I designed this to be a beginner wirework project; and to take advantage of all the pretty top drilled beads that deserved better than just stringing!
Step 1: Materials
- 2 1/2 yards of 28 ga wire
- 1 yard 22 ga wire
- top front drilled stone
- wire cutters (flush cut ideally)
- round nose pliers
- flat nose pliers
(Optional but useful)
- bail making pliers
- flat jaw nylon nose pliers
- masking tape to pad pliers
Step 2: Starting the Bail
Cut 3 10" pieces of 22 ga wire, feed them through the hole at the top of the bead, leaving equal lengths on either side.
Fold and gather.
Bind twice with the remaining 22 ga wire. Use the middle of this wire so that you have two long tails above and below the binding.
Step 3: Divide the Wires
Peel apart the 6 long strands sticking out, curve the 2 on the right to the right, the 2 on the left to the left, the 2 in the middle will become our bail.
Step 4: Looping the Bail
Just above the binding, bend the two center wires about 45 degrees to the front of the piece.
Hold just above the bend with round nose pliers; curve the wires around and back, making a large loop with long tails running down the back of the stone.
Pinch them in if needed so that they align with the already wrapped bundle.
Step 5: Binding
Use the tails from your binding wire to wrap all the other wires together-this bundle should now include all 6 original wires plus the two folded down to secure the bail.
Wrap above original two wraps until you hit just below the base of the loop and below until you reach where the wires meet at the top of the stone.
Step 6: Finishing the Ends
Trim the wires running down the back to 1".
With the tip of the round nose pliers, make a tiny loop facing out at the end of each wire.
Hold them with your flat nose pliers and gently curl the wire up along itself to make small spirals
Step 7: Lower Curl
Pull the wires curving to your right so that they're parallel with one slightly above the other.
Leaving a 1" tail close to the bail to hold onto, take your 28 ga wire and wrap it 10-14 times around the upper wire.
Now wrap twice around both wires, keeping them flat and parallel. Wrap the top wire alone 7 times, both twice, and repeat for 2 1/2 - 3 1/2" inches. (The longer the bigger the spiral you'll end up with.)
Step 8: Starting to Spiral
Using your fingers, gently curve the flat, bound, wires down and in front of the stone to create a large spiral
Step 9: Finish the Spiral
One you have a curve you like, trim the inner wire 1/4" past its last binding.
Wrap the 28 ga wire a few more times and tuck it between the two parallel wires and cut.
Trim the outer wire 1/2" past the inner. Make a small loop at the end of the outer wire and using your flat nose pliers curl it in slightly to form a loose spiral and cover the cut end of the inner wire.
Step 10: Upper Curl
Secure the remaining 28ga wire around the upper wire of the left pair and wrap and bind the same way as the first curl, but make this one slightly shorter.
Step 11: Finish the Upper Spiral
Curve the bound wires down towards the center and then up along the bail, creating a slightly smaller curl overlapping the lower.
Finish this the same way as the first, trimming the inner wire short, catching the binding wire between, and creating a small spiral with the longer outer wire.
Step 12: Wrapping Up
And you're done! If you wish, gently split the wires of the bail apart slightly to form a sharp V.