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Sea turtle wire pendant

Frame an ocean-colored disk-shaped bead with shining silver wire to create a friendly little sea dweller


Pendant 2 1⁄2 in. (64 mm)

  • Silver wire, round
    • 24 in. (61 cm) 20-gauge (0.8 mm) 
    • 52 in. (1.3 m) 26-gauge (0.4 mm) 
  • 1 1 1⁄4-in. (32 mm) disk-shaped bead
  • 1 8 mm round bead
  • 10–15 11/0 seed beads
  • Flatnose pliers
  • Roundnose pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Steel bench block or anvil
  • Hammer (chasing, goldsmith’s, or light utility)


Sea turtle pendant Photo A
Photo A

1. Cut a 12-in. (30.5 cm) piece of 20-gauge (frame) wire. Shape the frame wire around a 1 1⁄4-in. (32 mm) disk-shaped bead (PHOTO A), leaving a tail of wire at each end. Make a 90-degree upward bend in one of the tail wires; this is where the turtle’s “head” will be on the finished piece.

Sea turtle pendant Photo B
Photo B
2. Cut four 3-in. (76 mm) pieces of 20-gauge (flipper) wire. Using flatnose pliers, make a roughly 90-degree bend at the centerpoint of each flipper wire (PHOTO B).
Sea turtle pendant Photo C
Photo C
Then use your fingers to bend and shape the wires to look like flippers (PHOTO C).
Sea turtle pendant Photo D
Photo D
3. Place each flipper against the frame, and determine how far you want the flipper to extend. Make a U-bend in each wire end to hook around the frame (PHOTO D).
Sea turtle pendant Photo E
Photo E
When you are done, you will have four flippers with bent ends that will keep them loosely attached to the frame (PHOTO E).
Sea turtle pendant Photo F
Photo F
4. Place a flipper where you’d like it to be on the frame, and wrap the tail of each hook one or two times around the frame to secure the flipper. Trim and tuck the wire ends. Repeat to position and secure the other three flippers (PHOTO F). (You’ll still be able to move the flippers later if you want to reposition them, but they won’t slide loosely.)
Sea turtle pendant Photo G
Photo G
5. Set the disk bead in the frame. Reshape the frame if necessary, make a U-bend in the straight tail of the frame wire, and hook it around the wire you bent in step 1 (PHOTO G). This will hold the body of the turtle in shape.
Sea turtle pendant Photo H
Photo H
6. Cut 52 in. (1.3 m) of 26-gauge (wrapping) wire. Beginning at the “head,” coil the wrapping wire around the frame leaving a 3-in. (76 mm) tail (PHOTO H). Continue coiling until you reach the first flipper.
Sea turtle pendant Photo I
Photo I
If you need to reposition the flipper, now’s the time! Wrap around the place where the flipper meets the frame to secure it (PHOTO I). Continue coiling around the frame until you reach the bottom of the frame, opposite the head.
Sea turtle pendant Photo J
Photo J
7. Set the disk bead in the frame. Feed the wrapping wire at the bottom of the frame through the hole of the bead so that it extends at the top of the frame (PHOTO J). 
Sea turtle pendant Photo K
Photo K
8. Lay the wrapping wire alongside the frame wire’s vertical tail. Wrap the second frame wire tail once around both wires (PHOTO K)
Sea turtle pendant Photo L
Photo L
and then bring it down to the bottom of the frame, forming it into a curved “yin/yang” shape (PHOTO L).

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