Beaded Briolette Pendant
Designed by Judy Larson © 2012
Skill Level: Intermediate
Technique: Shaping and Weaving Wire
The easy to make pendant is a bit less than 1-1/4" long and about 3/4" wide. You can change the shape of the wire teardrop base to accommodate any shape bead and change the look completely. Use smaller silver beads for a more dainty look, or leave the beads off completely. Check your arsenal of beads and start designing!
- Round nose pliers
- Chain nose pliers
- Flush cutter
- 5/8” mandrel or found object
- Ultra fine point Sharpie marker
- Choose a round mandrel that has a larger diameter than the width of the briolette.
Hint: Work from the spool to conserve wire. Flush cut one end of the 20 gauge wire. Mark the wire 3” in from the end. Grasp the wire tip between the jaws at the base of your round nose pliers. Make a complete loop.
- Hold the loop created in Step 2 slightly away from the mandrel. Wrap the wire around the mandrel until the 3” mark matches up with the base of the loop, creating a teardrop shape.
- With the wrap wires between the jaws, place the pendant loop at the base of one jaw of your round nose pliers. Make sure that the mark still lines up with the base of the loop. Wrap the wire fully around the jaw that the loop is on, creating a second loop. Trim off the excess wire where the wires cross at the top of the teardrop shape.
- Cut a 2 foot piece of 26 gauge wire.Note: You will use more or less wire, depending upon the size of your teardrop base. Leaving a 1 to 1-1/2" wire tail, make three wraps to hold the 20 gauge wires at the base of the loops together, ending with the wrap wire on top and to the right of the teardrop base. Do not trim the short wire tail off.
- You will be wrapping over the top of the teardrop shape, around the outside, down, and then back up through the center of the teardrop. Hint: Close to the teardrop, bend the wire with your finger. Push the bend through the teardrop. Pull on that loop to pull the rest of the wire through the opening. This will help you avoid kinks in the wire. Wrap around the teardrop base until you reach a point where the wrapped section meets the hole in the bead (In the photo on the right there is still a ways to go.).
- Slide the bead on the wrap wire. Pull the wrap wire to the left and over the top of the wire teardrop. Wrap around the teardrop base upwards towards the loops. You should have approximately the same number of wraps on both sides of the briolette.
- Pull the wrap wire from the back to the front through the center of both loops close to the base. Pull the wire to the left and slide on a 2.5mm bead. Hold the wire tail out of the way and the bead in place on the side of the loops. Pull the wrap wire to the back, down, and back up through the center of the loops. Add another bead, holding it right next to the previous one, and repeat the wrap process. Do this two more times.
Continue wrapping around the loops until you reach the base of the loops on the right side. Pull the wrap wire to the top and to the right. Thread the short wire tail from the front to the back through the loops, pulling tightly back and down. Trim the tail close to the base of the loops. Tuck the wire tail into place with chain nose pliers if needed.
- Pull the wrap wire to the back and up through the teardrop just below the loops. Pull the wire to the right. This wire will be used again in Step 12. Do not cut it off.
- With the other end of the wire, continue wrapping around the teardrop until you reach the other side of the teardrop and the wire coming out the left side of the briolette. Wrap around this wire two times. If the briolette is still very loose, you may need to wrap each side one more time. Trim the wires off and tuck the ends in place when you are satisfied with the briolette fit and movement.
You will again be using the wrap wire you pulled aside in Step 10. Add beads and wrap as you did in Step 8, until you have added 10 beads. Wrap the end of the wire tightly around the teardrop base close to the last bead. Trim off the excess wire. Tuck the wire end into place with chain nose pliers if needed.
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