02 August 2013

Pendant Power: Sea Glass Pendant Tutorial

Last time, I showed you how to make sea glass.  As promised, I’ll now show you something you can do with all your lovely glass. 

Ta da!  Pendants!  I’m sure you’re so surprised, considering the title of the post.

It’s always nice to have a quick, done-in-one-sitting project, isn’t it?  Wrapping glass to make pendants is so easy, you don’t really need a tutorial, but I’ll give you some tips.

1) The most important thing: remember you’re working with glass.  There’s nothing more frustrating than being almost done with a project, then breaking it. 

2) Make sure you wrap the piece so it’s secure from all angles.  If the glass can fall out if the pendant’s tipped upside down, it will tip upside down at the most inconvenient time.  The picture above shows three different ways to wrap: 1-near the edges, rather than going across the glass, 2-wrapping with fairly even loops and ending with a spiral, with another wire wrapping across the top and side so it won't fall out, and 3-having the wire radiate from (mostly) one point.   

3) Spirals are good for making the end of your wire decorative (as you can see from the middle pendant).

4) If you use found, rather than purchased glass, you’ll probably end up with more clear than colored glass.  Unfortunately, since you can see through the resulting sea glass, it can hide more than you’d want a pendant to.  Solution: before you wrap the glass, paint the back of it.  I used fingernail polish.  You probably have some handy, and it comes in every color you can think of.  I haven’t tried glitter ones yet, but I expect they’d be great. If you want to keep the glass colorless, but don't want it to hide, try using white fingernail polish. I think this blue one turned out nicely, don't you?

5) For a different look, you can hammer some wire flat, and wrap it around the edge of the pendant, like I did with this one.  

Unless you use some kind of adhesive, you’ll still need to wrap on the front and back, but doesn’t that look spiffy?  Too bad I forgot rule #1 and broke the glass.  See the crack on the top right side?  (Cry!) 

6) Try different kinds of wire.  I used square wire for one pendant.  See how the wire of the spiral is twisted?  The easiest way to get a nice twist would probably be to clamp one end of the wire in a vice and twist the other end with pliers.  I don’t have a vice, so I made do with a pair of pliers at each end.  You can hold one end stationary and twist the other end, or you can twist a small section at a time.  If you use the second method, you may want to use nylon-jawed pliers so you don’t mark up the wire.  Keep an eye on the twist to make sure it’s doing what you want it to.

And voila!  String your pendants on a chain or cord, and you have a brand new necklace.  I went pretty simple with these, but you don’t have to.  Add beads.  Make the wire the focus and the glass the accent.  Combine multiple pieces into one pendant.  Try anything!  That crazy idea might become your favorite necklace.

If you don't want to wrap the pendants, you can also drill a hole in the glass and hang it.  But that's a post for another day!

What pendants have you made?  What would you like to see us do with sea glass?

If you like our Summer Swimming series, share it with your friends!  We'll see you back here on Wednesday for our next fun project!

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