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Caged Beads Necklace

Instructions for making Caged Beads Necklace out of jewelry wire, beads and jewelry supplies using WigJig jewelry making tools:

Caged Beads Necklace Jewelry Making Project

This necklace making project combines beads inside jewelry wire cages made using our WigJig Spiral Maker tool with black, onyx beads, size 8 gold topaz S/L seed beads and Mother of Pearl Beads.  This project also features a hook and clasp made on our WigJig jewelry making tools.  The hook and clasp are shown below.  The Clasp for Caged Beads Necklace made using WigJig jewelry tools and common jewelry supplies.link used in the necklace is shown below-left in close up so that you can view the individual beads.  A larger view of this necklace can be seen here.  The necklace shown uses five jewelry wire cages made using 18 gauge soft gold-filled jewelry wire.  The clasp is made with 18 gauge half hard, round gold-filled jewelry wire. 

Close Up of Caged Beads Necklace made out of beads, jewerly wire and common jewelry supplies using WigJig jewelry tools.The large beads used in this necklace are all 6mm beads.  This includes the beads inside the cages.  For the beads inside the cages shown at right, I used 6mm Swarovski bicone beads in the color garnet AB.  I wanted the AB feature to add a little sparkle from within the beaded cages. 

This project combines the technique of stringing beads using Soft Flex bead stringing wire with the wire working techniques of making jewelry wire components on our WigJig jewelry making tools. 
 

Jewelry Supplies Required:

Jewelry Tools Required

Jewelry Making Skills Required:

  • Ability to straighten jewelry wire using nylon jaw pliers jewelry tool.
  • Ability to cut jewelry wire using flush cutter jewelry tool.
  • Ability to make a spiral in jewelry wire using WigJig jewelry tools.
  • Ability to use a WigJig jewelry tool to shape jewelry wire components.
  • Ability to make a "Cage" out of two spirals of jewelry wire using common jewelry tools.
  • Ability to string beads by hand on bead stringing wire. 
  • Ability to use crimp beads and bead crimping pliers jewelry tools to connect bead stringing wire to a clasp jewelry finding.

 

Caged Beads Necklace made on WigJig jewelry making tools with common jewelry supplies.

Step-by-step instructions for making Caged Beads Necklace using WigJig jewelry tools, jewelry wire, beads and common jewelry supplies:

There are four major tasks involved in making this caged beads necklace.  The first task in making the hook and catch clasp, the second task is making the five cages out of wire, the third task is stringing the beads and the last task is finishing the necklace by crimping the strand of strung beads to the clasp.  Our directions for making this necklace will begin with directions for making the clasp. 

The peg pattern on our WigJig jewelry tools for making this clasp is slightly different from similar clasps that we have made in the past.  Normally we would make the hook component for this clasp with two 3/16" Super Pegs.  This time we modified the design to use one 3/16" and one 1/4" Super Peg.  The reason for this modification is that our set of Small Round Super Pegs has one of each size Super Peg from 3/16" to 1/2".  For many people this would mean that they would have to purchase two sets of our Small Round Super Pegs to make this style clasp.  With this design, anyone can make this clasp with only one of each size.Peg Pattern on WigJig jewelry tools for making the Clasp for Caged Beads Necklace made out of jewelry wire.

The peg pattern on our WigJig Centaur jewelry tool for making the hook component appears as shown at left.  The steps involved begin below.

Step 1:  Cut a three inch segment of 18 gauge jewelry wire.  Half-hard jewelry wire will work better.

Step 2:  Make a loop in the end of this jewelry wire using your Step Jaw Pliers or your Round Nose Pliers.

Step 3:  Straighten the jewelry wire by pulling it through the jaws of your nylon jaw pliers while holding the wire by the loop.

Step 4:  Position a regular metal  peg, peg 1, and a 1/4" Super Peg in your jewelry making jig as shown above-left.  Place your initial loop on peg 1 and wrap the jewelry wire around peg 2. 

Step 5:  Add a 3/16" Super Peg, peg 3, to your pattern on the WigJig jewelry tool and wrap the jewelry wire around peg 3.

Instructions for making Clasp Pattern for Caged Beads Necklace showing peg pattern on WigJig jewelry tool.Clasp for Caged Beads Necklace made using WigJig jewelry making tools using common jewelry supplies.Step 6:  Remove peg 2 from the pattern on the WigJig jewelry tool and add a regular metal peg, peg 4.  Wrap the jewelry wire against peg 4 as shown. 

Step 7:  Using your Step Jaw Pliers (if you have them) or your Round Nose Pliers complete the loop in the jewelry wire where peg 4 was.  Try to make this loop the same size as the loop that was on peg 1. 

Step 8:  Using your flush cutter, cut the excess jewelry wire and close the loop with your bent chain nose pliers. 

Step 9:  Harden and flatten the jewelry wire component by squeezing it is the jaws of your nylon jaw pliers.  If you have a bench block or anvil and a nylon or metal chasing hammer, hammer the wire component to further harden the piece.  You can optionally wrap fine gauge wire around the wire component to effectively close this loop.  Use 24 gauge round jewelry wire or 22 gauge 1/2 hard 1/2 round jewelry wire. 

Instructions for making Catch for Caged Beads Necklace showing shaping jewelry wire on peg pattern on WigJig jewelry tool.  Step 10:  Now we are ready to make the catch for this clasp.  Position one regular metal peg and one 3/16" Super Peg in your WigJig jewelry tool as shown at right. 

Step 11:  Cut a 3" piece of 18 gauge jewelry wire, preferable 1/2 hard.  Make a loop in the end of this jewelry wire and straighten the wire by holding the loop and pulling the wire through the jaws of your nylon jaw pliers. 

Step 12:  Place your initial loop on the regular metal peg (with the loop pointing away from the Super Peg as shown above) and wrap your jewelry wire completely around the Step 13 to instructions for making Caged Beads Necklace using WigJig jewelry making tools to shape jewelry wire.3/16" Super Peg. 

Step 13:  Continue by wrapping your jewelry wire completely around the regular metal peg. 

 

Step 14 to instructions for making Clasp for Caged Beads Necklace showing jewelry wire after removal from WigJig jewelry tool.Step 14:  Remove the wire from your WigJig jewelry tool and insert one jaw of your round nose pliers, or the stepped jaw of your step jaw pliers into both loops made on the regular metal peg.  Push the wire down the jaws of your pliers as far as it will go and grasp the wire firmly.  Hold the pliers in your non-dominant hand and with the thumb of your dominant hand, push the wire tail so that it wraps around the wire component about 2 times. 

Catch for Caged Beads Necklace made out of jewelry wire shaped on WigJig jewelry making tools.Close up of Clasp and Catch for Caged Beads Necklace Jewelry Making ProjectStep 15:  Remove the jewelry wire from the jaws of your pliers and cut the excess wire. 

Step 16:  Using your bent chain nose pliers, flatten the cut wire tail.  This is best done by squeezing and twisting your pliers over the cut wire tail. 

Step 17:  At this point we need to make five cages.  Start by cutting five jewelry wire segments each five inches lSpiral Maker tool for Making Cages as part of Caged Beads Jewelry Making Projectong.  Straighten each wire segment using your nylon jaw pliers.

 

 

 

Step 18:  Take one of these jewelry wire segments and insert one end of the wire into one of the holes on the Spiral Maker.  Bend the wire flat against the Spiral Maker tool on the side of the Spiral Maker with the metal Step 19 to instructions for making Caged Beads Necklace showing using Spiral Maker tool to make cages out of jewelry wire.peg.  The portion of the jewelry wire inside the Spiral Maker tool will be the "stem" of the spiral. 

Step 19:  Insert the peg of the Spiral Maker tool into one of the holes in your WigJig jewelry tool.  Turn the WigJig jewelry making jig over so that you can view the wire as shown at left. 

Step 20 to instructions for making Caged Beads Necklace using WigJig tools to make cages out of jewelry wire.

 

 

Step 20:  Begin making your first spiral by pulling the end of the wire while holding the Spiral Maker tool stationary.  Adjust the force that you use to pull the jewelry wire so that you get a tight spiral without pulling so hard that the outer wire will overlap the prior loop in the wire.  Step 21 to instructions for making Caged Beads Necklace by making cages out of jewelry wire shaped on WigJig jewelry tools.Make a spiral with three loops of wire.

Step 21:  Now we need to make a second spiral in the other end of the wire.  For this second spiral, the stem needs to point in the opposite direction from the first spiral.  When making this second spiral, the spiral needs to be on the same side of the wire as the initial spiral.  See the picture at left for the orientation of the spiral.  The stem of the first spiral in the picture points up, while the stem of the second spiral points Step 21 to instructions for making Caged Beads Necklace showing jewelry wire shaped on WigJig jewelry tools to make cages.down. 

 

 

Step 22:  Remove the wire from the WigJig jewelry tool and Spiral Maker tool.  The jewelry wire should appear as shown at right.  If the two stems don't point as shown, at this point you can twist the spirals so that the stems point properly. 

Step 23 to instructions for making Caged Beads Necklace Jewelry Making ProjectStep 23:  One at a time, grasp one of these spirals and twist it so that the wire increases the size of the spiral.  By eye try to make each spiral the same size, meeting in the center of the wire.  Step 24 to instructions for making Caged Beads Necklace using jewelry wire and common jewelry making supplies.

Step 24:  Continue to build the spirals using your bent chain nose pliers until the two spirals overlap as shown at left.

 

 

 

Step 25:  Step 25 to instructions for making Caged Beads Necklace using jewelry wire cages made on WigJig jewelry making tools.Grasp one of the stems of the overlapped spirals with your bent chain nose pliers and hold the other spiral with your finger tips on your opposite hand.  Gently pull the stem so that the spiral opens as shown.

Step 26 to instructions for making Caged Beads Necklace using common jewelry supplies.Step 26:  Now we need to open the opposite side of the cage.  Grasp that stem with your bent chain nose pliers and hold the center of the cage with your finger tips.  Gently pull that side of the cage apart.  By eye space the cage so that the spaces are even.  Use your finger nail, or the jaws of your chain nose pliers to help space the wire in the spirals.Step 27 to instructions for making Caged Beads Necklace showing jewelry wire cage made using WigJig jewelry making tools.

Step 27:  Cut both stems from the jewelry wire cage. 

Step 28:  Make a total of five cages using the previous steps.

Step 29 to instructions for making Caged Beads Necklace showing open cage made out of jewerly wire.Step 29:  Open all five cages by pulling the cage apart at the center with your fingers.  Once opened, the spiral should appear as shown at left.  Step 30 to instructions for making Caged Beads Necklace using common jewelry supplies.

Step 30:  Now we are ready to begin stringing the beads.  For this necklace, we strung from the center of the necklace toward each side.  Begin by cutting a 22 inch segment of Soft Flex or Soft Touch in the size .019 or .024.  Be certain that your cutter is appropriate for cutting Soft Flex.  Please note that many jewelry wire cutters are not hard enough to cut Soft Flex without being ruined. 

Step 31 to instructions for making Caged Beads Necklace showing open jewelry wire cage, with bead inside.Step 31:  With one of the open cages, place a 6mm bead inside the cage.  With the bead in the cage, string your soft flex through the center Step 31 to instructions for making Caged Beads Necklace showing close of of jewelry wire cage with bead inside.hole on one side of the cage and then through the 6mm bead and finally through the center hole in the opposite side of the cage.  When the combination of open cage and bead are threaded on the Soft Flex, then close the cage with your fingers.  By eye separate the wire so that it is evenly spaced. 

Step 32 to instruction for making Caged Beads Necklace using common jewelry making supplies.Step 32:  The cage that we just strung will be the center-piece of the necklace.  Now we have to string the beads on either side of the cage.  String a 6mm round black onyx or a black crystal pearl on either side of the cage.  On either side of the black bead string a size 8 gold topaz S/L seed bead, followed by a black bead.  In total we will string three black beads separated by seed beads.  Use a hemostat or other clamp to hold the end of the Soft Flex as you are stringing the opposite end.  Whenever you set the necklace down, clamp both ends of the necklace. 

Step 33:  We now need to string a 6mm round Mother of Pearl bead or a 6mm white crystal pearl bead.  The white bead should be separated from the black beads on either side by size 8 gold topaz S/L beads. 

Step 34:  Continue to add beads to this necklace in the pattern shown. 

Completed Caged Beads Necklace Jewelry Making ProjectStep 35:  When all five cages have been strung, you finish the stringing with segments of three black beads, one white bead then three black beads each separated from the other by a size 8 seed bead.  String a total of 18  inches of beads as shown. 

Step 36:  When all beads have been strung, string two 2x2mm crimp beads on each side of the necklace.

Step 37:   Step 37 to instructions for making Caged Beads Necklace Jewelry Making ProjectNow thread your Soft Flex through your clasp on each side and then back through the two 2x2mm crimp beads.  (Using two crimp beads is not required.  It is insurance, sort of like wearing a belt and suspenders.)

Step 38:  Pull the Soft Flex on one side so that it is snug and the crimp beads are adjacent to the clasp.  Leave about 1-2 inches of Soft Flex on the end.  Now using your bead crimping pliers, crimp the closest crimp bead to the clasp, then the further crimp bead, making sure that both are tightly against the clasp.  You can view the process for using crimping pliers and crimp beads here.

Step 39:  Thread the excess 1-2 inches of Soft Flex inside the beads on that side of the necklace.  (If the Soft Flex will not fit in the hole in the beads, you can cut it instead.)  Pull the beads so that the entire 18 inches of beads are snugly against the clasp.

Step 40:  Now string the opposite end of your necklace through the clasp and then back through the two crimp beads.  Pull everything tight.  Use your bent chain nose pliers to help grasp the Soft Flex and pull.  If possible thread about 1-2 inches of Soft Flex through the first few beads on that side of the necklace.  With everything pulled snug, crimp the closest crimp bead to the clasp followed by the second crimp bead.  When both crimp beads have been successfully crimped, cut the excess Soft Flex with your Soft Flex wire cutter.  This will complete this necklace jewelry making project. 

(Editor's note:  We have a couple of stringing errors that can be seen in the stringing pattern of this necklace.  Please note that the proper pattern has black beads adjacent to each side of the cage wire component.  The black beads and white beads should be separated from one another by the size 8 seed beads.  Please learn from our error and check your pattern carefully before completing the necklace.)

Summary of jewelry making instructions:

There are a lot of jewelry making skills and techniques used in making this necklace.  For that reason, it is not suitable for a beginner.  Individually, the skills used are not difficult to accomplish, but the number of different skills used makes this project intimidating.  You could simplify this project by using a commercial clasp instead of making your own clasp out of jewelry wire shaped on our WigJig jewelry tools. 

Making cages out of jewelry wire is a project that is touched by magic.  When you wear this necklace, people won't be able to understand how you get the beads inside the jewelry wire cage.  You should get some interesting comments when people learn that you made this necklace. 

 

 



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