Glass Pebble Cabochon Wire Wrapped Pendant Tutorial
Glass Pebble Cabochon Pendant By Judy Larson in Memory of June Orlowski
It seems that everyone has a lot of those little glass pebbles around-you know the ones from the bottom of flower vases. What in the world can you do with them? Why, make a pendant, of course! They look fabulous hanging on a Viking knit chain.
Materials: 21 gauge dead soft or half hard half round wire- about 3” 21 gauge dead soft square wire-about 24” 24 gauge dead soft round wire (blue pendant)- about 12” Glass pebble cabochon
Note: Silver plated craft wire in silver color and gold color has been used to make this pendant. This type of craft wire is considered dead soft. Round wire could also be used.
Tools: Round, flat, and chain nose pliers Soft Jaw pliers Flush cutter Ruler Painters tape ¼” dowel If you do not have fingernails, you will need a sharp, non-serrated knife to separate the wires Ultra fine point Sharpie marker Mandrel the size of the glass pebble
Step 1: Measure the circumference of your glass pebble cabochon: Wrap the outer edge of the stone with a strip of painters tape. Remove the tape and place it on a piece of paper. Measure the tape length. Draw a line on the paper the length of the tape and divide this length into thirds.
Step 2: Straighten, cut, bundle and mark your wires: You will need 4 wires-one that is 4” longer than the stone circumference (add more length if you want a larger rosette or spiral showing on the front of the cab); one wire that is 3” longer than the circumference; and two wires that are 2” longer than the circumference. Using the Sharpie, mark the center of the longest wire. Mark the center of the two shortest wires. Place the second longest wire beside one of the short wires, the ends even on one end. Transfer the mark from the short wire to the second longest wire. Matching up the marks, bundle and tape the wires together as shown with the two short wires sandwiched between the two longer wires. Center the bundle on your drawing and transfer the markings from your drawing to the bundle.
Step 3: Using your half round wire, make three wraps to show on the two center marked lines. Place the bundle next to your drawing and check to make sure that the wraps are lined up with the marks. The wraps in the photo are NOT lined up with the lines. Close is not good enough-they need to be as exact as possible. Use your fingernail, NOT a tool, to move the wraps if you need to. If you do not have fingernails, you can use the ¼” dowel. Once the wraps are where you want them, you can snug them down tighter with your flat nose pliers.
Step 4: You will be making a 90° bend AWAY from the wrong side of the bundle, TOWARD the outside or right side of the bundle. Place your flat nose pliers on the outer marked line so you can barely see the line. You could even cover the line just a hair. With your fingers, bend the bundle of wires 90° over the top of the pliers.
Step 5: The mandrel you use for bending your wire bundle does not have to be exactly the size of the glass pebble cabochon but it should be close. Center the mandrel between the wraps on the wrong side of the wire bundle and bend the bundle around the mandrel. When you pull the top bent wires close together around the cabochon, they should come close to meeting. This does not have to be perfect, just close.
Step 6: Remove the tape from the bundle ends. Take a close look at the wire bundle. The side that has the two long wires is the back and the side that has one long wire is the front. Use your flat nose pliers to flatten the bend in the front long wire.
Step 7: Put the cab into the bezel and pull the top wires together. Pull the front long wire around the top wires two times-two wraps will show on the back. It will look like there are three on the front, even though you only wrapped twice. Cut the wire off on the front side of the bundle. The glass pebble cabochon can be taken out of the bezel after the first full wrap.
Step 8: Put the glass pebble cabochon back in the bezel. At this point, it may seem that it does not fit. You will find that the top back of the cab does not set flush with the bezel wires-that is OK. Use your fingernail to start to pull up the inner bottom wire between the two wraps. You can finish by using the ¼” dowel to push the wire up as shown. Do the same thing to the front side of the cabochon. The glass pebble cabochon is not secured permanently in the bezel at this point so you may need to hold it in place with painters tape for the next few steps.
Step 9: Fan the top wires out slightly: The two long wires go toward the back, one set of two center wires goes to the right side and the other set of two center wires goes to the left side. There is one short wire left in the center front.
Step 10: Cut the two sets of side wires to slightly more than 1/8” long. Use your chain nose pliers to curl down the ends. Tuck the wire ends under the bottom of the wraps.
Step 11: At this point, the glass pebble cabochon will be sitting at an angle in the bezel and can not be pushed any further forward at the top. Use your fingernail and/or the ¼” dowel to push the back side wires over the protruding cab. Adjust them until they look even. Be careful not to pull too hard on these wires as they are your back two wires for the bail and they have not as yet been secured.
Step 12: Wrap the center front wire around the two bail wires: The center front wire needs to be wrapped in the OPPOSITE direction that you wrapped the first front wire in Step 7. Wrap two times, ending in the front. Cut off the excess wire and tighten the wire down.
Step 13: Finishing
Amber Colored Pendant
A: Twist the two bail wires together. Do not overtwist as you may break the off the bail.
B: At the base of the bail wire, make a slight bend toward the back of the pendant.
C: Using the ¼” dowel, bend the bail wire toward the front of the pendant.
D: Use your round nose pliers to make a small round curl in the end of the twisted wire. Switch to your soft jaw pliers so as to not scratch or mar the wire while finishing making a spiral. Adjust the spiral so it sits nicely on the front of the glass pebble cabochon. Note: If you want a larger spiral rosette on your next pendant, cut the longest wire ½” to 1” longer.
Green Colored Pendant
A: Cut 12” of 24 gauge round wire and wrap the two bail wires, making sure they do not twist while wrapping. Wrap until 7/8”-1” of bail wire is left showing. Start and end the wrap in the front of the pendant bail wires. Slightly fan out the two wires at the top. Using a soft jaw pliers so as to not scratch or mar the wire, spiral the bail wire ends toward the outside, as shown, until they meet the wire wrap on the bail wires.
B: Bend the bail wire assembly toward the front of the pendant in the same manner as B and C in the Amber Colored Pendant. Using your fingers, snug down the side bail spirals onto the glass pebble cabochon. The spirals will bend slightly toward the back.
Step 14: Make any adjustments needed to the bezel wires and the bail. Do not overthink this! The pendant probably looks fine and only you can see your mistakes.
Voila! You are done!