Monday, July 27, 2009
Wiring a Pendant - Transforming a Bead
You may have considered using a bead that you can see needs to hang vertically - but the hole seems to run in the other direction. What to do? Here's how you can simply use a headpin and a few spacer beads to wire up a handsome pendant. You can even keep a selection of these handy and swap them on and off a single chain.
You will need a headpin, some spacer beads, and, of course, your bead to hang vertically. Last week, we discussed using spacer beads to ensure that the headpin doesn't pull through the hole of the bead.
Make sure your headpin is generously long enough, and that is is not too light weight for the bead. Headpins with decorative ends are idea for this. (Note - the headpins on the far right of this first pic are too short for any of these beads shown.)
Try different combinations of headpins and spacers until you get a look that you think is pleasing and attractive.
The bigger a bead is, generally, the larger the hole, and so, your headpin may "slop" around inside the hole, making it hang slightly off-centre when done. To stop this, find some inexpensive beads - seedbeads or small metal beads - that will fit inside the hole, and stop the focal bead from tilting to one side. They just need to fill up that extra space.
At the other end of the bead - which will be the top, I like to select spacers/beads that complement the spacers/beads at the bottom, for a balanced look.
Then make a Wrapped Loop. We have a video tutorial here, but here's a quick recap as well.
Bend an angle (about 90 degrees) in the headpin. Leave a small gap before starting the bend.
Bend the headpin around the roundnose pliers to start the shape of the loop.
Reposition the pliers inside the loop and continue to make a round loop.
Finish by wrapping the tail of the wire around the headpin in the small gap you left earlier.
Sometimes the loop that you make is still not large enough to fit easily on and off the chain that you have chosen to hang the bead from, but you can easily add a larger jumpring to the loop to make it fit the chain you have in mind.
And there you go!
Actually - I'm not really happy with that wrap - I made the loop a little too large and consequently, ran out of headpin to make the wrap really tight, but you get the idea!