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Gemstone Bail Necklace

Instructions for making Gemstone Bail Necklace out of jewelry wire, gemstones and jewelry making supplies using WigJig jewelry tools:

 

We will discuss two projects for making a bail finding out of jewelry wire using WigJig jewelry tools.  The first bail will be a teardrop bail.  After discussing the teardrop bail, we will discuss a triangular bail.  Both bails are very similar.  These are a slightly more advanced bail projects.  These project have a lot of steps.  We are going to document all 25 steps because following all these steps is what allows us to make this bail finding in a very consistent manner.  This is an intermediate jewelry making project. 





Teardrop Bail Jewelry Making Finding made using WigJig jewelry tools

Teardrop Bail Necklace made using jewelry wire and WigJig jewelry tools.

Close-Up of Teardrop Bail Finished Necklace

 

Jewelry Supplies Required:

Jewelry Tools Required:

  • Gemstone Pendant
  • 4 inches of 22 or 24 gauge round jewelry wire
  • Commercial necklace chain
  • Flush cutters
  • Round Nose Pliers
  • Bent Chain Nose Pliers (2)
  • Nylon Jaw Pliers
  • Ruler
  • WigJig Jewelry Making Tool
  • 3/16" Super Peg
  • 20 minutes of free time

Jewelry Making Skills Required:

  • Ability to make a loop in jewelry wire using round nose pliers or step jaw pliers jewelry tools.
  • Ability to cut jewelry wire with a fulsh cutter jewelry tool.
  • Ability to straighten jewelry wire with nylon jaw pliers jewelry tool.
  • Ability to make a jewelry wire component on a WigJig jewelry tool.
  • Ability to wrap jewelry wire around itself to make a permanent wire components using common jewelry tools.

 

Step-by-Step Jewelry Making Instructions for Making the Teardrop Bail using jewelry wire and WigJig jewelry tools:

Step 1:  Using your flush cutter, cut a segment of 22 or 24 gauge round jewelry wire three inches long.  For this project, soft jewelry wire works much better. 

Step 2:  Position a 3/16" Super Peg and a regular metal peg in your jewelry making jig as shown below-left.  Place your jewelry wire on the WigJig jewelry tool so that 3/4" of wire are on one side of the peg and the remaining 2 1/4" of wire are on the opposite side. 

Step 3:  Hold the short 3/4" jewelry wire segment, down with one hand while you wrap the wire around the pegs two times.  See the picture below-center. 

Step 4:  Remove the jewelry wire from the WigJig jewelry tool and it should appear as shown below-right. 


Step 2 to instructions for making Teardrop Bail out of jewelry wire using WigJig jewelry making tools.
Step 3 to instructions for making Teardrop Bail finding showing shaping jewelry wire on WigJig jewelry tools.


Step 4 to instructions for making Teardrop Bail Necklace showing jewelry wire after removal from WigJig jewelry making tool.
Step 2 Step 3 Step 4

Step 5 to instructions for making Teardrop Bail Necklace using common jewelry tools and jewelry supplies.

Step 5:  Using your round nose pliers, grasp the teardrop loop as shown at right.  Please note that your goal is to grasp the loop slightly off-center on the side of the loop with the short wire segment.  The reason for this is that in the next step we are going to bend the long wire segment down and want it to be in the center of the teardrop loop after we bend it down.

Step 6:  Bend the long jewelry wire segment down.  When completed the wire should appear as shown below-left. 

Step 7:  Now we need to replace the jewelry wire on the WigJig jewelry tool.  We do this so that the teardrop pattern in the pegs will support the teardrop pattern in the wire and allow us to start wrapping the wire at the appropriate position.  Place the jewelry wire on your jewelry making jig as shown below-center.  Try to get the jewelry wire firmly against the pegs with as little gaps as possible.  Please note that the short wire segment is on the bottom, with the long wire segment on the top.

Step 8:  While holding the wire firmly against the pegs, lift the short wire segment up and over the long wire segment as shown below-right.  We started this wrap with the wire on the jig so that we could precisely begin the wire wrap and preserve the shape of the teardrop.  We will complete this wrap in a later step. 

Step 6 to instructions for making a Teardrop Bail Necklace using common jewelry making supplies. Step 7 to instructions for making a Teardrop Bail Necklace by shaping jewelry wire on WigJig jewelry tools. Step 8 to instructions for making a Teardrop Bail Necklace showing using WigJig jewelry tools to shape jewelry wire.
Step 6 Step 7 Step 8

Step 9 to instructions for making a Teardrop Bail Necklace showing jewelry wire after removal from WigJig jewelry tool.

Step 9:  Remove the wire from your WigJig jewelry tool.  At this point the jewelry wire should appear as shown at right.  The teardrop shape in our wire is essentially permanent because the bend in the wire sets the teardrop shape.

Step 10:  In this step we are beginning the process of shaping the wire so that it will pass through the hole in your pendant.  Grasp the long wire segment immediately below the teardrop with the tips of your bent chain nose pliers as shown below-left. 

Step 11:  Bend the jewelry wire about 30 degrees as shown below-center.  In order to bend the wire, push the long wire segment with your thumb on your dominant hand while you hold the bent chain nose pliers in your non-dominant hand.  When you push the wire, have your thumb as close to the pliers as possible.  This will cause the bend to be crisp or sharp and not rounded. 

Step 12:  Now we need to reposition our grip on the wire so that we can make the bend that will cause the wire to pass horizontally through the hole in your pendant.  Grip the long jewelry wire segment about 3/16" below the bend in the wire that you made in step 11.  See the picture below-right. 

Step 10 to instructions for makign a Teardrop Bail Necklace by shaping jewelry wire using common jewelry tools. Step 11 to instructions for making a Teardrop Bail Necklace by using common jewelry tools to shape jewelry wire. Step 12 to instructions for making a Teardrop Bail Necklace showing shaping jewelry wire using common jewelry tools.
Step 10 Step 11 Step 12

Step 13 to instructions for making a Teardrop Bail Gemstone Necklace showing shaping jewelry wire using common jewelry making tools.

Step 13:  When you have completed the bend in step 12, the jewelry wire will appear as shown at right.  Please note that the bend at the edge of the pliers is a sharp angle, and not rounded because we pushed with our thumb close to the pliers. 

Step 14:  Remove the jewelry wire from your pliers.  At this point the wire will appear as shown below-left.  You may notice that the orientation of the teardrop loop is not correct for allowing the chain to pass through the loop and have the pendant hang in the proper orientation.  We will correct this in a latter step.

Step 15:  Slide the long wire segment into your pendant as shown below-center.  Slide the pendant until it is touching the wire on the left that leads to the teardrop loop. 

Step 16:  With the pendant held all the way at the left, using your thumb on your dominant hand, bend the wire up until it crosses the wire below the teardrop loop as shown below-right.  Again, push with your thumb as close to the pendant as possible.  If the bend happens to be too rounded, you can use your bent chain nose pliers to help squeeze the wire near the pendant so that the bend will be less rounded.  If possible position the wire so that both the short wire segment and the long wire segment are on the same side of the wire below the teardrop loop.  This will slightly improve the quality of the finished piece. 




Step 14 to instructions for making a Teardrop Bail Necklace showing the jewelry wire after removal from the jewelry tools.
Step 15 to instructions for making a Teardrop Bail Necklace showing inserting jewelry wire into gemstone. Step 16 to instructions for making a Teardrop Bail Necklace using jewelry wire to make a bail hanger for a gemstone.
Step 14 Step 15 Step 16

Step 17 to instructions for making a Teardrop Bail Necklace out of gemstones and jewelry wire.

Step 17:  When wrapping one wire around another, it is important that the two wires remain perpendicular to one another.  For this reason, we are going to need to bend the long wire segment so that it is perpendicular to the wire below the teardrop loop.  To start this bend, grasp the jewelry wire with your bent chain nose pliers as shown at right.  Note that you want your pliers slightly below where you want the bend.

Step 18:  Push the jewelry wire so that it is perpendicular to the wire below the teardrop as shown below-left. 

Step 19:  At this point we need to wrap the long wire segment around the wire below the teardrop loop one time.  To do this without distorting the shape of the wire, we need to hold the wire with our bent chain nose pliers.  Change your grip on the wire so that you are holding both wire segments above the pendant as shown below-center.  Hold your bent chain nose pliers in your non-dominant hand. 

Step 20:  While firmly holding the wire with your bent chain nose pliers, bend the long wire segment 180 degrees as shown below-right. 

Step 18 to instructions for making a Teardrop Bail Necklace showing using jewelry tools to shape jewelry wire. Step 19 to instructions for making a Teardrop Bail Necklace showing jewelry wire being shaped by jewelry tools. Step 20 to instructions for making a Teardrop Bail Necklace showing jewelry making tools shaping jewelry wire.
Step 18 Step 19 Step 20

Step 21 to instructions for making a Teardrop Bail Necklace showing gemstone with jewelry wire.

Step 21:  To finish this teardrop bail wire component we need to do a couple of things.  We need to wrap the short wire segment around the wire below the teardrop loop to fill the space above the pendant and we need to cut the excess wire on both the short wire segment and the long wire segment and then squeeze the cut ends flat.  The order for this isn't terribly important.  Based upon the last step your wire and pendant will appear as shown at right.

Step 22:  In these instructions we are going to wrap the short wire segment first.  It might have been easier to cut the excess wire from the long wire segment first so that it wasn't in our way, but the pictures below don't show that.  To wrap the short wire segment you need to hold the teardrop loop either with chain nose pliers or with the thumb and fore-finger on your non-dominant hand.  Because we had to use soft wire for this project so that the teardrop loop would be shaped correctly, making this wrap is going to be more difficult than normal.  We used our bent chain nose pliers to help us keep this wrap tight.  You can also make this wrap with just your fingers, but using your fingers the wrap tends to be loose and not as consistent.  A good technique is to wrap one loop in the wire by using just your fingers and then use your pliers to twist that wrap so that it will be tight then make a wrap the same way.  When using your pliers, the pliers will be gripping the wrapped loop and not gripping the end of the short wire segment.  Make about 2 wraps until the space above the pendant is filled with wrapped wire.  See the picture below-left for what your wire should look like.  This part takes a little practice. 

Step 23:  Using your flush cutter, cut the excess wire.  After cutting the excess wire, squeeze and twist the cut end of the wire with your bent chain nose pliers so that the cut end lays flat.  Your wire should appear as shown below-center. 

Step 24:  Using your flush cutter cut the excess wire from the long wire segment and using your bent chain nose pliers squeeze the cut end until it lays flat.    Your wire should now appear as shown below-right. 

Step 22  to instructions for making a Teardrop Bail Necklace showing jewelry wire on gemstone. Step 23 to instructions for making a Teardrop Bail Necklace showing jewelry wire bail. Step 24 to instructions for making a Teardrop Bail Necklace showing finished jewelry wire bail finding.
Step 22 Step 23 Step 24

Step 25 to instructions for making Teardrop Bail Necklace out of common jewelry supplies.


Step 25:  The process that we followed would work perfectly for a pendant with a front-to-back hole.  For the pendant shown here with a side-to-side hole we will need to twist the teardrop loop until it is oriented as shown at right.  This is easy to do with just your fingers.  You will want to twist the teardrop loop 90 degrees so that you are adding 90 degrees to the wrapped wire from the short wire segment and not in the opposite direction.  This actually helps to tighten the wrapped loops and makes the finished piece look slightly better. 

Step 26:  The final step is to separate the two loops by about 15 degrees as shown below-left.  It is best to accomplish this step by using your bent chain nose pliers to slide between the two loops and bend each loop slightly away from vertical. 

Step 27:  A close up of the finished product is shown below-right.  This teardrop bail has a front side and a back side.  Ideally, you would wear the pendant with the back side toward the wearer's body.  The front side is the side shown below-right.  On this side you can not see the end of the wire from the short wire segment but you may be able to view the end of the long wire segment.  The back side of the pendant is the side shown below-left.  On this side you can view the end of the short wire segment and it is slightly less esthetically pleasing. 

The pendants shown here are our 22x30mm pendants and can be found here.

Completed Gemstone with Jewelry Wire Bail hanger for making necklaces.




Close up of jewelry wire bail attached to gemstone used for making necklaces.
Step 26 Step 27

3 Peg Jewelry Wire Bail Necklace made with common jewelry making supplies.Triangular Jewelry Wire Bail Jewelry Making Project made with common jewelry supplies.

Triangular Jewelry Wire Bail made with WigJig jewelry tools and jewelry wire:

Our Triangular Jewelry Wire bail is another way to make a pendant out of a larger gemstone or CZ.  Shown at right are two pendants, one with a side-to-side hole and one with a front-to-back hole.  These instructions will cover how to make a bail finding for either bead.  The bead shown near right is our 22x30mm Pear Cubic Zirconia Pendant and can be found in the Pendants sub-department to our "More Bling" area of our Internet store.  The pendant at right is a product that we have on order and hope to add to our Internet store in May 2009.  Our instructions for how to make this bail finding begin below.  These instructions use our WigJig Centaur or Cyclops and 4 inches of 22 gauge wire.  This is an advanced beginners to intermediate jewelry making project. 

 Step-by-Step Instructions for Making the Triangular Bail using gemstones and common jewelry supplies:

Step 1:  Using your nylon jaw pliers straighten a segment of 22 gauge jewelry wire wire 4 inches long.  1/2 hard wire will work better than soft wire if you have it available.  Our 22 gauge non-tarnish brass Artistic Wire, Item 0523, is good wire for this project.  Instructions for making a Triangular Jewelry Wire Bail Necklace showing jewelry wire shaped on WigJig jewelry tools -- Step 4

Step 2:  Using your flush cutter cut that segment of jewelry wire to a length of 4". 

Step 3:  Using your fine step jaw pliers, make a "P" loop in the end of the jewelry wire sized so that it will fit on a peg in your WigJig Cyclops or Centaur jewelry tool. 

Step 4:  Place three regular metal pegs in a WigJig Cyclops or Centaur jewelry tool as shown at right.  Place the "P" loop in your jewelry wire on the furthest left peg as shown. 

 

Instructions for making a Triangular Jewelry Wire Bail Necklace by shaping jewelry wire on WigJig jewelry tools -- Step 5

Step 5:  Wrap your jewelry wire tightly around the three pegs in the center of the WigJig Centaur or Cyclops jewelry tool two times.  You may find that it will be easier to wrap tightly by removing one peg at a time to allow you to push the wire past that peg.  There are two wraps of jewelry wire around the central pegs shown at right, but from this perspective you can only see the top of the two wire triangles. 

Step 6:  Remove the jewelry wire from the jewelry making jig and it should appear as shown below-left.

Step 7:  Using your round nose pliers, grip the triangles of jewelry wire slightly on the left of center at the point of the triangle, and bend the long wire tail down as shown below-center.  Your goal is that the long wire tail points to the center of the triangle. 

Step 8:  Place your jewelry wire back on the WigJig jewelry tool with the initial loop in the position shown below-right.  You can remove the left-most peg if this will help.  We are putting the jewelry wire back on the jewelry making jig because in the next step we have to start the wrap of the initial wire segment around the longer wire tail and the jig will help to preserve the shape of the triangles of wire. 






Instructions for making a Triangular Jewelry Wire Bail Necklace by using jewelry tools to shape jewelry wire -- Step 6
Instructions for making a Triangular Jewelry Wire Bail Necklace by using jewelry tools to shape jewelry wire -- Step 7 Instructions for making a Triangular Jewelry Wire using WigJig jewelry tools to shape jewelry wire -- Step 8
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Instructions for making a Triangular Jewelry Wire Bail Necklace by shaping jewelry wire on WigJig jewelry making tools -- Step 9

Step 9:  Pull the initial segment of jewelry wire up and over while holding the triangles of wire in position on the pegs in your jewelry making jig.  This step gets the wrap of wire started in the correct position.  See the picture at right. 

Step 10:  Remove the jewelry wire from your WigJig jewelry tool.  It should appear as shown below-left. 

Step 11:  Using your bent chain nose pliers grasp the long wire tail immediately below the triangles and bend the wire about 30 to 45 degrees as shown below-center. 

Step 12:  Grasp the jewelry wire at the 30 to 45 degree bend with your bent chain nose pliers and bend the wire so that it is parallel to the beginning wire segment as shown below-right. 

Step 10 to instructions for making a Triangular Jewelry Wire Bail Necklace using common jewelry tools.


Step 11 to instructions for making a Triangular Jewelry Wire Bail Necklace using common jewelry tools.




Step 12 to instructions for making a Triangular Jewelry Wire Bail Necklace using common jewelry supplies.
Step 10 Step 11 Step 12

Instructions for making a Triangular Jewelry Wire Bail using common jewelry supplies -- Step 13

Step 13:  Add your pendant bead or gemstone to the long wire tail as shown at right.  Slide the pendant all the way onto the wire.

Step 14:  With the pendant or gemstone pushed as far to the left as possible in the picture below-left, bend the wire tail up and ultimately across the top of the pendant bead or gemstone as shown.  You can push the wire with your thumb or forefinger. or some my find that pushing with the jaws of your bent chain nose pliers will help.  Try to push the wire so that the initial wire segment and the long wire tail are on the same side of the wire triangles if possible. 

Step 15:  Grasp the jewelry wire with your bent chain nose pliers as shown below-center. 

Step 16:  While holding the jewelry wire in your pliers, bend the wire tail until it is parallel to the beginning wire segment but pointing in the opposite direction.  See the picture below-right. 

Instructions for making a Triangular Jewelry Wire Bail Necklace using common jewelry tools -- Step 14 Instructions for making a Triangular Jewelry Wire Bail Necklace using common jewelry making supplies -- Step 15 Instructions for making a Triangular Jewelry Wire Bail Necklace using common jewelry tools to shape wire -- Step 16
Step 14 Step 15 Step 16

Instructions for making a Triangular Jewelry Wire Bail Necklace using common jewelry supplies -- Step 17

Step 17:  Change your grip on the jewelry wire as shown at right.  You want to grip both sides of the wire immediately above the pendant bead or gemstone.  The goal by griping the wire here is to preserve the shape of the wire above the pendant bead or gemstone while you wrap the wire around the wire segment between the pendant bead and the triangles.   

Step 18:  Push the wire tightly around the wire segment between the pendant and the triangles in wire.  Your goal is to wrap the wire around 180 degrees one time.  Half-hard will naturally wrap tighter than soft wire.  See the picture below-left for how the wire should appear after the wrap. 

Step 19:  Remove your pliers from the jewelry wire and the wire will appear as shown below-center. 

Step 20:  Using your thumb and forefinger on your non-dominant hand, tightly grasp the triangles and hold them while you wrap the initial wire segment (with the loop) tightly around the wire between the triangles and the pendant.  Wrap as many times as is required to fill the space in the wire as shown below-right.  You may find that using your bent chain nose pliers to help push the initial wire segment around will help allow you to wrap tighter.  You will also find that 1/2 hard jewelry wire will wrap tighter naturally while soft jewelry wire will be more difficult to get a tight wrap. 

Instructions for making a Triangular Jewelry Wire Bail Necklace using common jewelry tools -- Step 18 Instructions for making a Triangular Jewelry Wire Bail Necklace using common jewelry supplies -- Step 19 Instructions for making a Triangular Jewelry Wire Bail Necklace using common jewelry making supplies -- Step 20
Step 18 Step 19 Step 20

Instructions for making a Triangular Jewelry Wire Bail Necklace -- Step 21

Step 21:  Using your flush cutter, cut the excess jewelry wire on both the wire tail and the initial wire segment. 

Step 22:  Where you cut both wire segments, you will need to squeeze the cut end of the wire flat using your bent chain nose pliers.  It will be best to squeeze with your pliers and twist at the same time while holding the triangles with your thumb and forefinger on your non-dominant hand. 

Step 23:  In the picture, above right, you should notice that the triangles are not oriented as needed for the pendant to hang properly.  At this point, we need to twist the triangles 90 degrees so that they are orientated as shown below-left.  It is important to twist the triangles in the direction so that you are adding 1/4 turn to the wrap of the wire and not so that you are undoing the wrap by 1/4 turn. 

Step 24:  The final step is to use your finger nail to slightly pull the two triangles apart.  Once you have them slightly apart, you can use your bent chain nose pliers to bend the triangles so that they are open by about 15 degrees as shown below-center. 








Gemstone pendant hanging from jewelry wire bail before separating wire at top.







Completed gemstone pendant hanging from jewerly wire bail finding made using common jewelry tools.
Completed Jewelry Wire Bail earrings and necklace made using common jewelry supplies.
Step 22 Step 23 Finished!

Summary of jewelry making instructions:

In our free instructions above, we show a couple of techniques for setting gemstones into pendants using jewelry wire and our WigJig jewelry making tools.  While the jewelry making techniques shown are not suitable for beginners to making wire jewelry, they are something that most advanced beginners should be able to accomplish.  As with most jewelry making skills, the secret is to practice.  Don't be afraid to set a gemstone pendant using inexpensive copper practice wire and then after you have finished, cut the practice wire off and start over again with the same practice wire.  We suggest using practice wire at least three times before you try making this pendant with your good jewelry wire.  The results are worth it.

 

 



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