Michelle has been beading and making wire jewellery for over 15 years. She owns a bead store in Australia & loves to demonstrate techniques.
Learn to Make a Striking Pendant With This Step-By-Step Tutorial
In less than an hour, you could create an eye-catching, professional-looking design with just a few beads and wire! This pendant contains all seven crystals of the gemstone chakra set (see below for an explanation of each stone). In addition, we have finished the pendant off with a lava stone bead, which can be infused with essential oils. This pendant makes a wonderful gift—or simply keep it for yourself!
What You'll Need (Materials)
- 8mm Gemstone Beads: We have used the seven crystals of the chakra, including amethyst, lapis lazuli, blue lace agate, green aventurine, tiger eye, carnelian and rose quartz. Of course, you do not need to use the chakra beads—you could swap these for any 8mm beads you like!
- 10mm Lava Stone Bead: We have used a lava stone bead for the drop at the bottom of the pendant, in response to the currently very popular essential oil movement. Double-up your healing properties by adding your desired essential oil onto this bead, the scent of which may last up to 24 hours.
- 50mm Headpin: This is used to make the lava stone dangle.
- 18 Gauge Artistic Wire: We have used 18 gauge artistic wire (which is a non-tarnish copper-based wire) for this project as it is quite strong, while still being workable. Once hammered it becomes quite hard and will maintain its shape while being worn. In terms of color, you may choose any of the wire colors you like. The first photo in this article is made using the shiny silver finish, while the steps (and final design) below have been made using the antique brass finish.
- 24 Gauge Artistic Wire: A 26 gauge also works well, but a 28 gauge would be a little too fine for this project.
- Necklace Cord: We have used a leather cord for this necklace; however, a nice chain or ribbon necklace would also be suitable.
What You'll Need (Tools)
- Round Nose Pliers - a basic of wire work, round nose pliers make forming loops a breeze.
- Cutting Pliers - while any cutters will work, we particularly recommend flush cutters as they make a very straight, sharp cut. Being quite fine, they are also handy for getting into tight spaces for a precise cut.
- Hammer and Anvil - While not a requirement to make this design, hammering the wire does harden it up and provide a nice finish to the piece.
Gemstone Chakra Meanings
Purple, Clear & White
Lapis Lazuli, Sodalite, Fluorite
Turquoise, Blue Lace Agate, Aquamarine
Aventurine, Jade, Malachite
Tiger Eye, Calcite, Citrine
Hematite, Bloodstone, Rose Quartz
Step 1: Begin to Form the Shape
Take approximately 20cm or 18 gauge wire, and make a small loop at one end using your round nose pliers. Now it is time to make the base frame, which you can do by simply shaping it with your fingers. However, we have found that using a pencil (or whatever you can find—we use the middle of a pin vise) to shape the loops around makes the process much easier. Just ensure what you are using is about the same size as the beads (8mm).
Step 2: Finish Forming the Shape
Continue to form the shape in the manner described in the first step. Then, you will need to trim the wire using your cutters. When trimming, leave about 1cm so that you have room to form your loop. When forming your top loop using round nose pliers, do it so that it lays vertical (as opposed to the flat loop for the bottom of the pendant). This way you will be able to attach it to a necklace in the correct orientation.
Step 3: Hammer the Wire
This step is optional. To give the pendant strength, as well as a nice finished look, it is a nice option to hammer the wire. Gently hammer the swirl (be careful to avoid the top vertical loop), until it is slightly flat.
Step 4: Start to Wire-Wrap on the Beads
Start at the bottom of your pendant by wrapping the 24 gauge wire approximately 5–8 times around the base frame. Then, slide on your first bead and make another 5–8 wraps.
Note: The number of wraps will vary depending on the gauge of your wire and the spacing of your pendant. Sometimes you make only make 4–5 wraps, while other times you may need to make 10+ wraps.
Step 5: Finish Adding on the Beads and Trim
Once you have added all seven beads as described above, make your last few wraps at the top of your pendant. Using your flush-cutters, trim the wire nice and close to the frame.
Step 6: Re-shape the Swirl
At this stage, you may notice the pendant is quite spaced out, possibly from working with it while wire wrapping (see the first photo above). If a more compact design is desired, simply using your fingers to push the beads closer together (as per the second photo above).
Step 7: Make the Lava Stone Dangle
To make the lava stone dangle, we will be doing a wrapped loop. Take a 50mm long headpin, and slide on the bead. Form a loop using round nose pliers, then take the tail of the headpin and wrap 2–3 times around. Trim using flush cutters.
Step 8: Attach the Dangle to the Pendant
Open the loop on the bottom of the pendant (using pliers) and attach the dangle. Finally, carefully close up the loop so that there is no gap.
And that's it! Your pendant is finished. You can now go ahead and attach it to a leather necklace cord or a chain.
© 2020 Michelle Lambert