Daily Wire Tip Nov. 7: Pendants with Detachable Bails

By on November 6, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
November 7, 2010


Several of my customers have asked for pendants with a decorative “open bail” – one they can lift off the cord or chain to exchange pendants, rather than having to slide it off the clasp end. I have had difficulty trying to create this. Do you have any ideas or patterns that would accomplish this?

-Jeanne in Waukesha, Wisconsin


Hi Jeanne, the type of bail you are referring to can be named differently; I call it a “detachable” bail. In the book Mixed Media Jewelry Techniques, I present a pattern for it, completely stepped out in both written and photographed designs. Enjoy!

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar


    November 7, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Surely the easiest way to achieve this is to use a lobster claw in the design – either so it’s attached to the necklace and the wearer can open or close it to change the pendant, or so it’s attached to the pendant and can be moved from piece to piece? (I have seen hinged bails for sale, which work in much the same way as the second method – they open up so the pendant can be lifted from the piece – but I don’t think WS carries them?)

    (Just remember to include a jump ring – otherwise, the pendant will be at right angles to the chain/cord/necklace it’s on!)

    If the pendant itself has been wrapped to give a decorative bail, then to obscure the clasp, simply extend the design at the front upwards by this height.

    Sometimes lobster claws do fail after a while – but if this happens, it should be very quick and easy to replace it.

    This also works with spring rings, but in my experience, people tend to find them more difficult to open and close than lobster rings, and they also seem to fail quicker (possibly as a result of people struggling with them on a regular basis?), and it should also work with s-clasps, box clasps, etc., which can be decorative, or toggle clasps, which of course can be wire worked – and if you have a necklace with a wire-worked toggle ring that makes a nice central feature in its own right, you could then send it with a set of interchangeable pendants connected to bars. However, the wearer could only wear the pendants on your designs – unless the bar part of the pendant was removable to reveal a more standard connective component. This also applies to the box clasp suggestion!

  2. avatar

    Jane Elizabeth

    November 7, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Jeanne, The Project 7 Pearl Pendant with Detachable Bail is great. Easily followed, beautifully illustrated, this project alone is worth the price of the book.

  3. avatar

    Joni Stinson

    November 7, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Why do you select questions that require a purchase to get the answer? I would prefer to get an e-mail or read your ads for the purchase of a product. This really irritates me when I take the time to read the question and go to the link for the answer.

  4. avatar


    November 7, 2010 at 11:04 am


    I still don’t understand how to make it. Dale, can you tell us how to make it, rather than how to buy your book? Isn’t that the idea of this forum?


    • avatar


      November 8, 2010 at 12:29 am

      For Linda and Joni,
      The Wire-Sculpture Faculty and I offer many, Many Free patterns and ideas both on this company paid blog and on the Wire-Sculpture main website (in both video and written/photographed step format) as well as in the Free Email Pattern subscription. The book I mention includes a wide variety of patterns and is not expensive at $12.99/Gold Club $9.74.

  5. avatar

    Joy Mootz

    November 7, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Small detachable bails can be purchased at your favourite
    bead store.

  6. avatar

    Wilma Junker

    November 7, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    If the pendant is not too heavy you can use the earrings that have the clasp behind the ear.

  7. avatar

    Jane Elizabeth

    November 8, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Interesting that some of the people contributing in this blog expect Dale to give everything away… and delivered on a silver spoon as well would be the prefered method I suppose! As I mentioned earlier the pattern for Dale’s version of the bail is in the book and a STEAL at $12.00!

  8. avatar


    November 8, 2010 at 11:08 am

    My goodness, aren’t we an impatient group wanting everything for nothing. Thank you Jane Elizabeth for voicing that first. Why is it you automatically expect that after spending years experimenting, trying, learning and proving how things work that it is going to be thrown out there to you for free??? Yes, we will give you some things for nothing and yes, we will answer questions the best we can but heh folks, our livelihood is wrapped up in this just as yours is. It is called an investment in your success.
    If you are not willing to make an investment then you must not be willing to be a success at what you are doing. We all have to pay “dues” to succeed. And the fact that we are willing up to a point to give you tips and techniques should be appreciated and not turn into a “whining” session simply because you didn’t get what you wanted for free.

  9. avatar

    Joni Stinson

    November 8, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Please know that I do not expect Dale to give everything away. The website is for selling after all. I just don’t think the Daily Tip is the place to deal with questions that require a purchase to get the answer. I have learned a great deal from the Daily Tips and enjoy those questions that are answered. I am just disappointed when an answer is not forth coming without having to go to another site and make a purchase

    • avatar


      November 9, 2010 at 12:17 am

      Folks, the design everyone is asking about is an entire pattern. Therefore as I can not just describe how to make the requested design, it’s easier to direct you to a book that is not only very affordable, but rare as it was written by the Jogs International Instructor Team and besides here at Wire-Sculpture (who sponsor our Jogs classes) you can only get a copy by personally knowing and purchasing it from one of the Jogs instructors. When they are gone – they are gone!

  10. avatar


    November 8, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    People, People, People,

    Why would you expect Dale to give you everything for free. Don’t you realize that many people make their living by having a website where they offer ideas, and other things for free but have other things for sale.

    I am appalled at so many people not appreciating things enough to know that when people make a living online, that some things will cost.

    Please be considerate of those people who offer many things but ask you to pay for others.