Wire Wrapped Gemstone Swirl Statement Necklace

Introduction: Wire Wrapped Gemstone Swirl Statement Necklace

About: My beads is a bead store in Australia specialising in jewellery made from wire and gemstone beads.

This wire-wrapped swirl necklace is the definition of a 'statement' necklace! This dramatic look can be created quite easily, and we call this project beginner. You don't need any fancy tools - just your basic cutting pliers (any type will do!) and some flat nose pliers. This project could easily be completed in under an hour, as is actually super fun to make!

Supplies

Mixed Beads in sizes 3mm to 8mm. You can use whatever beads you like for this! We found that using two contrasting colour groups looks good, but you could even do a completely random rainbow coloured design if you liked! The main thing is we graduate the beads, so you will need beads including 3mm (or 4mm will do if you can't get 3mm), 4mm, 6mm and 8mm. In this design, we have used:
  • A variety of Lapis Lazuli Beads (3mm, 4mm and 6mm)
  • Pyrite gemstone beads (6mm, 8mm)
  • Round crystal beads in 8mm

You will also need some wire. We love Artistic Wire because it keeps it's colour (non-tranish!), is strong and seems easy to work with.

  • 26 gauge Artistic Wire
  • 18 gauge Artistic Wire

In addition, you will need some 3mm thick tubing. We have used velvet coated rubber tubing as we love this look. However, and style of tubing will work.

  • 3mm Tubing, approx 37cm or 15 inches.

Finally, to turn the pendant into a necklace you'll need some chain and two 6mm jump rings.

  • Fine Chain (about 40cm or 16 inches)
  • 2x 6mm Jump rings

Step 1: Insert Wire Into Tubing

Cut your tubing to approx. 15 inches. Likewise, cut your 18ga wire to 15 inches. Carefully insert the wire the whole way into the tube.

Step 2: Form the Swirl Shape

Now form the shape using your fingers. You may like to use round nose pliers to get the swirl started, but it is not necessary. Although in theory you could actually make the shape last (after putting on all the beads), I find making it first gives more artistic control over the layout of the beads and getting it to look just right.

Step 3: Attach Your First Bead

Take about 2 meters of 26 gauge wire, and wrap two or three around the tubing (about 1cm into the tube). Slide on the bead, then wrap twice around the tube on the other side of the bead. This will be the start of your wraps.

Hint: If working with two meters of wire is a bit fiddly for you, you can always start with less (say, a meter) and attach more later.

Step 4: Start Your Beaded Wraps

After the first two wraps on the tube, thread a 3mm bead onto the wire and wrap twice more around the tube (one complete wrap around the tube and the next wrap will hold the next bead). This is the basic technique for the rest of your beaded wraps.

Step 5: Continue Wrapping

Because we want a graduated look for the beads, you will need to vary the size of the beads that you are threading on. In places that there is not much room (i.e. the start or inside of the swirl) we stick to the smaller beads. Then, as more room is available we can move the larger beads.

Step 6: Swap Sides of Tube

After completing the smaller side of the swirl, you will get to a point in the middle where you will have to swap to the other side of the tubing. This is simply done by doing one half less of a wrap before putting the next bead on.

Step 7: Keep Wrapping!

Continue with your wrapping! On the bigger half of the swirl, we have gone up to the largest sized beads; 8mm.

Step 8: Attach the Last Center Bead

After you have completed wrapping, you will need to attach the center 8mm bead in a similar way to the very first bead you put on. The difference being, this time you will wrap to the end of the tube then put the 8mm bead on. After which you will wrap a few times on the opposite side of this bead to secure it in place.

Step 9: Add Your Chain

Using 6mm jump rings, attach a chain to the pendant. Simply open the jump ring up using flat nose pliers, slide the chain onto the jump ring, and find a good place to attach it to the pendant. You may have to adjust this a little to get it to hang correctly. If you make it long, you do not need clasp - just connect the chain together and slip over your head. Otherwise, it is simple to add a clasp using a couple more jump rings.

As you have been working, your swirl may have become a little misshapen, so it is a good idea to look back over it and make small adjustments so that it sits just right.

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