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Helios pendant

Wire-wrap around a bold crystal centerpiece for a contemporary pendant

After wrapping the centerpiece for this pendant, you’ll create lots of pearl and gemstone accents. Keep the necklace simple (a leather cord will do the trick) so that all eyes stay on the prize.

Read instructions on fashioning the frame for the pendant below. For complete instructions for this project, including creating the dangles, click here for the free project PDF.

Materials

Pendant 3 3⁄4 in. (95 mm)

  • Sterling silver wire, round, dead soft

    18 in. (45.7 cm) 18-gauge (1.0 mm)
    4 yd. (3.7 m) 28-gauge (0.32 mm)

  • 6–8 in. (15.2–20.3 cm) sterling silver flat oval cable chain, 2.3 mm links
  • 9 3.5 mm inner-diameter (ID) sterling silver jump rings
  • 12–18 1 1⁄2-in. (38 mm) head pins
  • 40 mm helios crystal pendant (Swarovski, indicolite)
  • 3 12–14 mm top-drilled briolettes
  • 4–6 6 mm faceted rondelles
  • 8–12 6–6.5 mm rice pearls
  • 4–6 2.5 mm round sterling silver beads
  • leather necklace with extender chain

Tools & supplies

  • Permanent marker
  • Stepped roundnose pliers

Sources

Helios pendant 2
Step 2
Helios pendant 1
Step 1

1. Cut four or six 1 1⁄4-in. (32 mm) pieces of chain for the dangles. Cut two 9-in. (22.9 cm) pieces of 18-gauge wire, leaving the natural curve of the wire. These will be your frame wires. Mark the center point of each frame wire with a permanent marker. On one of the wires, make a mark 1⁄8 in. (3 mm) on both sides of the center mark (1).

2. Cut 3 yd. (2.7 m) of 28-gauge wire. This will be your wrapping wire. Center the wrapping wire on one jaw of your roundnose pliers, and pull the wire down on both sides to form a U-shape.

Position the U of the wrapping wire at the center mark of the frame wire with three marks. Working with one end of the wrapping wire, wrap around the frame wire until you fill in the area between the center mark and the first 1⁄8-in. (3 mm) mark. Repeat with the other end of the wrapping wire to fill in the area between the center mark and the second 1⁄8-in. (3 mm) mark (2).

Helios pendant 4
Step 4
Helios pendant 3
Step 3

3. Center the second frame wire above the wraps made in the previous step. This will be referred to as the inner frame wire as it will be on the inside curve of the pendant, hugging the crystal. The frame wire you wrapped around in the previous step will be the outer frame wire.

With one end of the wrapping wire, wrap twice around both frame wires, bringing the wrapping wire to the bottom of the outer frame wire. Repeat with the other end of the wrapping wire (3).

4. With one end of the wrapping wire, pick up an end link of a chain, wrap once around both frame wires, and wrap once around the inner frame wire. Repeat with the other end of the wrapping wire (4).

Helios pendant 6
Step 6
Helios pendant 5
Step 5

5. Grasp the frame wires with both hands about 1⁄2 in. (13 mm) from the last wrap, and form the wires into a shape that mimics the outline of the 40 mm helios crystal pendant (5). Position the crystal so it sits centered above the wraps. In the photo, a 38 mm crystal disk pendant is shown as a design option.

6. Feed one end of the wrapping wire through the center of the crystal, and then wrap the wire once around the inner frame wire, leaving a little slack in the wire. Wrap the same wire once around both frame wires, and then wrap it around the outer frame wire seven times, bringing the wrapping wire to the bottom of the outer frame wire. Repeat this step with the other end of the wrapping wire (6).

Helios pendant 8a
Step 8a
Helios pendant 7
Step 7

7. Repeat steps 4 and 6 once or twice to attach all the chains. Repeat step 6 eight times, or until the wraps are about 1⁄2 in. (13 mm) from the center of the top of the crystal.

On one end of the outer frame wire, make a mark 2 1⁄8 in. (54 mm) from the last wrap, and trim the wire at the mark. Flatten the end of the wire with chainnose pliers. Repeat on the other end of the outer frame wire.

Using the 2 mm step of a stepped roundnose pliers, make a loop at one end of the outer frame wire, rolling the loop toward the top of the crystal. Using the remaining wrapping wire on this side of the pendant, wrap around the frame wire between the last wraps on this side of the pendant and the loop just made. Repeat on the other side of the outer frame wire (7).

 8. On one end of the outer frame wire, make a mark 3⁄8 in. (9.5 mm) from the last wrap. Position the 4 mm step of the stepped roundnose pliers to the right of the mark, so the mark lines up with the outer edge of the flat surface of your pliers. Bend the frame wire over the top of the pliers and down until it rests next to the outer frame wire on this side of the pendant (8a).

Helios pendant 8c
Step 8c
Helios pendant 8b
Step 8b

Make a mark 3⁄4 in. (19 mm) from the last bend. Position the 2 mm step of the stepped roundnose pliers on the mark, and bend the wire up (8b).

Position the 2 mm step of the stepped roundnose pliers along the last segment of the outer frame wire, about halfway between the two bends, and bend the wire down (8c). Repeat all three bends on the other side of the pendant.

9. On one end of the inner frame wire, make a mark 1 1⁄2 in. (38 mm) from where you began wrapping around the outer frame wire. Trim the inner wire at the mark. Using the 4 mm step of the stepped roundnose pliers, make a loop at the end of the wire, rolling the loop away from the top of the crystal. Repeat this step with the other end of the inner frame wire.

10. Close a 3.5 mm jump ring. Cut 12 in. (30.5 cm) of 28-gauge wire, and wrap one end around the loop created in the previous step eight times. Position the jump ring next to the loop, and wrap the wire around the loop and jump ring five times.

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