Thursday, October 15, 2009

My First Jewelry Tutorial!

I had the opportunity recently to participate in Totally Tutorials Exchange Program.  The way the program works is someone who makes and or sells supplies offers a selection of free supplies to people willing to create a tutorial using the items and then post it online.  I was selected by Angie of Supply Pusher who sells jewelry supplies on Etsy.  She offered several different sets of supplies to choose from, and this is the one I chose because I was immediately drawn to the coins and button:

I have been feeling a pull in my jewerly designs towards using more vintage-like components in my jewelry lately, and I've really been inspired by all the talented mixed media jewelry designers out there.  I have been reading books like Semiprecious Salvage, A Charming Exchange, Making Connections: A Handbook of Cold Joins for Jewelers and Mixed-Media Artists and Belle Armoire Jewelry magazine.  I have especially been enamored with Deryn Mentock's jewerly design style.  The necklace that I created was inspired by her work, specifically her Joojoo Charm Keeper necklace.  I like the idea of a "charm necklace", and this design seemed appropriate for the coins, button, etc. 

So, in exchange for the supplies, I agreed to make something with the items and post a tutorial on my blog. Simple, right? Well, anyone who knows me personally knows that I often choose to make things much more complicated than they need to be. The design I decided to use these items in is a case in point! I could (should?) have just made a simple jewelry piece, but I had a more specific design in mind when I received the supplies, and I had to follow my heart. The techniques are relatively simple, but the time I put into making the necklace was pretty significant. I had an idea of what I wanted the necklace to look like ahead of time, but I mainly designed it as I went. This happened to work well, but sometimes it can end up being a disaster! I think the more jewelry you make, the easier it gets though.   Now, without further ado, here is my LONG tutorial!  I hope you enjoy :)

To start with, I used a metal shaped component that I made out of 18 gauge oxidized sterling silver awhile ago.  I simply used round nose pliers to make the swirls on each end, then hammered the middle to flatten it a bit.

Next I added the supplied smaller brass jumprings to each swirly end of the main piece

Next I decided to jazz up one of the coins a little by gluing a Swarovski flatback rhinestone to it using E6000 glue.

I also decided to add a second hole to the other coin so I could use it in the chain part of the necklace.  I used a nifty two-hole punch that I purchased from

Voila!  An easy way to punch holes in metal

I tend to prefer the look of oxidized sterling silver, so that's the type of wire I chose to use.  I also prefer to oxidize my spool of sterling wire before I make jewerly, but you could also wait until the design is made and then oxidize the whole piece.  I used 22 gauge wire.  I started by forming a loop a little more than an inch down from the end of the wire. 

I put the main metal piece through the loop in the wire, then wrapped the loose end of the wire around the wire under the loop several times.  This is a basic wire wrapped loop, and the rest of the necklace uses mainly this technique.

I added one of the beads I was provided between two turquoise Czech beads, then made another loop at the end of the wire with my round nose pliers.

I finished the wire wrap the same as above - by wrapping the loose end of the wire several times around the bottom of the loop.

I connected another wire wrapped loop to the first section, then added an elongated turquoise bead, then added the rhinestone embellished coin as a dangle using the technique shown above.

Here is the first complete dangle hanging from the main ring!  Now that I've showed you the basic technique, I will move along a bit quicker because it is just the same technique over and over.

I added the second dangle made up the supplied long turquoise bead sandwiched between 2 Swarovski crystals and one of my etched copper discs on the end.

I added one of my etched copper washers...

...and then wrapped some wire around one side of the ring, strung a turquoise Czech bead on, and then wrapped the wire around the other side of the ring (making sure to trim off excess wire at the end)

Like so:

Next, I took a labradorite briolette and looped a piece of wire through it, wrapping the extra wire around the top of the briolette

I took the other end of the wire and wire wrapped it around the bottom of the copper ring, wrapping the excess wire around the briolette again

I wire wrapped another dangle on consisting of two faceted labradorite rondelles, a copper spacer bead and added the supplied green stone at the end (sorry so blurry!)

Here is what it looks like so far:

Next, I added the last dangle consisting of two amazonite beads and an old button dangle

Now the main pendant part of the necklace is done!

I already had an S-shaped clasp that I had formed out of 20 gauge copper wire awhile back, so I decided it would go well with this necklace

I chose some rather large circle and oval fancy copper chain (from Micheals), and attached the S clasp to it

I attached one end on the supplied coin to the other end of the chain using a jumpring

I decided the worn button that was supplied might look good as a dangle over the coin.  I'll show the technique for this in more detail, since it is a little different and for a review.  First, string the button on a length of wire

Wrap the shorter end of the wire around the longer piece just above the button

Then loop the shorter end around the wire above the button several times.  Bend the long end of the wire at a 90 degree angle

Create a loop with round nose pliers

Hook the loop with the button onto the jumpring

And, finally, wrap the excess wire around the wire at the top of the button

Next, I wire wrapped a faceted round crystal bead to the bottom of the coin

I added a second faceted crystal bead, then wire wrapped it to the jumpring that attaches to the pendant

On the other jumpring, I attached a loop that I made with a piece of wire

I wrapped the shorter end of the wire below the loop, then strung the wire through a vintage turquoise button

I wrapped the excess wire around the base of the loop again

I took another one of my etched copper washers and wire wrapped a piece of wire to it

I attached the end of the wire to the other hole in the button in the same way as shown above.  This will be the ring that the clasp hooks into.

Guess what?!  We're finally done!!

Well, almost.  Next, I took some fine steel wool and sanded all the oxidized sterling wire so that only the recessed areas remain darkened.  Lastly we just need to take some quality photos of our beautiful creation!

I like to show how my necklaces look on my lovely mannequin so you have a better idea of the length and how it hangs

I did not use 2 of the rings provided because I could not seem to work them into the design, but I am sure they will be just what I'm looking for in a future desgn!  Thank you, Angie of Supply Pusher, for generously offering up your supplies!  Hopefully, even if you already know how to wire wrap, you will find this tutorial inspirational.  Make sure to check out Supply Pusher's shop, as she has tons of antique brass charms and findings, chain, beads and all sorts of cool stuff!

Next, I have this lovely ceramic pendant from Shaterra Clay Studio to create a tutorial about:

Don't worry though, it will be a much simpler design :)


Supply Pusher Angie said...

Stunning! That is beautiful! I love the combination of the different metals and the "collage" style.

You really knocked this challenge out of the park! Also, you make wonderfully detailed tutorials.

Thanks so much for participating in the challenge!

mairedodd said...

very very pretty - great description by angie - collage style... nice job!

Supply Pusher Angie said...

Ok, one more thing. That 2-hole punch looks like a pretty nifty tool. Is it easy to use?? Do you just turn the little bars with your hands, or do you need to use pliers or something to give you more torque??

Barbara Lewis, Torch Fired Enamel said...

Lisa: I am so inspired by your project! I love the colors, all of the seeming disparate elements that come together to form that beautiful necklace! I really appreciate your step by step tutorial. You go girl!

sundownbeaddesigns said...

nice necklace...well done with the provided supplies...I always find it to be difficult, using what someone tells you to use.

SummersStudio said...

Outstanding, Lisa! Just a fabulous design. I for one love all of the detail in your tutorial and will be coming back to this. Thank you.

stregata said...

Wonderful necklace (isn't Deryn so inspiring? I love her work!) and a great tutorial. Love your etched washers!!

Greer said...

Love the necklace! and the tutorial is super - lots of detail and great pics.

luthien said...

what a nice tutorial and a stunning piece of jewelry!! i love the combination of simple everyday things with exquisite pieces of findings and beads :))

maryharding said...

Thank you for a great tutorial. The necklace is stunning. I love it.

Charlene said...

wow! that's great! very creative way of putting that all together. It looks really good!

Dotty said...

Wow! That was great and it's such an amazing piece! Thanks so much for participating in the exchange!

Emi of FTLOB said...

Lovely necklace and nice first tutorial! I really like charm necklaces, especially as its getting colder here and I hate wearing bracelets with long sleeves.
Looking forward to seeing your next tut!

Cristi-2 If By Sea said...

2 words - L.O.V.E. it!

Nice work Lisa! Thanks for sharing with us.

FunkyMonkey Girls said...

Great work and really easy to follow your tutorials.


SharonP said...

Love the mixed media style, colors, and textures. Amazing job and tutorial!

Leslie @ Bei Mondi said...

Love everything about it. The colors, style, different elements. Thanks so much for sharing your first tutorial. You did a great job!

Evie's Tool Emporium said...

I love the size and depth of this necklace! Wonderful work!

Cindy said...

ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!! I just love how this necklace turned out! I think it would be my favorite necklace to wear if I owned this would be out all the time!! What a great tutorial..I can only imagine the time it took to take all of the pictures and edit them (not to mention the design time)! Thank you for sharing this gorgeous piece with us!

SewSweetStitches said...

See I could never think of stuff like that going together! But I'm so glad you showed how to do the wire-wrapping, I've always wanted to try it. Thanks!

Erin said...

An amazing tutorial, Lisa! Fun design and quite creative with those materials! I'm impressed! :)

Stacie said...

What a great tutorial..I really enjoyed watching your process and the materials you used are wonderful!

hint said...

This is so cool! What a clever idea to showcase work. I love your design and tutorial. Thanks for sharing :)

VISART - DaLi Designs said...

So awesome piece!!!!
Love every little ditail in it.

HJC Editor said...

Your jewelry tutorial is an awesome inspiration! Many thanks for sharing. I would like to feature your designs at

Contact me here if you have a concern.


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