Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tutorial: Make a Wire Swirl Beach Stone Pendant

This smooth stone started out as an ordinary pebble. Years and years ago it had many rough edges; some people may even have called it ugly. But throughout time, this stubborn little pebble survived the merciless poundings of the waves and sand upon the beach of Lake Michigan, until finally it emerged as this beautiful smooth stone. Now you can carry this symbol of resilience and hope around your neck in the form of this small pebble, wrapped with a wire swirl to remind us of the waves of life that sometimes trouble us, but should never defeat us.

I'd like to teach you how to make this pendant that I have sold from DragonInDixie, and which will soon be available again for purchase as a complete necklace. Here are the things you will need:
Clear nail polish
20 gauge wire
One round, smooth, dark colored beach stone
Round nose pliers
Nylon nose pliers
Flush cutters
Chain nose pliers

First, choose your stone. I got mine from Lake Michigan. I stashed a bunch when I went so I wouldn't run out for a while.

Coat your stone with the clear nail polish and let dry. I already have this step completed.

Now, make a tiny loop in your wire with the round nose pliers. Continue to wrap it around itself one time like this:
 After you've begun wrapping it around, you can continue with the nylon nose pliers. Grasp the swirl of wire firmly between the jaws of the pliers, and slowly wrap it around, turning it and adjusting it as necessary.

You can make your swirl as big or small as you'd like. When you've got it the right size for your stone, put the swirl on top of your stone, and bend the wire behind it.

Figure out where you want the top to be, then bend the wire horizontally across the top, and bend it back across the back, crisscrossing the last wire.

Don't worry if you can't get it as tight as you'd like, you'll tighten it later. Now bend the wire across the front again like you did the before, but this time at the bottom. It should look something like this:
And the back should look like this:
You still have a loose tail of wire sticking out, so take it and pull it underneath one or both of the wires on the back, so it comes out at the top of your pendant.
Cut the wire down a bit, leaving enough to make a loop on the end. Then make the loop for a chain to go through with the round nose pliers.
Here's the part where we tighten it. Your stone may still have a little more breathing room than it needs, because after all, it's a stone, and stones don't breathe. So, take the chain nose pliers and get a firm grip on one of the back wires. Holding the stone in your other hand, twist the pliers (and the wire in its grasp) so that there is a little kink in the wire. This should make it tighter. Do that with the first two wires that you crossed, but not the one with the loop.
It should look like this:

Here's the finished pendant:
To make it into a necklace, simply put it on a chain with a clasp. Or if you used very small pebbles, you could make earrings, or a key chain, or a bunch of other cool things! Just use your imagination!

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