Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wire wrapped gemstone tutorial

As I mentioned yesterday, we just got back from a relaxing vacation to Asheville, NC. While we were there, we also visited the town of Chimney Rock, which happens to have some of the cutest shops with killer deals, including these amazing new moccasins that I've been trying to wear with every outfit I own. One of my favorite parts was gem mining, where we got a big bucket full of sand and gems that we sifted through to find our treasures. We were total tourists, but it was a blast. Especially when we came back with bags full of these:

Of course, I couldn't just let these pretty gems just sit around, so I thought I'd show you a quick tutorial on how to turn rough (uncut, unpolished) gems into great little charms for necklaces or bracelets. Please keep in mind that I've never done this before and I'm sure there's a much better technique, but it worked for me! Also, this works best with gems that have rough edges to catch the beading wire on.

  • Rough gems
  • 20 gauge (or more) beading wire
  • Round nose pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Jump ring
  • Jewelry glue (optional)

Start by placing the end of the silver beading wire on the middle of the back of your gem. Begin carefully and slowly wrapping the wire around your gem, making sure to overlap the end of your beading wire. Once you feel like you've secured the gem properly, cut the end of your wire roughly 1 1/2 inches from your gem with wire cutters. Twist your wire up through your last row, and use your round nose pliers to create a loop. Snip extra. Finish by adding a jump ring. If you want to be extra careful, dab a few drops of jewelry glue where the wire meets the gemstone.

You could leave your charm by itself, or add other embellishments like feathers or beads. Have fun turning your treasures into jewelry!

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  1. Great tutorial!

    I have that same tank top BTW- Love it!

  2. Cute idea - my mom would love a necklace like this for her upcoming b-day! Thanks so much!

    Samantha D

  3. Awesome! I just bought some wire and I'm excited to play with it. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Hi Jen,
    I gotta say "Overwhelming"! It's really so beautiful work and Crafty! I got some coral beads and would love to try as shown above. Thanks for your great idea and great blog. Hope to listen from you more.


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