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
- 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.
- Round-nosed pliers
- flat-nosed pliers
- Measuring tape
- 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
- Measure around the stone you are using. The glass drop I am using here measures 8.5cm
- 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.
- Cut 3 lengths of 16 gauge copper wire, and straighten them out as much as you can.
- place them side by side, and mark the centre
- Cut a length of the 24 gauge wire (I usually cut about 1 meter, left-over pieces can always be used for another project)
- 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.
- 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.
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.