Wire Ballerina Pendant

pendant measures 2.50"

pendant measures 2.50"

 
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I want to send out a huge “THANK YOU” to Pearl Blay at BeadingGem.com for posting inspirational jewelry and other projects on her site. Recently she added a wire dog face designed by Liz who has an Etsy shop called 1ofAkinds. Liz sells many wire animals and other subjects but the dog face featured on Beading Gem inspired me because it looks just like my close friend’s Cairn Terrier. I wanted to create the wire project for my friend but I had no idea where to begin. I spent quite some time trying to figure out the starting and ending point since the face is one piece of wire. After a lot of discarded attempts, I figured it out and and gave it to my friend as a gift.

I discovered making wire images can be very addicting. As soon as I finished the Terrier I wanted to make something else. That’s when I came up with this ballerina. While it may look extremely complicated, read through the instructions and I think you’ll find my color coding system will guide you to completing this pretty pendant. The ballerina’s bun and glass flower bead at the waist were attached after the wire shaping was complete.


Directions

step 1 - Print out the small ballerina image included with the pdf file or download the SVG file. I made my ballerina to wear as a pendant so it is only 2.50”. You can make yours any size you like. You will use the printed image as a pattern while working with the wire.

step 1 - Print out the small ballerina image included with the pdf file or download the SVG file. I made my ballerina to wear as a pendant so it is only 2.50”. You can make yours any size you like. You will use the printed image as a pattern while working with the wire.

step 2 - Also print out the color coded ballerina. It is deliberately large to help you clearly see how the wire is shaped. Different colors are used so it will be apparent where wires overlap.

step 2 - Also print out the color coded ballerina. It is deliberately large to help you clearly see how the wire is shaped. Different colors are used so it will be apparent where wires overlap.

step 3 - Follow the order of the colors and their direction beginning at the starting point - the red dot, and finishing with the black dot.

step 3 - Follow the order of the colors and their direction beginning at the starting point - the red dot, and finishing with the black dot.

step 4 - The 2.50” ballerina will require approximately 20” of wire. Cut the length and smooth it out.

step 5 -Gather your jewelry pliers. You will need the tools shown - flat nose, needle nose, round nose and cutters. I also use an old credit card or hotel room key card. Bending wire over the card’s edge will give you a sharp bend for areas like the ends of hands and feet.

step 5 -Gather your jewelry pliers. You will need the tools shown - flat nose, needle nose, round nose and cutters. I also use an old credit card or hotel room key card. Bending wire over the card’s edge will give you a sharp bend for areas like the ends of hands and feet.

step 6 - Place your wire at the start and use a Sharpie to mark the point of your first bend.

step 6 - Place your wire at the start and use a Sharpie to mark the point of your first bend.

step 7 - Using needle nose or flat edge pliers grip the wire on the mark to create the first bend.

step 7 - Using needle nose or flat edge pliers grip the wire on the mark to create the first bend.

step 8 - The remaining work is a matter of continuing to place wire on the image, marking where the next bend should be and following the color order on the color code image. See “Tips” below for information about working with the wire.

step 9 - When you’ve reached the end, use the round nose pliers to create a small curl in the end of the wire. Trim off any excess.

step 9 - When you’ve reached the end, use the round nose pliers to create a small curl in the end of the wire. Trim off any excess.

step 10 - Create the bun by wrapping 24 gauge wire. Grasp the end with round nose pliers to start the center. Grasp the curled wire with needle nose pliers and turn the pliers while holding the wire until you have a flat spiral. Attach it to the side of the head by wrapping the end of the wire around the 18 gauge wire three times. Cut off the excess.

step 10 - Create the bun by wrapping 24 gauge wire. Grasp the end with round nose pliers to start the center. Grasp the curled wire with needle nose pliers and turn the pliers while holding the wire until you have a flat spiral. Attach it to the side of the head by wrapping the end of the wire around the 18 gauge wire three times. Cut off the excess.

step 11 - Flatten the ballerina on a jewelry block with a rubber hammer. Work both sides. This will allow the pendant to lay flat without any details curling out from the design.

step 12 - Attach a bead or any small bling to the curl using a ball head wire. I used a tiny glass flower bead I found in my stash. Wrap the wire through the curl twice and snip off the excess.

step 12 - Attach a bead or any small bling to the curl using a ball head wire. I used a tiny glass flower bead I found in my stash. Wrap the wire through the curl twice and snip off the excess.

step 13 - File the 18 and 24 gauge wire ends smooth. Use Isopropyl alcohol to remove the Sharpie marks.

Tips

Here’s how to achieve the different size wire shapes. Recognize that some shaping requires round nose pliers and some require needle nose or flat nose pliers because some bends are round and others are angular. As mentioned earlier, getting the wire to fold on itself can be done by flattening it against a credit card. You can also squeeze the fold against the card with flat nose pliers for a finer angle.

To bring the fine “ruffles” of the tutu close together, first make the row of curls with round nose pliers without worrying about their exact position. When you’ve created the right number of curls, push in on both ends from the sides of the row with your hands. You can also use flat nose pliers to grasp each section and pinch them together.

Use the tip of the round nose pliers for small bends and the wider part for thicker bends and curls.



Supplies

At Michaels Store

  • 18 gauge round silver wire

  • 24 gage round silver wire

  • plastic card or other thin, sharp edge

  • Sharpie

  • jewelry file

  • Small bling bead

  • Ball head wire

At Amazon

  • jewelry pliers and cutters

  • jewelry bench block and rubber hammer

Miscellaneous

  • Isopropyl Alcohol


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