Ever since before I’ve been into wire craft jewelry making (which is not that long!) I’ve had my eyes on the popular “birdsnest pendant”. It took me quite some time, but here it finally is!
With Christmas coming this would be a great gift for my mother. The main reason being is that the pearls I use in this project are heritage from my late aunt, her oldest sister, who died at (only) 53 years old. I’ve been holding on to them for the nearly 15 years since she passed away in 2004.
Finally, the perfect occasion for a new life for these pearls!
Step 1: Tools and Materials
- Mini round nose pliers
- Mini side cutting pliers
- 1,5m of 26GA silver plated copper wire
- 3 real pearls
- Small bird pendant
- Nice silver necklace
- Necklace giftbox
- Giftwrap paper
- Big ass purple butterfly!
Step 2: Securing the Eggs
Slide your pearls down one end of the wire about 10 to 15cm. Now tie the wire together, wrapping it 3 times holding it with my round-nose pliers. Make sure you divide the eggs properly in the triangle, meaning each side has equal amount of wire showing.
You could tuck the twisted part under the eggs, but I didn’t since they will be covered with wire anyway! Keep the short end straight and bend it away for now, we’ll use this part for creating the bail later.
The long end of the wire needs some kinking and bending to get the fuzzy and messy look of a birdsnest. The easiest way I found is by wrapping your wire round a pencil tightly, except for the last 20cm or so. Then hold the pencil (on the egg-side) and simply pull the wire off the pencil! You’ll be left with a wavy curl in your wire!
You can also kink up your wire by simply pressing your nail into the wire at small intervals in between.
Or use a plier to bend it with, the possibilities are endless! :P
When you got it all bendy and kinky it’s a simple matter of twisting or looping the wire around the eggs! Do this for about 5 full loops, this will be the start of your birdsnest!
Now for the “securing” part; from the top or bottom (it doesn’t matter which) poke through the center part, in between 2 of the eggs. Wrap it around the 5 looped wires and stick it through the center part again, taking the next small hole in between the next 2 eggs. And do this 2 more times, so you got all angles covered!
Your eggs are now secure! :P
Step 3: Wrapping the Nest
Continuing from the first 5 (now secured) loops around the nest, we move downwards to the bottom of the nest. I simply loop and pinch, trying to cover the bottom as much as possible. As you can see in the pictures, it’s quite springy and wants to spring away from the pendant. This is why every 5 loops or so, you need to weave a wire through a already secured part of the nest, onto the new springy loop you just created. You don’t have to loop through the middle part of your nest anymore (although you can), you can use the side-wires for securing newly looped wire onto!
The bottom of the nest wasn’t covered nearly enough after 5 loops, so I kinked up some more wire and started to make more loops around the bottom. Notice that on the second loop I added my small bird-pendant to the wire. I made sure it was opposite side of the wire that will be turned into my bail later.
After securing the loops where my bird-pendant is on I moved to the top of the nest. It was looking to flat and the small pearls were actually still sticking above the wires when looking from the side. With these loops you have to make sure there not passing over the pearls. Keep them in line with the rest of the nest. Again securing it after about 5 loops to an already secured part of the nest.
Being quite happy with the way the front is looking, you could leave it at that, move on to the bail. But turning it around I still though the eggs were showing to much. Also having plenty wire left I moved to the bottom again. Another bunch of loops, but now I’m making sure my wire ends towards the short end of the wire.
Step 4: The Bail
I thought I was going to wrap the wire in 28GA wire, that why you see it in the ‘tool and materials’ picture. I used the rest of the 26GS wire though, and one of the pictures tries to show how much wire I had left to work with.
The short end of the wire, which we saved from the start, gets wrapped tightly with the long end of the wire. You only need to wrap a small bit, like a centimeter (or 2). I wrapped way too much and had to unravel a bit (as seen in the pictures).
Bend your wrapped wire around the mini round nose pliers till it reaches the beginning of the bail-wrap. Stick the short end of the wire through the nesting near where it comes out. As you’re pulling it tight, the wires will close on itself creating a loop. With the (untwisted) longer part of the wire I wrap both end of the bail together with 2 wraps around.
Now I look for a (random) wire at the bottom of the nest to wrap around (twice), securing the wire in place. The pictures show me doing this with the other wire-end, but works the same way! I snip the end giving it about half a centimeter, I bend the tip with my round nose pliers and tuck the end into the nest.
Step 5: Finishing Touches
My nest needed very little adjustment at the end, but you can and should push in any wires sticking out or looping out too far. Easily done with your fingers, it’ll make the nest look neater and closes gaps you don’t want showing.
Another attention-point is making sure that the eggs are centered when looping wires. Easily fixed with a couple extra loops on the skinny side.
If your wires are looking a bit too straight you can take your mini-pliers and individually kink any wire you want or need.
One other thing I did was free up the wire the bird-pendant is hanging on, pushing the surrounding wires in the nest a bit more to have the bird hanging freely (the little wing pointing up was interfering wire some of the wires, forcing it in a certain position).
Since this is a present for my mother, I bought a nice silver necklace to hang this on, completing the pendant by making it wearable!
Presents go in a giftbox and get wrapped in gift-paper!
As a decoration I glued a big butterfly on the top of the little box!
Just a couple more days till it's Christmas. I’m very curious to her reaction, I wonder if she remembers or, even better, recognizes the pearls!