How to Make a Handmade Wire-Wrapped Stone Pendant
Make Your Own Jewelry
When making handmade wire-wrapped jewelry, one very valuable skill to have is knowing how to wire wrap a stone with funky designs. I've sold many of my pendant necklaces at craft fairs and receive compliments whenever I wear one of my own creations.
When wire wrapping a stone pendant, the idea is to enhance the stone's natural beauty and not obscure it. The design of the wrap and the stone's appearance should complement one another. Once you achieve this balance, you can make beautiful, eye-catching artisan jewelry!
This particular wire wrapped jewelry pattern is a little more advanced than others. As always, I recommend using copper wire to start with because it's inexpensive. Be sure to supervise any kids who are working on this—do not let very small children participate, as there are some sharp tools involved.
I explain how to make a basic spiral pattern, but once you get the hang of wire wrapping, you can experiment with different shapes and patterns, and even add beads and crystals into your design.
What You'll Need
Here are the materials you'll need to make your wire-wrapped stone pendant. Don't spend a lot of money on supplies until you feel comfortable with the techniques and know that you plan to make more jewelry.
- Wire Cutters: Used for cutting the wire, of course. Cut quickly and smoothly so you don't get a jagged end—but if you do, don't worry. Just file down the end to blunt it. You don't want to poke yourself with the wire!
- Flat-Nose Pliers: These pliers have a flat tip. For this particular project, you'll need these to secure the wire when you make the bail (loop) for the pendant.
- Round-Nose Pliers: These pliers have a curved tip. For this project, you'll use them to make the top loop and the spirals in the wire wrap design.
- Artistic Wire: For this project, I recommend using 20 gauge wire. You'll need a gauge of wire that's very easy to manipulate, so go with the thinner type. I've used copper here. A silver-plated wire is fine, too, but go for a cheaper brand for now. You can use higher end wire when you master the wrap.
- Top-Drilled Stone. You can find drilled stones on most jewelry supply sites. I suggest going with a round stone. Make sure it's top-drilled, meaning that a hole runs through it from top to bottom. You want to be able to string it on the wire.
- Chain: You'll need a chain, ribbon, black silk cord, leather cord, or thick string. Once your pendant is complete, you'll want to hang it onto something so you—or the person you give this to—can actually wear the necklace!
1. Create a Tail
I'm using a lava stone, but you can use any type of stone you want. Cut about a foot of wire using your wire cutters. Straighten it out with your fingers, being careful not to bend or scratch it. Using your round-nose pliers, make a loop about a half inch from one end of the wire. You should have a loop with a short "tail" trailing it, as you can see above.
2. Wrap the Tail
Gently hold the loop in your flat-nose pliers to keep it steady. Using your fingers, coil the half-inch "tail" around the longer wire and under the base of the loop. It'll look a little like a noose. Use the flat-nose pliers to squeeze the wire coil as tightly and evenly as possible. You don't want any of the wire to be poking out. This loop is going to be the necklace bail through which you link your cord or chain.
3. String the Stone
String your stone along the wire, all the way up to the loop. Turn the loop so that it's perpendicular to the stone. This way, when you hang your pendant on your chain or cord, the stone will hang straight and not sideways. At this point, your stone should look a bit like a lollipop with a wire "stem" on the bottom.
4. Create a Spiral
Bring that "stem" up to the bottom of the stone and use your fingers (or your round-nose pliers)to create a spiral in the lower-left quadrant of the stone. I've made a double spiral, but you can make a single one if you'd like.
5. Crisscross the Wire
Crisscross the wire around the back of the stone, pulling it over the top of the stone's upper right quadrant. Make another spiral. This not only looks artistically pleasing, but it also helps to secure the wire by pulling it around the back.
6. Wind Around the Coil
Again, crisscross the wire around the back of the stone. This time, begin to wind it around the coil that's under the top loop/bail. Using your fingers, coil it four or five times around as tightly and neatly as possible. Trim the excess wire, and then use your flat-nose pliers to further squeeze and tighten the coil.
7. Link the Chain
Link your chain, string, or cord through the top bail/loop that's on your pendant. Voila! You now have a wire wrapped necklace! Adjust your chain/cord to your liking, and enjoy your artistic creation!