little so the top jaw of the pliers is now on the side of your loop, and turn the pliers down against the wire. Depending on how heavy your wire is, you will need a bit of force.

what your wire should look like

If you were to slip the wire off the pliers, it should look like this.

 top jaw of the pliers slide to the other side of the loop

Step 4:

Put the wire back on the pliers, let the top jaw of the pliers slide to the other side of the loop and turn the pliers down against the wire.

forming a loop

Step 5:

Your loop should look like this. If your wires aren’t as close as mine, use a pair of flat nose pliers to close the gap between the two sides of the loop.

slide bead on

Step 6:

With the wires close together, slide them into your bead as shown.

trim wire

Step 7:

Gently slide your cutters in between the two ends, and trim one of the wires close to the bead.

angle wire away

Step 8:

Gently angle the remaining wire away from the center a little.

create a small loop

Step 9:

Use round nose pliers to turn a small loop in the wire. The rounded side of the wire should be facing outward.

finished design

Your pendant is finished! This design allows the bead to swivel, so all sides are visible when worn.

Thank you Leslie IronMountain01 and Lisa TouchofGlassDesigns for the killer focal beads used in this tutorial.

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