FREE Pattern – Lightning Storm Necklace

By on August 7, 2015
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by Judy Ellis,

Wire Jewelry FREE Pattern August 7th, 2015

Lightning Storm Necklace

by Tracey McKenzie ©2010

Here in Utah we’ve had some interesting and beautiful weather – we’ve begun to see a few more thunder showers, and a lot of lightening! Lightning can be so beautiful and yet dangerous at the same time.

So today I thought it appropriate to share a wonderful necklace pattern from one of our contributors call the Lightning Storm! It utilizes and combines many wire working skills, so get out your tools and create this beautiful piece, and don’t forget to share a few pictures of your completed creations – we’d love to see them!

Lightning Storm

Lightning Storm

Designed by Tracey McKenzie © 2010

I love to play with all types of wire and beads! This necklace design is an experiment that came out well. Here in Australia, the storms can be absolutely amazing, and often inspiring. By changing the colors and the arrangements of the beads (for example, adding beads to each strand), you can alter the design for something that inspires you. (Many thanks to my Facebook friends for naming the original necklace!)

Skill Level: Intermediate

Technique: Incorporating seed beads with traditional wire techniques


  • 16-gauge round dead soft jewelry wire: two 20″ (51cm) pieces, and one 8″ (20cm) piece
  • 26-gauge round dead soft jewelry wire, one 5-foot (170cm) piece
  • Silver and white seed beads (size 10 or 11)
  • One focal bead (40 x 10mm bead used in sample)



  1. Do not straighten the 16-gauge wire; measure and cut the 16-gauge wire as listed. Tip: Using a cloth measuring tape will help. Find and mark the centers of both 20″ pieces of 16-gauge wire. Working with the natural curve, use your fingers to arc both sides of the center on each long wire.
    Lightning StormLine Break
  2. Make a wrapped loop at the end of one 20″ wire, on the same plane as the wire curve. Use a chasing hammer to flatten the opposite end, and then form a hook heading away from the curve.
    Lightning StormLine Break
  3. Measure down 4″ (10cm) on the other 20″ wire and mark. Lay this wire on the outside of the other. Slide the inner wire up until the space between their points is about 1 1/4″ (3cm). Secure both wires together with tape just below your mark; this forms the frame.
    Lightning Storm Lightning StormLine Break
  4. On both marks on the outer wire, use flat nose pliers to make a 90° bend toward the outside. Measure the length of both bent wires. If necessary, trim them so that they are the same length.
    Lightning Storm
    Line Break
  5. Use the trimmed outer frame wire to wrap around the inside frame wire, making wrapped segments of 2 and stretching the wire around and up a bit and then 2 more, etc, working toward the ends. Trim and tuck the outer/wrap wire ends. Note: As you wrap, the inner wire may try to exchange places with the outer wire. Simply use your fingers to coax it back into position.
    Lightning Storm Lightning StormLightning StormLine Break
  6. Determine and mark the centers of both the top and bottom frame wires. Find the center of the 26-gauge wire. Place the center of the 26-gauge wire over the center of the top frame wire and wrap each side of the 26-gauge wire once around each side of the center of the top frame wire. Now you have two 26-gauge wires, one on the front and one on the back.
    Lightning StormLine Break
  7. Bring both 26-gauge wires to the center of the bottom frame wire, and duplicate the wraps made on the top frame wire.
    Lightning StormLine Break
  8. Bring one of the 26-gauge wires back up, alongside the first two, and use the opposite 26-gauge wire to wrap all three wires together, working from the bottom frame wire up to the top frame wire.
    Lightning Storm Lightning StormLine Break
  9. At the top, take one 26-gauge wire to the right of the center and one to the left. Working on their respective sides, take the 26-gauge wire from the top and lay it diagonally across the open space, so it hits the bottom frame wire about 1″ (25mm) from the bottom center. Wrap the 26-gauge wire once around the bottom frame wire. Add as many beads to the 26-gauge wire as needed to cover it from the bottom to the top and place it vertically in the space. Wrap this 26-gauge wire once around the top frame wire. Repeat on the opposite side of the necklace.
    Lightning StormLine Break
  10. Continue weaving, plain diagonal and beaded vertical, wraps between the top and bottom frames.
    Lightning Storm Lightning StormLine Break
  11. When the entire frame has been filled, use the remaining 26-gauge wire to weave the ends closed. Make a figure-8 weave, between the frame wires, all the way up to the ends. Trim and tuck the 26-gauge wire ends.
    Lightning Storm
    Lightning StormLine Break
  12. Use your hands to give the final shape to the necklace, applying pressure as needed. To work-harden and keep the shape of the necklace, use a rawhide hammer to gently tap on the necklace curves, on either a steel neck mandrel or another metal shaping item. (I use a metal tow ball!)
    Line Break
  13. Working with the 8″ (20cm) piece of 16-gauge wire, flatten about 4mm (3/16″) at one end, using a chasing hammer and bench block. Bend the flattened end at a 90° angle and slide the focal bead onto the wire. The flattened end makes an invisible stop.
    Lightning Storm Lightning StormLine Break
  14. Make a 5mm wrapped loop at the top of the bead. Trim and tuck the wire ends.Lightning StormLine Break
  15. Use the remaining 16-gauge wire to make two jump rings. Attach one jump ring to each side of the center on the bottom frame wire.
    Lightning StormLine Break
  16. Insert the focal bead drop into both of the jump rings and close them tightly.Lightning StormLine Break
  17. Zig or Zag the beaded segments if desired, forming lightning bolts.Lightning Storm

Congratulations! You’ve made your first Lightning Storm Necklace.

For more great patterns like this one – don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Patterns Emails.

Happy Wrapping!

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  1. avatar

    Tonie Marlow

    August 13, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful necklace idea! I’m also grateful for the very clear instructions. The generosity of jewelry designers who share on this site is so refreshing. My own take will be to incorporate some scroll and spiral work that I’ve just learned to do in wire, between the top and bottom base wires. Plus, I have a focal bead that I’ve been saving for a very special necklace. I think THIS is it!

  2. avatar

    Flower Print Skater Dress sale UK

    September 19, 2016 at 4:25 am

    This article have been very helpful!