Take your found beach glass treasures and turn them into a wearable piece of art! Great as a gift or to wear yourself. The instructions below are for making a necklace, however, you can turn your finished wire wrapped pieces into key chains, zipper pulls, pull chain pendants (for ceiling fans, etc.), ornaments, or gift toppers.
What you need:
- Sea Glass (Either found pieces or you can purchase some from craft stores)
- 14 Gauge aluminum wire (I use aluminum sculpture wire as it’s very easy to shape but also holds and is non staining)
- Pliers – I prefer to have a pair of round tip pliers, needle nose pliers as well as wire cutters. See an example of the pliers I use here. The project can be completed with just a pair of needle nose pliers (and wire cutter), however, you will need one of the items below to take the place of the round pliers;
- Wooden or metal skewer, thin diameter knitting needle, or jewelry mandrel.
- Cord, leather, or chain for your necklace – I used 3/16″ leather lace, 16″ long.
- Jewelry findings – For a cord necklace you will need: A clasp, two jump rings, & two fold over end caps. If you’re going with chain skip the end caps!
Step one: Cut a length of wire – I start with between 10″ & 16″, depending on the size of my sea glass. It’s better to have a piece that’s too large and we can trim down later.
Step two: Using your round pliers, “pinch” the wire at it’s center (or close to the center!) – see the next step if you don’t have round pliers.
Step three: Bend the wire around the round pliers, crossing the wire over one another, creating a loop. If you don’t have round pliers bend the wire around a skewer or mandrel for the same result!
Step four: Twist your wire two or three times, tight against your pliers or skewer/mandrel, just like a twist tie! You can use your needle nose pliers to twist instead of your fingers!
Step five: Remove your wire from your round pliers (or skewer/mandrel). This loop will become the top of your pendant.
Step six: Now we will create coils at each end of the wire we just created the loop on. Pinch and twist the end of the wire with your round pliers (or needle nose pliers).
Step seven: continue to twist and coil your wire around until you create a loop.
Step eight: Switch to your needle nose pliers or fingers and continue to coil the wire around the center loop. We want your coil to be flat – not like a spring.
Step nine: Coil your wire around 3-5 times. It’s okay if you coil too much – we can always uncoil later if you need more wire to wrap with!
Step ten: Repeat with the other end of your wire!
WRAPPING THE SEA GLASS:
Step one: Place the piece of sea glass you would like to wrap between your wire.
Step two: Tightly bend and wrap your wire around your glass – try to wrap around all sides/edges of the glass. It’s okay to overlap and cross your wire. If you feel you need more wire to wrap, try to uncoil a little from your ends to give you more slack.
Step three: Press your coils down on your glass – I have a coil on each side of this pendant but it’s okay if they both are on one side as well! Make sure your glass is secure and won’t fall out! If it does simply undo & repeat the last step until you have it wrapped tightly!
ADDING A CORD:
Step one: Cut your cord to the desired length – mine’s approx. 16″. Place through your loop.
Step two: Fasten the end caps on your cord – place the cord inside the cap…
pinch one side of the cap down, sandwiching your cord between the metal. Pinch down the other side. Squeeze tight to secure your cord in the metal!
Step three: Repeat with the other end of your cord.
Step four: Use a jump ring to attach your clasp to one side of your end cap.
Step five: Place a jump ring on the other end cap for your clasp to connect to!
Step six: Wear your wire wrapped pendant!
This project is a lot of fun and a great way to make some handmade gifts! Try using different types & gauges of wire, wrapping with more than one piece of wire, creating more coils, etc. for more variety! You can also wrap stones, pebbles, and marbles for a different look!