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Head Pins - Spiral

Instructions for making a spiral head pin finding using jewelry wire and WigJig jewelry tools:

Spiral Head Pin Jewelry Wire Finding made using common jewelry making tools.

 

What do you do if you have a handmade glass bead with a larger than normal hole?  This tends to happen frequently with glass beads made by hand on a cane.  What do you do with a large semi-precious stone like the one shown at right?  The answer to both questions may be you make a spiral head pin like the one shown at right. 

What makes the spiral shown at right special?  The answer is that an ordinary spiral will unravel or pull apart if grabbed.  A normal spiral fails the baby test -- if a baby were to grab the spiral would it pull apart.  The spiral shown at right is made so that it will pass the baby test.  It won't pull apart if grabbed by a baby, or if snagged in a sweater. 

We make this spiral using our WigJig Spiral Maker, which allows us to wrap the center wire in the spiral around the outer wire.  By doing this we make a permanent spiral that won't pull apart. 
 

Jewelry Making Supplies

Jewelry Tools Required

  • 8 inches of 20 gauge round, soft jewelry wire,
  • Any large glass bead or semi-precious stone with a top to bottom hole.
  • Ruler,
  • Flush cutter,
  • Round nose pliers,
  • Bent chain nose pliers (2),
  • Nylon jaw pliers
  • Any WigJig Jewelry Making Tool,
  • Spiral Maker Tool for your jewelry making jig
  • 10 minutes of free time

Spiral Head Pin Jewelry Wire Finding made using common jewelry tools.Step-by-step instructions for making a Spiral Head Pin out of jewelry wire using WigJig jewelry tools:

Step 1:  Using your nylon jaw pliers straighten a segment of 20 gauge soft jewelry wire about 8 inches long. 

Step 2:  Using your flush cutter, cut the 8 inches of jewelry wire off of your spool or coil of wire.

Step 3:  Place about 1 1/4 inch of wire through one of the holes in your WigJig Spiral Maker Tool and bend the jewelry wire flat against the bottom surface of the Spiral Maker as shown in the photograph below-left. 

Step 4:  This step is optional, but it makes the center of the spiral more rounded.  Grasp the jewelry wire with your round nose pliers on the long wire segment, but close to the right angle bend and bend the wire about 180 degrees as shown below-center. 

Step 5:  After making the 180 degree bend in your jewelr wire, the wire should appear as shown below-right. 

Step 3 to instructions for making a Spiral Head Pin Jewelry Wire Finding showing Spiral Maker jewelry tool. Step 4 to instructions for making a Spiral Head Pin Jewelry Wire Finding using common jewelry making tools.
Step 5 to instructions for making a Spiral Head Pin Jewelry Wire Finding out of common jewelry supplies.
Step 3 Step 4 Step 5

 

Step 6 to instructions for making a Spiral Head Pin Jewelry Wire Finding using WigJig jewelry making tools.Step 6:  Insert the metal peg from your Spiral Maker Tool into a hole in your WigJig jewelry tool.  We suggest that you use a hole close to the edge of the jewelry making jig as shown at right. 

Step 7:  Pull the jewelry wire around to make a spiral.  Add to the spiral in small increments.  Adjust the tension that you pull with so that the spiral is tight, but not so tight that the wire will over-ride a prior loop of wire. Please see the picture below-left to see how the Spiral Maker is used. 

Step 8:  Remove the jewelry wire from your WigJig jewelry tool and Spiral Maker Tool.  At this point the wire should appear as shown below-center. 

Step 9:  Using your bent chain nose pliers, grasp the jewelry wire as close to the outside of the spiral as possible, as shown below-right. 

Step 7 to instructions for making a Spiral Head Pin Jewelry Wire Finding made using WigJig jewelry tools.

 

Step 8 to instructions for making a Spiral Head Pin Jewelry Wire Finding made using common jewelry tools.

 

 

Step 9 to instructions for making a Spiral Head Pin Jewelry Wire Finding out of common jewelry supplies.

Step 7 Step 8 Step 9

Step 10 to instructions for making a Spiral Head Pin Jewelry Wire Finding showing wire component held in common jewelry tool.Step 10:  Bend the jewelry wire so that the long wire tail points to the center of the spiral as shown at right. 

Step 11:  Below-left is another view of how your jewelry wire should appear.  The out of focus jewelry wire segment is pointing up and away from the table. 

Step 12:  Using your bent chain nose pliers grasp the spiral as shown below, center.  Holding the spiral in your pliers preserves the shape of the spiral as we bend the center and outer wires. 

Step 13:  Now bend the center wire of the spiral down as shown below-right. 

 

Step 11 to instructions for making a Spiral Head Pin Finding using common jewelry tools to shape jewelry wire.

Step 12 to instructions for making a Spiral Head Pin finding using jewelry tools to shape jewelry wire.

 

Step 13 to instructions for making a Spiral Head Pin Finding out of jewelry wire shaped on common jewelry making tools.

Step 11 Step 12 Step 13

Step 14 to instructions for making a Spiral Head Pin finding out of jewelry wire shaped on common jewelry tools.

Step 14:  Continue to hold the spiral with your bent chain nose pliers, and bend the center wire from the spiral down again as shown at right. 

Step 15 to Spiral Head Pin Jewelry Wire Finding -- Jewelry Making TechniqueStep 15:  Now, we need to change our grip with the bent chain nose pliers.  Reposition your pliers as shown at right.  This new grip will allow us to preserve the shape of the spiral as we wrap the short wire tail around the long wire segment. 

Step 16:  While firmly holding the spiral, wrap the short wire segment around the long wire segment as shown below-left. 

Step 17:  When the wrap is completed, your jewelry wire should appear as shown below-center. 

Step 18:  Using your flush cutter, you need to cut the excess jewelry wire as shown below-right. 

Step 16 to instructions for making a Spiral Head Pin out of jewelry wire shaped on common jewelry making tools. Step 17 to instructions for making Spiral Head Pin Jewelry Wire Finding out of common jewelry making supplies.
Step 18 to instructions for making a Spiral Head Pin Jewelry Wire Finding showing jewelry wire shaped on common jewelry tools.
Step 16 Step 17 Step 18

Step 19 to instructions for making a Spiral Head Pin Jewelry Wire Finding our of jewelry wire shaped on WigJig jewelry tools.Step 19:  Using your bent chain nose pliers or a pair of bent closing pliers, squeeze the cut end of the wire flat as shown at right.  This step completes a spiral that won't pull apart. 

Step 20 to instructions for making a Spiral Head Pin using common jewelry tools and jewelry supplies.Step 20:  From the front of the spiral, your spiral head pin will now appear as shown at right. 

Step 21:  Insert your spiral head pin into your glass bead or semi-precious stone until the top of the spiral is in contact with the stone or bead.  See the picture below-left. 

Step 22:  At this point we need to make a loop at the top of the stone or bead.  We begin the process of making the loop at the top, by gripping the jewelry wire immediately above the stone or bead with your bent chain nose pliers and bending the wire 90 degrees as shown below-center. 

Step 23:  Now we need to make a larger than normal loop at the top of the semi-precious stone or glass bead.  We want a larger loop than normal so that the end of a chain can pass through the loop.  If you have a very large clasp on your chain, you can connect the bead to the chain after this step is completed, but before the loop is wrapped closed in step 24.  There are a couple of ways to make a larger than normal loop.  The first way is to use your round nose pliers and make the largest possible loop that your pliers can support.  This is done by grasping the wire near the 90 degree bend with your round nose pliers as close to the hinge of the pliers as possible and then making the loop.  The second way is to place a 3/16" or 1/4" Super Peg in your WigJig jewelry tool and use that to make the loop.  Place your bead or stone on your jewelry making jig, with the 90 degree bend as close to the Super Peg as possible and then wrapping the jewelry wire around the Super Peg. 

Step 21 to instructions for making a Spiral Head Pin using common jewelry making tools to shape jewelry wire. Step 22 to instructions for making a Spiral Head Pin out of jewelry wire shaped on common jewelry making tools. Step 23 to making a spiral head pin using jewelry wire shaped on WigJig jewelry making tools.
Step 21 Step 22 Step 23

Step 24 to instructions for making a Spiral Head Pin Jewelry Wire Finding using common jewelry supplies and WigJig jewelry tools.Step 24:  Grasp the loop in the jewelry wire with your bent chain nose pliers and hold it firmly.  This preserves the round shape in the loop.  While holding the loop, wrap the wire around the wire through the center of the stone our bead.  See the picture at right. 

Step 25:  Using your flush cutter, cut the excess jewelry wire. 

Step 26:  Where you cut the excess wire, there will be a short wire tail that you will need to squeeze and twist flat.  The best way to do this is to hold the loop with one pair of bent chain nose pliers and squeeze and twist the cut end of the wire with a second pair of chain nose or bent chain nose pliers.  See the picture below-left. 

Step 27:  The finished project will appear as shown below center.  Please note that we have oriented the loop at the top so that it is perpendicular to the spiral.  This will allow the spiral to be oriented properly while the pendant is being worn.  You can also use the same steps to make a spiral dangle without the bead as shown below-right. 

 


Step 26 to instructions for making a Spiral Head Pin using jewelry wire shaped on WigJig jewelry making tools.

Step 27 to making a Spiral Head pin using common jewelry tools to shape jewelry wire.

 

 

Spiral Dangle made out of jewelry wire using WigJig jewelry tools.

Step 26 Step 27 Spiral Dangle

Summary of jewelry making instructions:

Making pendants out of large beads or gemstones with large holes can be problematic.  Normal jewelry making findings will not work when the hole in the bead or gemstone is too large.  Using the above technique for making a head pin, you will be able to accommodate beads or gemstones with almost any size of hole.  This is the jewelry making technique that we use when faced with a bead or a gemstone with a large hole.

 

 



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