Jewelry making is having a major moment – one trip to a craft store reveals an enormous and prominent department complete with an irresistibly sparking wall of beads. Where to begin? The basic pendant, a simple drop charm, is the perfect first project.
The finished little pendant can be used for almost any piece of jewelry. Make two and hang them from earring hooks, make an assortment to dangle off a charm bracelet or line them up to make a statement necklace.
For this craft, I made a statement necklace out of chunky turquoise, glass beads and seed beads. Fine wire is easy to bend and manipulate and stretches out almost perfectly smoothly if you make a mistake.
A purchased chain is by far the easiest option for your necklace foundation, although you could easily buy chain and jewelry closures to make your own. (Hint: this is the time to put all those chains with missing pendants in your jewelry box to good use!)
Almost any kind of bead will work here – for beginners, I recommend medium and large sizes for easiest use and biggest style impact. Seed beads are very small and should only be used as spacers to make pendants longer, like I did for my necklace.
Picking out the beads is the funnest part. The turquoise I used makes a more western look, but you could use coral, crystals, or painted glass beads for an entirely custom necklace.
The wire you’re using for these pendants is a 34 gauge. It’s very thin and pliable, and works for any bead size. You could use one a bit thicker, but I would not recommend anything bigger than a 28 gauge – it will be too bulky to go through the bead hole doubled. Remember, when buying wire, the bigger the number, the smaller the gauge; that’s why a 34 gauge is finer than a 28 gauge.
When cutting wire, use nail clippers or a pair of scissors you don’t mind damaging. Wire at any gauge thickness puts little nicks in the scissor blades, basically ruining their effectiveness for paper or fabric.
Feel free to use as few or as many beads as you’d like on your pendant. For this story I used a two-bead design and a three-bead design (plus one with seed bead spacers).
1 small spool 34 gauge wire
A collection of beads in your chosen size(s)
A plain necklace chain (or earring hooks or chain bracelet!)
Cut a piece of wire about 5 inches long. Thread your first bead onto the wire and slide it to the middle. Take one end of the wire and feed it back through the bead’s hole; pull snugly. There will be a line of wire around one half of the bead. Take the wire end you just pulled through, move it up to the top of the bead and twist the end around the other wire.
Thread on your next bead and push it snugly against the first bead but be sure to cover the double twisted strands. Repeat with remaining beads if using more than two. Feed the wire through a chain link on the necklace, than wrap it around the top of the first bead to attach. Repeat as many times as needed to make more pendants.
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