Crafts Beautiful Magazine


Olive Branch

Designer: Crafts Beautiful
crafts, jewellery, jewellery making,

Create a stunning jewellery set using wirework

What you need...
  • Olive, pressed glass, Czech: rosaline; aquamarine; olivine
    Glass, black, 6mm to 8mm, assorted
    Seed beads, black: small; medium
    Bugle beads, black
    Wire, black coloured: 0.5mm; 0.9mm
    Lapel pin finding, with protector end
    Cord, 2mm, black (or chain)
    Clasp, hook (optional)
    Cord ends, coil (optional)
    Pliers: round-nosed; flat-nosed; chain-nosed
    Cutters, wire
    Tape, masking
    Hammer, nylon head
    Steel stake
    Mandrel, circular, 4cm diameter
  1. Two tier bangle - 1 Depending on the desired diameter, wrap the end of a spool of 0.9mm black wire three times around a cylindrical mandrel which is a little smaller than the bangle size required (as the wire springs open when lifted off the mandrel).

    2 Using the tips of round-nosed pliers, create a small link at each cut end and secure this around the loops of wire to complete the frame. Place the bangle back on the mandrel and gently ‘stroke’ hammer to work harden.

    3 Separate the wires out and secure the centre of a 25.5cm length of 0.5mm black wire to the top wire. Thread with an olive bead and position it vertically, so that it sits between the top and middle wire, keeping the wires separated. Wrap the wire around the middle of the bangle to secure in place.

    4 Thread a second bead under the first bead and secure on the base wire of the bangle (as above). Continue threading the projecting wire with black bugle beads and taper each side of the bangle using small seed beads. You can create your own pattern on each bangle using seed and bugle beads or larger coloured beads of your choice.

  2. Pendant - 1 Cut 17.5cm of 0.9mm black wire and wrap the centre around a 4cm circular mandrel to shape the rounded end of the pendant. Bring the ends together and wrap one wire around the other to secure, creating a wrapped link at the end. Cut off any excess and neaten the end, using your fingers to obtain the shape desired. Once satisfied, hammer it with a nylon-headed hammer on a steel block to work harden. 2Cut 25.5cm of 0.5mm black wire and attach the centre by winding around the wrapped link at the top of the pendant frame. Thread with a selection of coloured olive and black glass beads, securing the wire around the frame as you go. You don’t have to fill the entire central space of the pendant, just work intuitively, threading and attaching beads until you’re happy with the overall design.

    3 Cut another 25.5cm of 0.5mm black wire and attach the end by securing around the wrapped link at the top of the frame. Thread this wire with small and larger black seed beads, securing each one to the edge of the frame. You don’t need to surround the entire frame, just a portion of it. Cut off any excess wire and neaten the ends.

    4 Thread 0.9mm black wire through the top link of the beaded pendant and add a coloured olive bead on each side. Create a link at the opposite sides of each of the beads, then attach the sides of the pendant to a readymade chain or black cord. If using cord, create coils (like jump rings) or use ready-made coil ends and secure these to the cords so they can be attached either side of the pendant. Make or add more coils for the other end and attach a clasp.

  3. Brooch - 1 To create the bead stalks, thread nine assorted olive beads with 12.5cm of 0.9mm black wire each, bringing the end around the side of the bead and wrapping underneath to secure. Cut off any excess and straighten the projecting stems.

    2 Make a leaf by cutting 15cm of 0.9mm black wire, folding it in half to form a loop and wrapping one end around the other to secure, leaving at least 4cm projecting as a stem. Use flat-nosed pliers to squeeze the ends of each loop together, leaving a narrow gap or channel at the tip. Repeat to Try making this project with silver or gold wire and crystals for a more glamorous look. make two more. Use your fingers or pliers to open up the centre of the leaves and spend a little time shaping each one. If preferred, you can hammer the sides of the leaves on a steel stake with a nylon-headed hammer to toughen.

    3 Measure enough 0.5mm wire to stretch down the centre of each leaf shape, plus 5cm and secure one end of each length around the wrapped stem of the leaf frame. Straighten the rest of the wire down the centre of the leaf and thread with black seed beads plus one glass olive bead in the middle. Secure the other end by wrapping around the top of the leaf, within the narrow tip. Cut off any excess and neaten the end.

    4 Cut three 20.5cm lengths of 0.9mm black wire. Curl the ends in a random fashion around roundnosed pliers, leaving a 4cm stem projecting. Stretch the coils out to create curly tendrils. Place the bead stems, the three leaves and the curly tendrils together in a bunch, along with a stick pin finding, and secure them all together with a sliver of masking tape.

    5 Wrap 0.9mm black wire around the widest part of a pair of round-nosed pliers to create an evenly sized 1.5cm coil and cut from the spool, leaving a 2.5cm tail. Thread all the stems of the bunch through the centre of the coil, keeping the projecting tail of wire at the stem end, rather than the ‘bouquet’ end.

    6 Once the coil is covering the taped area, use the tips of chain-nosed pliers to squeeze the top link tightly around the stems (like tightening a crimp end) and wrap the projecting wire tightly around the stems to secure into position. Create small tight spirals with all the end stems and flatten these against the base of the coil. Spend a little time re-adjusting and arranging the bouquet until satisfied with the overall shape.

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