Step 13: Reposition the jaws of your pliers so that you have room to complete the loop then push the jewelry wire the rest of the way around. Ideally, you will want to make this second wrap in the opposite direction from the wrap that you completed in step 9. This is a little hard to figure out, but with practice one can see why this is important and how to accomplish it. When you have completed the loop, inspect it visually to ensure that it is centered above the wire from the gemstone. If it isn't centered, insert your round nose pliers into the loop and bend it left or right until it is centered.
Step 14: Now we are ready to wrap the loop at the top closed. Grasp the loop with your bent chain nose pliers while holding the pliers in your non-dominant hand. Holding the loop in your pliers is designed to preserve the round shape of the loop while you wrap the end of the wire around itself. Wrap the jewelry wire about 3 times around, until the gap in the wrap is closed.
Step 15: Using your flush cutter, cut the excess jewelry wire. This will leave a small wire tail sticking out as shown below-left.
Step 16: Grasp the loop again with one pair of bent chain nose pliers and using a second pair of bent chain nose pliers, squeeze and twist the small wire tail flat so that it doesn't stick out.
Step 17: You are now ready to add your ear wire or a chain, depending upon whether you are making earrings or a necklace.
Alternative Jewelry Making Design:
What do you do with smaller pendants. Certainly for smaller pendants like the pendant shown below-right, a 3/16" bail will be too large. For this pendant we made a handmade bail finding with a 3/32" loop at the top. The two bails shown below-left and center look rather large in these pictures. These two bails are actually 3/32nd inch in diameter. The pictures are enlarged so that you can see the finished bail better. Our instructions for making these bails begin below.
You can find these 7x18mm pendants in our Internet Store by selecting here.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Making the 3/32" Bail using jewelry wire:
Step 1: Using your nylon jaw pliers, straighten a segment of 22 or 24 gauge jewelry wire that is at least 2 inches long. The two bails shown above-left were made with 24 gauge wire. One was made with soft wire and one was made with half-hard wire. It is slightly easier to make this bail finding more consistently using half-hard wire.
Step 2: Using your flush cutter, cut a segment of the straightened jewelry wire 2 inches long.
Step 3: Position one regular metal peg in a WigJig Olympus, Olympus Lite or Electra jewelry tool.
Step 4: Position your wire so that 3/4" of the jewelry wire is on one side of the peg and the remainder, longer portion of the wire, is on the opposite side of the peg. With the jewelry wire positioned in that manner, wrap the wire completely around the peg as shown below-left.
Step 5: Remove the wire from your jewelry making jig. It should appear as shown below-center.
Step 6: Now we need to grasp the loop in our round nose pliers as shown below-right. It is slightly hard to view, but we want to grasp the wire slightly off center on the side of the shorter, 3/4" wire segment. When you have the jewelry wire gripped in this manner, bend the long wire segment until it is perpendicular to the shorter wire segment and points toward the center of the circle of wire.
Step 7: When you have completed bending the jewelry wire from step 6 it should appear as shown below-let. If the long wire segment isn't centered and pointing to the middle of the circle, adjust it slightly until it is. You can put the circle of wire on your round nose pliers to help preserve the circle of wire while you adjust the long wire segment.
Step 8: At this point we need to bend the jewelry wire using our pliers so that the wire will go through the hole in your pendant. The pendants that we used here had a side-to-side hole. These procedures would need to be modified slightly if you have a pendant with a front-to-back hole. The first step in bending the wire is to grip the long wire segment with the tips of your bent chain nose pliers as shown below-center. You want to grip the wire as close to the circle as possible.
Step 9: While holding the wire as indicated in step 8, bend the wire about 30 degrees as shown below-right. This initial bend is necessary to bend the wire to avoid the top of your pendant.
Step 10: After completing this first bend the jewelry wire should appear as shown below-left.
Step 11: At this point we need to bend the jewelry wire so that it will go through the hole in the pendant. Grasp the wire with your bent chain nose pliers so that if you make the bend at that point, it will go through the hole in the pendant with a little room at the top of the pendant. See the picture below-center.
Step 12: After making the bend, the jewelry wire should appear as shown below-right.
Step 13: Thread the long wire tail through the hole in your pendant. See the picture below-left.
Step 14: By hand, using your finger tips, bend the end of the wire up until it crosses the wire below the circle of wire. See the picture below-right. Try to push the jewelry wire with your fingers as close to your pendant as possible.
Step 15: Using the tips of your bent chain nose pliers, grip the jewelry wire above the pendant and bend the wire so that it is horizontal as shown below-right.
Step 16: Using your bent chain nose pliers, grip the jewelry wire immediately above the pendant as shown below-left. The purpose of gripping here is to preserve the shape of the wire while you wrap the wire tail around the short vertical wire segment below the circle of wire.
Step 17: Wrap the wire tail around 180 degrees. We are not going to wrap the wire fully around here, just a 180 degree bend as shown below-center.
Step 18: Using your flush cutter, cut the excess jewelry wire. After cutting the excess jewelry wire, use your bent chain nose pliers to squeeze the cut end of the wire flat.
Step 19: Now we need to wrap the beginning wire segment around the wire below the circle. To begin this, we need to grip the circle of wire with our bent chain nose pliers as shown below-left.
Step 20: Wrap the jewelry wire around until the gap between the circle and the top of the pendant is filled with wrapped wire. This will take about 1 to 2 full wraps of wire. See the picture below center-left. Once you have completed the wraps, cut the excess wire with your flush cutter. After cutting the excess wire, there will be a small wire tail that sticks up. To flatten this short wire tail, grip the circle with one pair of bent chain nose pliers and squeeze and twist the wire tail until it is flat.
The finished hand-made jewelry wire bail is shown above center-right. The pendants shown here are actually smaller than they appear in the pictures. They are our 7 X 10 mm pendant beads, and can be found here.
Summary of jewelry making instructions:
We provided instructions for two different techniques for making a bail finding out of jewelry wire. Of the two approaches, we prefer the second technique because it is easier to be more consistent when you use the peg on our WigJig jewelry tool. We like the result, even with smaller pendant gemstones or beads.