I originally published this tute on Craftster.org, but thought you guys might like to see it, and see how it's made! The tutorial may seem long and complicated, but once you have the hang of it, it goes PDQ!
This is a necklace that I made to showcase an art clay pendant made by Sharleen Newland, of Shaterra Clay Studio (or buy her work from her Etsy shop). This is a rather long necklace, 14” per side, not counting the pendant's length- probably going to remove a few links on each side, to shorten it up. If you want to make this in a shorter length, i.e., for a choker, just eliminate some of the spiral links, and use fewer between your hoop links- each link is roughly 1/2” long.
I was lucky enough to receive this pendant as part of a Totally Tutorials exchange, where you get free supplies, in exchange for creating a tute for the finished project, and posting it online. So, without further ado, here's how I did it!
1 Shaterra Clay Studios Pendant, approximately 1½" x 2”
1 Shaterra Clay Studios Pendant, approximately 1½" x 2”
18 gauge silver wire, 12' or so
20 gauge copper wire, a few inches
24 gauge copper wire, a foot or so
8 or more accent beads, ¼" to 3/8” each
1 clasp (or make your own!)
Ballpoint pen, or other small cylandrical item to use as a mandrel
2 sets of flat-jawed pliers (chain nosed or needle nosed, without teeth)
Round-nosed jewelry pliers
Wire cutter / flush cutter
Optional Tools (Not necessary, but they make the little things easier!)
Nylon-jawed pliers (for straightening wire)
Small metal or needle files
Bent-nosed pliers (for those tough-to-get-at angles)
Anvil or jeweler's block (metal surface for pounding metals)
Small chasing or ball peen hammer
To Begin: Gently unwind your 18 ga. silver wire from the spool, straightening as you go. Measure and mark off 3” segments of wire- cut 40 pieces, or less, if you wish. These will become your spiral links. Then, mark 8 sections of wire at 2 ½" each- these will become your beaded hoop links. Finally, mark and cut a 4” piece- this will be your center (heart) link. Make sure to keep your pieces separated by size, so that you can grab 'em without having to think about it- you'll find that making the links zips right along, if you're organized! If you're using a needle file, file the sharp edges off of the ends of your pieces- it's worth it to do this, if you don't want your finished piece to snag on your clothing.
To create your spiral links: grip one end of a 3” piece of wire with your round-nosed pliers, and create a loop approximately 1/4” across (outside diameter).
Transfer the loop end of the wire to your chain-nosed pliers, and gently rotated it around, while adding wire to your spiral.
Do this in small increments, to keep that spiral nice and flat!
When you have around ½” of straight wire left, take your round-nosed pliers, and create a loop, in the opposite direction of the spiral, winding it back to meet the spiral. You should have a nice little spiral charm, with a hole through the middle.
Follow this same process with all of your other 3” pieces. Do you like to hammer stuff? (I do!) You can gently, VERY gently hammer the spirals at this time, if you'd like. But don't hammer the connecting loops- JUST the spirals!
Now you'll be doing your beaded hoops. Create a loop at each end of one of the 2 1/2" pieces, a little under 1/4".
Straighten them, so that they're centered on the shaft of the wire.
Center your piece of wire on the barrel of your Sharpie marker, and gently bend your wire piece around the Sharpie.
At this point, if you'd like, you can hammer the bottom of your loop to give it a nice, finished look, and to make it stronger.
See how nice that looks?
Wrap the hoop, at the neck just below the two loops several times, with a bit of your 24 gauge copper wire. This can be done easily, straight off the spool.
Cut the ends closely, and bend inward as much as possible, or leave longer ends and tuck inside of your wraps. So now you have a cute little dealy that looks like this:
Then, cut a short bit (1 ½” to 2” in length) from the 24 gauge wire, and wrap 3-5 times around one side of your hoop.
Thread a bead or beads (I used tiny copper washers, and some 5mm glass beads on mine) onto the long end of your wire; then wrap the other end around the opposite side of your hoop, the same number of times as you did on the first side. (Tip: to make your central, beaded wire nice and tight, start your second wrap a little ways down from the horizontal center of your hoop- then, when you're finished, scootch the wraps upward, to center. Instantly taut wire!)
Tighten your wraps and adjust them, then cut your ends and tighten down the cut ends, so that they don't catch on things.
Now we're going to make some copper D rings: find something that is a bit under ½” across, and roughly 1/8th of an inch deep, and wrap your 20 gauge wire around it, to form rectangular or oval loops. Slide them off of the object, and snip them off, about halfway across one of the long sides, creating rectangular or oval jumprings. Alternate method: grip your wire about halfway across the width of your chainnose pliers, and turn, making a 90 degree bend. Flip your pliers, and create another 90 degree bend, about 1/8th inch down from that, like so:
Then, bend the wire again, so that it crosses the original end. Keep shaping the wire this way, creating a rectangular-shaped tube of spiralled wire. Then, just snip off your new rectangular jump rings!
You'll need a total of 16 of these. They will be used to connect the non-looped ends of the hoops to the spiral sections.
Close the loop, connecting the two links.
For the heart of the matter: take your 4” piece of wire, and start another spiral on one end, with your round-nosed pliers. As before, use your chain-nosed pliers to add to the spiral, once it's started. Start another, facing the first, on the other side. Keep them equal in size- you'll want the whole piece to be about 1” long, total.
The finishing touches: add jump rings to the “top” ends of your chains, and attach either a purchased clasp, or make one, using your wires. If you make a double-thick hook clasp, wrap it in the 24 gauge copper, to tie it in to your chain's bicolor theme. A nice touch, also, is to add a dangle with an extra accent bead on it, to the “loop” half of the clasp, and it makes it easier to find it, when you're trying to get your necklace on. (Sadly, I was unable to do this, as my beads had narrow little holes in them, and wouldn't fit on my silver wire!) Remove excess links, if it's too long, or add a few on each side, if it's not. Check over your connections, and tighten up anything that needs it. And you are DONE!
Sure hope you all enjoyed seeing this. Although this is an old one (2009), it's by no means the last tutorial you'll see on here- I'm thinking about sharing my method for a fun, stackable, and simple little sparkly