The first thing we’ll do is make the pendant. I’m using the baule bead pendant plus one of the java beads on the bottom.
Cut a piece of 18 gauge wire a few inches longer than the pendant and bead on each side.
Approximately 1 1/2 inches from one end, bend the wire.
Pinch down the end. (Hint: Use a crimp tool to do this if you have one to make it a little easier. If not, use your chain nose pliers.)
Leave a bit at the end and bend the shorter wire up.
Then wrap the wire around the end creating a “knot.” You’re not actually making a knot. Just wrap the wire around to give it the look of a knot. I like to make the wraps messy, but you could make them neat if you prefer.
Pull the wire through the beads.
Hold the wire about 1/4 inch above the baule bead in round nose pliers. Wrap the wire around to form a loop.
Note: I found it easier to rest the bead on my worktable because of the weight of the bead.
Hold the loop you just made in chain nose pliers. Wrap around once while straightening out the bead so the loop is centered above the bead.
Then wrap around 2 more times.
Trim off the excess wire making a flush cut and make sure the end is not poking out.
Now you have a pendant to use in your necklace.
Cut about 4 times the amount of cord that you want your finished necklace to be. For example, if you would like a 20 inch necklace, cut about 80 inches. I cut some extra as well.
I used the brown cord.
Place the pendant on the cord and find the middle of the cord. We’ll work from the middle out.
Slide a bead onto the cord.
Make an overhand knot, but don’t pull it tightly yet.
In this case, I decided to use triple knots in between the beads. To do so, pull the cord back through 2 more times before pulling it tightly.
In the video I mentioned that I started making quadruple knots. As you make each knot, check to see if the bead slides over the knot. I also just made a second overhead knot over top of the first knot to add a little more bulk before I started making the quadruple knots. You have to make sure that you pull the second knot on top of the first knot because otherwise it will just be next to the first knot and not helpful. (See the video if this seems confusing.)
Put the awl in the middle of the knot and pull the knot. Then use the awl to pull the knot flush with the bead.
Pull the knot tightly as you’re removing the awl while also using your fingernail to pull the knot tightly.
For the first knot it’s a little easier because you can just adjust the bead and pendant to the knot, but after that you’ll have to be sure to get the knot tightly against the bead.
Continue adding beads and knots working from the middle out until your necklace is the desired length.
Trim the ends of the cord so they’re even, leaving enough room to make a bow and tie the necklace.
I prefer this necklace simply tied, but if you prefer you can use fold over crimp ends and a clasp to end your necklace.
I hope you found it inspiring! Give it a try and let me know what you think.
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Learn about wire types and uses in this video and PDF worksheet below.
Gauge is the thickness of wire. Remember: the higher the number, the thinner the wire.
You’ll see gauge often notated with “ga” after the number, i.e. 18 ga.
You can find wire in the following hardness:
• Dead soft
Most of the time I suggest half-hard for my tutorials and in my eCourses for wire wrapping.
If you’re using sterling silver and some other types of wire, you will find a hardness notated. However, for a lot of craft wires or artist wires you will not. I use Parawire, which is silver plated wire, and there is not a hardness indicated. Often these wires are very similar to half-hard wire.
Memory wire is great for bangles or loops; however, it is not for wire wrapping. Also you’ll need heavy duty wire cutters to cut memory wire.
What I use the most:
For most everything I make and teach I use 20 gauge, half-hard round wire. For clasps I’ll use 18 or even 16 gauge wire. Occasionally I’ll use 22 or 24 gauge for wrapping onto a structural piece or with beads with smaller holes.
Now that you know wire types and uses, why not put them to use?
Take my Wire Wrapping for Beginners eCourse and learn how to make jewelry components like headpins, jump rings, chain and clasps and then get the “recipes” to put together the components to make earrings, bracelets, charm bracelets, necklaces and wire wrapped rings!