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Pendant Earrings

Instructions for making Pendant Earrings using gemstones, jewelry wire, and common jewelry tools.

Making Pendant Necklace using jewelry wire and common jewelry tools.Making Pendant Earrings Jewelry Making Project

This jewelry making project uses larger cut and faceted gemstone pendants or briolettes to make pendant necklaces and earrings.  This technique works for pendants with either a front to back hole as shown at right, or with a side to side hole as shown at left.  The technique is relatively simple and is therefore suitable for advanced beginners. 

This technique does not require one of our WigJig jewelry tools, but does use the techniques for making a wrapped loop in jewelry wire.  For this technique, we recommend 22 or 24 gauge wire and preferably half-hard wire if available. 

The two gemstones shown here may appear to be colored glass, but they are actually cut and faceted cubic zirconia gemstones.  The reason that using a material like cubic zirconia is better than using cut glass is that glass has the same hardness as sand and dust and can therefore lose its polish while cubic zirconia is much harder than dust and sand and therefore is resistant to losing its polish. 


Jewelry Making Supplies Required:


Jewelry Tools Required:

  • Flush cutters
  • Round nose pliers
  • Bent chain nose pliers (2 pairs)
  • Nylon jaw pliers
  • Ruler
  • 20 minutes of free time

Jewelry Making Skills Required:

Green pendant earrings made with jewelry wire and common jewelry tools.Step-by-Step instructions for making the Pendant Earrings using common jewelry tools:

Step 1:  Begin by cutting a 5' segment of 22 or 24 gauge jewelry wire.  Half-hard wire will work better than soft wire if it is available.

Step 2:  Using your nylon jaw pliers, straighten this segment of jewelry wire by pulling it repeatedly through the jaws of your pliers.

Step 3:  Make a 90 degree bend in the wire about 1 1/4 inch from one end of the wire.  For a larger pendant stone, you may need to increase this length to 1 1/2 inch from the end. 

Step 4:  Slide your gemstone on the long segment of jewelry wire and position it next to the 90 degree bend as shown below-left.

Step 5:  While holding the gemstone firmly against the 90 degree bend, then using your fingers, bend the opposite side of the jewelry wire up.  In the picture shown below-center, one side of the wire is 1 1/4" long, the other side of the wire is 3 1/3" long. 

Step 6:  Again, using your fingers, bend both wire segments so that they cross one another.  The point where they cross should be above the gemstone, but centered, as shown below-right. 

Step 4 to instructions for making Pendant Earrings using jewelry wire. Step 5 to instructions for making Pendant Earrings using common jewelry tools. Step 6 to instructions for making Pendant Earrings -- Jewelry Making Project
Step 4 Step 5 Step 6

Step 7 toinstructions for  Making Pendant Earrings using jewelry wire and common jewelry tools.
Step 7:  Using your bent chain nose pliers, grasp the shorter segment of wire above the gemstone, prior to the point where the two wires cross and bend the wire horizontal.

Step 8:  Again using your bent chain nose pliers, grasp the longer segment of jewelry wire prior to the point where the wires cross than bend the wire vertical.  The picture at right shows how the wire should appear after completing step 8. 

Step 9:  Grasp both the longer and shorter jewelry wire segments immediately above the gemstone (before where the wires cross) with your bent chain nose pliers.  Hold both segments of wire firmly with the pliers in your non-dominant hand and using your dominant hand wrap the shorter wire segment around the longer wire segment about 2 times. 

Step 10:  Using your flush cutter, cut the excess jewelry wire on the shorter (horizontal) wire segment.  This will leave a very small wire tail sticking up.  Using two pair of bent chain nose pliers, hold the two wire segments in with one pair of pliers in your non-dominant hand and using the second pair of pliers, squeeze and twist the pliers to bend the small wire tail flat. 

Step 11:  Now we are ready to make the wrapped loop at the top of this pendant.  First, you need to determine the orientation of the loop so that the pendant will hang properly.  To begin the loop you need to make a 90 degree bend in the jewelry wire in the orientation of the finished loop.  This is done by grasping the long segment of wire immediately above the wrap that we completed in step 10 with our bent chain nose pliers.  While holding the wire with your pliers, use your fingers to push the wire against the jaws of your pliers to bend the top of the wire about 90 degrees as shown below-center. 

Step 12:  Now we need to use our round nose pliers to make a loop in the jewelry wire.  Making this loop is a two step process.  To begin, grasp the wire as close to the 90 degree bend as possible, but on the long, horizontal segment of wire using your round nose pliers.  Then push the wire around the jaw of your pliers.  The jaws of your pliers will prevent you from pushing the wire in a complete loop, so in the first part of this process, we stop with the wire appearing as shown below-right.

Instructions for making Pendant Earrings using gemstones, jewelry wire and common jewelry tools Step 9 Step 11 of instrictions for making Pendant Earrings using gemstones and jewelry wire. Making pendant earrings using jewelry wire and jewelry tools step 12.
Step 9 Step 11 Step 12

Step 13 to Making Pendant Earrings -- Jewelry Making ProjectStep 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. 

Step 15 to instructions for making pendant earrings jewelry making project Instruction for making Pendant Earrings using jewelry wire and gemstones step 16 Finished pendant earrings jewelry making project
Step 15 Step 16 Step 17

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.

3/16" Jewelry Wire Bail Earrings made with garnet pendant 3/16" handmade pendant earrings made with jewelry wire and common jewelry tools.
Small Jewelry Wire Bail Earrings made with jewelry wire and sapphire gemstones.

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 4 to instructions for making 3/32" Small Bail Earrings using jewelry wire and WigJig jewelry tools.

Step 5 to instructions for making3/32" Small Bail Earrings using jewelry wire and common jewelry tools.

Step 6 to instructions for making 3/32" Small Bali Earrings Jewelry Making Project
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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 7 to instructions for making 3/32" Small, Round Bail Earrings using jewelry wire.
Step 8 to instructions for making 3/32", Small, Round Bail Earrings using WigJig jewelry tools.


Step 9 to instructions for making Small, Round Bail Earrings using common jewelry supplies.
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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 10 to instructions for making 3/32" Small Bail Earrings using gemstone pendants.
Step 11 to instructions for making  3/32" Small Bail Earrings using jewelry wire.

Step 12 to instructions for making 3/32" Small Bail Earrings using WigJig jewelry tools.
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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 13 to instructions for making 3/32" Small Bail Earrings using sapphire pendant.
Step 14 to instructions for making 3/32" Small Bail Earrings using jewelry wire.
Step 15 to instructions for making 3/32" Small Bail Earrings using common jewelry making supplies.
Step 13 Step 14 Step 15

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 16 to instruction for making Small Bail Earrings using jewelry wire and jewelry tools.
Step 17 to making Small Bail Earrings jewelry making project.
Step 18 to instructions for making Small Bail Earrings using sapphire gemstones.
Step 16 Step 17 Step 18

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. 



Step 19 to 3/32" Small Bail Finding Jewelry Making Project
Step 20 to making Small Bail Earrings using jewelry wire and WigJig jewelry tools. Finished 3/32" bail pendant used for making Small Bail Earrings with common jewelry tools.  Fished 3/32" Small Bail Earrings Jewelry Making Project
Step 19 Step 20 Finished Bail Earrings

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.

 

 



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