Introduction: Copper Wire Wrapped Pendant

This pendant is made with a fused glass teardrop shaped piece, but you could also use a stone or other items of varying sizes and shapes.
The following technique is easily adapted to suit your requirements.

No expensive equipment required.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Materials:
  • glass or stone drop of your choice.  The technique described is suitable for stones of varying sizes and shapes
  • 16 gauge wire. I used pure copper wire for this project, but you could substitute with different wire if you prefer.  I order wire from www.beadaholique.com.  there are also several suppliers on Etsy.
  • 24 gauge wire. This is the thinner wire for wrapping.
  • 2 jump-rings in the same material you used as wire.  You could also make these yourself from the 16 gauge wire.

Tools:
  • Wire-cutter
  • pliers
  • Round-nosed pliers
  • flat-nosed pliers
  • Measuring tape

Optional:
  • Renaissance Wax. This is an anti-tarnish protection wax.  You do not need this if you are using enameled wires or non-tarnish wires.  Pure copper does tarnish, so renaissance wax is recommended to keep your copper clean for longer.  Tarnished items can be easily cleaned with metal-polishes like Brasso or similar.

Step 2: Starting the Copper Frame

  1. Measure around the stone you are using.  The glass drop I am using here measures 8.5cm
  2. Double the result, then add a little extra. That is the length of each piece of 16 gauge copper we will be using.
    8.5cm x2 = 17cm.  I use 20cm per copper piece.
  3. Cut 3 lengths of 16 gauge copper wire, and straighten them out as much as you can.
  4. place them side by side, and mark the centre
  5. Cut a length of the 24 gauge wire (I usually cut about 1 meter, left-over pieces can always be used for another project)
  6. Holding the three lengths of heavier wire together, start winding the thinner wire around them at the center.  Make sure the three wires stay side by side, not bunched together.  wind to a width that would suit the bottom piece of your stone.  In my case I use about 1cm.
  7. Trim the end of the wire and flatten the ends against the thicker wires, making sure both the start and the end of the wrapping wire are on the same side.  This will be the inside of the frame you are building.


Tip for straightening wires from gbroad:

An easy way to get the wires real straight is to roll them on a table top using a flat board. The process is similar to rolling out a piece of clay.

Step 3: Continuing the Frame

Repeat the previous step twice more, on either side of the center piece you just made.
Make sure the beginning and ends of the wrapping wires are all on the same side.

Gently squeeze all three wrapped sections with the pliars to tighten them a little more.

Step 4: Shaping the Frame

Carefully bend your wires around the stone, making sure the wire ends of the wrapped wire are on the inside, against the stone.

Adjust the height of the two wrapped sections on the side to the desired place by carefully sliding them along the wires.  
I tend to put one a little higher than the other, though if you prefer symmetry, this is also good.

Step 5: Shaping the Frame Part 2

Remove the stone from the wires, and carefully pull the top wire on each side inwards.

Put the stone back into place and adjust the wires as necessary.  You may need to push them outward a little.


Step 6:

Remove the stone again, flip over your wires, and do the same on the other side.

The two middle wires on each side will stay where they are.

Put the stone back in  place and adjust all the frame wires until you are happy with their shape.

Step 7: Securing the Frame

Gather the six end wires together at the top, and wrap them tightly with some more 24 gauge wire.  Be sure to tuck the beginning of the wire between the thicker wire, so it will not stick out.

It is easiest to work towards the pendant, rather than away from it.
To finish, wrap the wire around one side of the pendant a few extra times, then trim the wire and tuck it in under the others.

Step 8: Spiral Finish - Front

Bend two wires down over the front of the pendant, and, using the round-nosed plyers, make a small spiral at the end of each one.

Adjust the spiral so one spiral sits neatly below the other.

Step 9: Spiral Finish - Back

Flip the pendant over, and repeat the previous step on the back.

I make my spirals here tighter, to avoid them getting caught on clothes.

Step 10: Finishing Your Pendant

Cut the final two wires shorter (enough to make one single loop with each).

Using the round-nosed pliers, make a single loop with each wire.  I make two loops side by side, but you can also keep them together.

Put a jump-ring through both hoops, and close the jump-ring with your flat-nosed pliers.

Put the second jump-ring through the first (on the back of the pendant), and close it.

This is the jump-ring your chain or ribbon of choice can pass through!


Congratulations on completing your pendant.

Feel free to leave comments below.


Contact www.facebook.com/connemarablueglass if you are interested in purchasing glass drops like the one I used.  We stock them in a range of colours.  The glass used in the instructions is Neo-Lavender.  The first image is Light Turquoise.

Comments

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CreativeBlossom made it! (author)2016-12-13

Beautiful.❤❤

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VicToriYu made it! (author)2016-07-02

I made it but sure not as pretty as that one

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skoamdaskondiajos made it! (author)2015-07-03

i did iit :D
i think it looks good... maybe too many swirls but i like it
anyways, thanks for the tutorial, i've bee wanting to do this for years and it's the best i've found. c:

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Ananke379 made it! (author)Ananke3792015-11-16

thanks for the close up, front view.

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Bella Rose made it! (author)2014-04-27

Beautiful & Easy! Love it! Thanks for sharing!

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cusher1 made it! (author)2014-03-28

THANK YOU! I have been trying to figure out how to wrap a number of irregular shaped polished gemstones. This the BEST technique I have found!

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jshipley1 made it! (author)2014-02-15

Awesome. Very helpful. I was a little bit stuck on figuring out how to do this style and it got me unstuck so thanks so much for posting it. :)

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dougison made it! (author)2013-11-26

Very cool idea and fun projects with the kiddos I will repost this at http://www.dougison.com

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ConnemaraBlue made it! (author)ConnemaraBlue2013-11-26

Thank you. Please post the direct link when you do, I can't find a craft section on your site.

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gbroad made it! (author)2013-11-22

An easy way to get the wires real straight is to roll them on a table top using a flat board. The process is similar to rolling out a piece of clay.

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ConnemaraBlue made it! (author)ConnemaraBlue2013-11-23

Hadn't thought of that, thanks for the tip!

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sniffydogs made it! (author)2013-11-21

Very nice Instructable!

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ConnemaraBlue made it! (author)ConnemaraBlue2013-11-23

Thank you :)

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OhLeita made it! (author)2013-11-21

This is really helpful, I'm always looking for different types of glass to sandblast and yours is beautiful.

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ConnemaraBlue made it! (author)ConnemaraBlue2013-11-23

Thank you, if you need any of those glass drops, drop us a line on facebook. I still need to photograph them to put them onto our website and etsy page.

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SaintSalvage made it! (author)2013-11-21

Beautiful! I'm pinning this on Pinterest.

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ConnemaraBlue made it! (author)ConnemaraBlue2013-11-23

Thank you, we appreciate the share on Pinterest.

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kz1 made it! (author)2013-11-20

Now I can start making some nice necklaces with my beach treasures. Thanks!

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ConnemaraBlue made it! (author)ConnemaraBlue2013-11-23

That sounds great, post some photos when you do!

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elanna made it! (author)2013-11-20

I've always wondered how to do that! Well done!

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ConnemaraBlue made it! (author)ConnemaraBlue2013-11-23

Thank you, I'll be posting more soon.

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palestinian-warrior made it! (author)2013-11-20

wow nice job!!

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ConnemaraBlue made it! (author)ConnemaraBlue2013-11-20

Thanks :)

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emilyvanleemput made it! (author)2013-11-20

This is gorgeous!!

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ConnemaraBlue made it! (author)ConnemaraBlue2013-11-20

Thank you!

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Nick70587 made it! (author)2013-11-19

That looks really good.

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ConnemaraBlue made it! (author)ConnemaraBlue2013-11-20

Thank you so much :)

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Mielameri made it! (author)2013-11-19

So beautiful! Looks elven :)

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ConnemaraBlue made it! (author)ConnemaraBlue2013-11-19

Thank you so much :)