Daily Wire Tip: Necklaces for Wire Wrap Pendants

By on February 10, 2011
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip


Hi Dale, thanks for all your help and encouragement. Through your "help" I finished wrapping a fluorite cab and I am very happy how it turned out. However, it is so large and heavy that I don’t think I have an appropriate necklace to hang it on for display or for wearing. I’m afraid any chains I have will cut into my customer’s neck. Do you have any suggestions on what type of necklace or cord I can use? Thank you.

-Linda in Paradise, California


Wow Linda, it sounds like you have made a gorgeous "statement" piece! In my opinion, there are several options that could be used to wear and display such a work of art.

Created on a neck mandrel, a simple wire collar wouldn’t take away from the pendant, and as the shape is made to fit over the collarbone, it would support the piece nicely.

Another idea that is a bit more natural, would be to use a nice, wide leather cord. This cord could be finished by using heavy half round wire and a toggle clasp or simply knotted using a square knot so the owner could adjust the length according to what they were wearing it with.

If the bail is large enough, a rolled silk scarf will work well and gives the owner a variety of ways to enjoy their piece.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar

    Sally Dorer

    February 11, 2011 at 10:04 am

    I like the collar idea, but another one is making a “chain” with the “Viking Knit“. It’s beautiful and strong, yet still handmade and and can be interchangeable with other pendants. It’s also easy to learn if you don’t know how to do it. Good luck!

  2. avatar

    Pam C

    February 11, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Another option would be to make a brooch pin for it.

  3. avatar


    February 11, 2011 at 11:27 am

    I often use Elk skin leather cords for my larger pendants. The elk skin tends to be softer and thinner than the cow leather cording. I use a crimp with a loop on it and then add a jump ring to one end and a lobster claw on the other end for the clasp.

  4. avatar


    February 11, 2011 at 11:49 am

    I’m fond of using black silk cord, either one or two strands, with larger pieces. I also like to use an adjustable knot so that the piece can be worn long or short. I like the scarf sugestion. I might try that on a piece. Thanks!

  5. avatar


    February 11, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Just a thought…..if this is a fairly heavy piece, maybe you might consider using it as a brooch rather than a necklace.

  6. avatar


    February 11, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    I agree with Dale about selling necklaces. I use 14 – 16 in plated necklaces of various widths for display purposes only. They are cheaper and shorter which is easier for display. I chain 1 of each style pendant and gather similar pendants around each display. If someone requests to buy the chain I do sell it. I keep a few of my favorites in reserve.

    • avatar


      June 14, 2012 at 6:48 am

      I do this too, I use good quality plated chains and usually end up seilling them with the pendant!

  7. avatar

    Dixie Gaspard

    February 11, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Another idea, which I’ve seen (and works beautifully) is to create a bar brooch pin and hang the large piece from it to make a brooch. I’ve done this with a couple of partial pieces of vintage jewelry (ones where the base necklace had stones missing but the centerpiece was fine.) Or you could add a pin back that would allow someone to hang it from a chain or cord and pin the pendant to their clothes to help support the weight. Several of my mother’s old pieces had dual-use pendants. I think they were popular between about 1900 and 1930.

  8. avatar


    February 13, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Thank you for all your suggestions. I can’t wait to get started on all of them!

    • avatar

      George Anne

      December 20, 2012 at 11:05 am

      For my heavy pendants, I use a kumihimo necklace. Soft on the neck and you can make whatever color you need.

  9. avatar

    Ruth Soucek

    January 19, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Dear Wire Sculptors,
    I have just switched from the cheap chains, which start to tarnish now, to leather cords and Organza ribbon and cord necklaces. My new pieces such as the Resin Roses and the Gemstone Butterflies look very lovely on the Organza necklaces. I found a website where you can buy them for $.25 a piece individually in a variety of colours Just ordered some, because I don’t think that I can finish them myself any cheaper. I like the scarf idea.
    Happy wire sculpting! Ruth in Florida

    • avatar


      November 29, 2012 at 7:43 am

      Would you be willing to share the website you found for organza ribbon and cord necklaces?

  10. avatar

    Cyreathia Reyer

    January 19, 2012 at 9:45 am

    I go back to my beading days and create a nice beaded complementary necklace to go with it.

  11. avatar

    Jil S

    January 19, 2012 at 10:42 am

    See… this is EXACTLY why I love to get these daily. I never would have thought about the scarf idea. Scarves are so in right now… that would be a coveted piece! (and show them how to change the look by just changing the scarf.) GREAT idea~!

    • avatar


      January 20, 2012 at 1:10 am

      Cool Jil S, glad you like this tip, remember: the more ways a piece can be worn, the more affordable it becomes :)

  12. avatar


    January 19, 2012 at 11:15 am

    I love Silversilk’s Capture line. It’s thick, so you might need a larger bail, depending on the clasp, but softer than chain and the matching crimps are really easy to put on. Just wish Wire-Sculpture carried it. I’ve even used it to hang pins (brooches, really) that have no bail.

    Thanks for the recommendation, Pam! I’ll pass it along! -Rose

    • avatar


      January 26, 2012 at 11:48 am

      What a great idea!!

  13. avatar

    Peggy Wiggs

    January 19, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    I make a coordinating necklace of gemstone beads and wire links that will fit thro the bail of the pendant. I usually make my bails with more than 2 wires and at least 8mm so that there is almost no restriction on the type of chain the pendant will fit. I may even make the bail one that is similiar to an enhancer, in that it just slips over the beads, or even a strand of pearls.

    • avatar


      January 20, 2012 at 1:12 am

      Nice idea, Peggy – thanks!

  14. avatar


    January 19, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Another thing that I love to do, is to use seedbeads and stones to make a necklace for my larger pieces. I am very fond of using a free form peyote stitch for these.

  15. avatar


    January 19, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    I have made kumihimo braid necklaces with cones or end caps on the ends with a nice clasp for a few of my pieces. The bail has to be large enough to fit over the clasp and fit nicely on the thicker braided cord (cord thickness can be adjusted with the type of cording used) but with the right pendant it’s the perfect choice. Sometimes I sell the pendant with the cord as a set if I have made a specific cord for a piece but I also sell them individually. Kumihimo is not difficult and when you get into the rhythm can be quite relaxing and go quicker than you might think. I do love the Viking knit chains too!

  16. avatar

    beverly bishop

    January 19, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Another idea for this pendant would be the kumihimo satin cording finished with pretty cone ends or the magnetic cord ends. My girlfriend and I have jumped right on the braiding bandwagon for our pendants, she incorporates beads too, and I just braid the satin cords. Its perfect for people who have metal allergies like I do. I love matching the cab to the satin cords to make a beautiful necklace/cab combination. They are selling better then the chain/pendant combo. Now we are teaching kumihimo as well as the wirewrapping combination. Its caught on like wild fire in our lapidary shop, and its alot of fun too.

  17. avatar


    January 26, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Some great ideas! Not to be negative, but if the pendant is too heavy for a chain, wouldn’t it be too heavy to wear as a brooch on most clothing? I think that would limit you to wearing it only with a coat, suit jacket, or heavy sweater.

    • avatar


      September 27, 2012 at 10:03 pm

      If you use a piece of medheavy weight interfacing or a folded piece of soft to medium weight fabric scrap and place it inside your shirt behindthe area your pinning and pin your brooch from the front of your shirt thru the scrap and back out thru the front of your shirt it will stabilize the pin. Even a small rectangular piece of light weight card board will do in a pinch.

      • avatar

        Vicki Entrekin

        September 27, 2014 at 6:20 am

        Thanks for the suggestion. I had the same concern as Sandie, so I appreciate your comment.

        Thank you.

  18. avatar

    Quay Flom

    July 23, 2015 at 10:20 am

    I have used infinity scarves with la decent sized bail and it produces a really nice affect! You place the scarf around your neck. Then pull the scarf through the bail of the pendant back to front. Then place the scarf around your neck. Nice part of this if you a piece that can go with multiple scarves, you have multiple options.

  19. avatar

    Rhonda Chase

    November 20, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Neck cords are the bane of my jewelry existence, but my favorite combination is stainless steel chains on antique silver pendants. Example:
    Look at how nice that is – and no tarnishing!

  20. avatar

    Sandy Hoar

    December 31, 2015 at 8:31 am

    I sometimes use soutache cord which is a double cord in multiple sizes and colors (online and may sewing shops). It is soft on the skin, you can add seed beads to it or around it, and it is strong. I like using 2 small cords, fairly long, and add a nice bead at each end, then the 4 cords can be tied in a bow or gentle knot and the length is adjustable. I knot the beads on the end then apply just a little glue.

  21. avatar

    Linda Hoffman

    March 24, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    a Kumihimo cord with a toggle clasp. Is lightweight and thick enough to not cut into someone’s neck.