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July birthstone: Ruby ladder pendant

Ruby gemstones rest on a ladder frame holding the beads in this pint-sized ladder pendant

Picture this: My husband’s brightly colored tennis shoes poking over the rungs of the ladder as he painted the house. I imagined those shoes as gemstones and the ladder as a frame to hold the beads — and my pint-sized ladder pendant was born. It’s the perfect way to showcase these petite ruby gemstones.

Supplies

pendant

  • 9–11 3 mm ruby rondelles
  • 5 1⁄2 in. (14 cm) 20-gauge wire
  • 14 in. (36 cm) 28-gauge wire
  • chainnose and roundnose pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters
  • hammer and bench block
  • Cool Tools Patina Gel liver of sulfur (optional)
  • 00 steel wool (optional)
  • polishing cloth (optional)

    Ruby rondelles from Love Rubies, loverubies.etsy.com. Check your local bead store for supplies.

Instructions

July birthstone Ruby ladder pendant 1
Step 1
July birthstone Ruby ladder pendant 2
Step 2

1. pendant • Cut a 51⁄2-in. (14 cm) piece of 20-gauge wire. At the center, use chainnose pliers to make a right-angle bend. About 1⁄8 in. (3 mm) from the first bend, make a second right-angle bend. On each side: 11⁄8 in. (2.9 cm) from the bend, make a right-angle bend inward.

2. On one end, make a right-angle bend upward at the center where the wires cross. Wrap the remaining end twice around the vertical wire. Trim the excess wrapping wire and use chainnose pliers to tuck the end.

July birthstone Ruby ladder pendant 3
Step 3
July birthstone Ruby ladder pendant 4
Step 4

3. With the vertical wire, make a wrapped loop perpendicular to the frame. Wrap the excess wire around the stem. Trim and tuck the excess wire.

4. On a bench block, gently hammer the frame on both sides to flatten the wire (avoiding the wraps).

July birthstone Ruby ladder pendant 5
Step 5
July birthstone Ruby ladder pendant 6
Step 6

5. a Cut a 14-in. (36 cm) piece of 28-gauge wire. Just above a bottom bend, wrap the wire around the frame to the other side. b. String a rondelle and wrap once around the frame. Go back and wrap once around the frame.

6. Repeat step 5b until you reach the top of the frame. Continue wrapping loosely around the stem wraps. Trim and tuck the excess wire.

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