Making the Top Jewelry Wire Component using jewelry wire and WigJig jewelry tools:
The next jewelry wire component we will make is the top wire component. This is the largest jewelry wire component and is the most difficult to make. Because this wire component is larger and more complicated to make than many wire components made on our WigJig jewelry tools, we are going to provide a detailed pattern sheet for making this component. Please select here to view and print our Adobe Acrobat formatted template for making this Top Wire Component. Please print this sheet to see where to place your pegs in your WigJig Cyclops jewelry tool. This jewelry wire component uses 18 regular metal pegs.
Step 11: Using your nylon jaw pliers, straighten a segment of 20 gauge jewelry wire about 11 inches long. (This amount is a rough approximation. Use 11 inches of practice wire and measure the amount of excess wire you cut off. Your goal is to have 1/2" of excess wire.) For this wire component 1/2 hard jewelry wire will help to make the finished shape more consistently.
Step 12: Cut the 11" segment of jewelry wire using your flush cutter.
Step 13: Using your round nose pliers or step jaw pliers if you have them, make a "p" loop in the end of the jewelry wire with the flush cut.
Step 14: Place the loop in the wire on peg 1 in the pattern on your WigJig jewelry tool and wrap the jewelry wire around the pegs in turn. Use the Spacer Press to push the wire down where there isn't room for your fingers between the pegs. (It is easier to wrap the wire consistently when you start with two pegs and add a peg as you go. Unfortunately, with a complex pattern like this one, it may be slightly more difficult to remember where the next peg goes in the pattern. This is a case where each individual will have to determine whether the complexity of the pattern out-weighs the the advantages of consistency to be gained by starting with just 2 pegs. By printing the template, you may find that it is easy to place the jig on the template and view where to place the next peg in the pattern.) Please see the picture at left for how this wire component appears on the jig. One way to help determine where to wrap your wire is that the wire always wraps around the side of the next peg that is further away from the current peg first.
Step 15: After you have completed wrapping the wire, remove the jewelry wire from your WigJig jewelry tool and cut the excess wire. Please note that for this component, peg 1 is the first and last peg in the pattern.
Connecting the Bottom, Middle and Top jewelry wire components to make the yoke for your necklace:
Once you have completed all three star jewelry wire components, you are ready to connect them to form the yoke, or center-piece of your necklace. First, position your jewelry wire components so that the beginning and ending loops (from peg 1 of the pattern) are down on the Top Wire Component (6 o'clock position) and up on the Bottom Wire Component (12 o'clock position). On the Middle Wire Component, you want the beginning/ending loops at either the 12 or 6 o'clock positions. This is done so that the wrapped loops that we make will hold the two loops in position so that the ending loop remains super-imposed on the beginning loop permanently.
Step 16: Using a segment of 22 gauge jewelry wire about 4-5 inches long, make a wrapped loop and connect it to the beginning/ending loops of the Top Wire Component before you wrap the loop closed. Please visit here for instructions on making a wrapped loop.
Step 17: Add your series of background beads, seed beads and focal beads to the 22 gauge jewelry wire segment and push them flush against the Top Wire Component. Now make a wrapped loop at the bottom of this 22 gauge jewelry wire segment but before wrapping the loop closed, connect it to the beginning/ending loop on the Middle Wire Component. After making that connection, then wrap the loop closed.
Step 18: Now we need to add the bottom wire component. Start by making a wrapped loop with 22 gauge jewelry wire just like we did in step 15 and 16. Connect the loop to the point of the Middle Wire Component at the 6 o'clock position before wrapping the loop closed. Then add your beads as you did in step 16 and make a second wrapped loop at the bottom of the 22 gauge wire. Before wrapping this second loop closed, connect it to the beginning/ending loops in the Bottom Wire Component, then wrap the loop closed.
Making the sides of your necklace by stringing beads:
Now that we have completed the yoke component of this necklace we are ready to make the sides of the necklace. The sides of this necklace are made by stringing beads on bead stringing wire like Soft Flex wire.
Step 19: Connect strands of bead stringing wire to the points of the Top Wire Component at the 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock position. There are two possible ways to connect bead stringing wire to the Top Wire Component. You can use crimp beads as described here, or you can use three inches of 22 gauge jewelry wire as described here. Of these two options, we prefer using the 22 gauge jewelry wire because the resulting necklace will be stronger. Use bead stringing wire that is 12 inches long or longer.
Step 20: String your beads on the bead stringing wire according to your pattern. The pattern used at right is rather complex. To view this pattern better please select here. The concept in creating your own pattern is to select focal beads first. These are the larger beads that capture the viewer's attention. The focal beads don't necessarily need to be a single bead, it can be a combination of beads, that is repeated in your necklace separated by your larger background beads. Frequently, all the beads in a necklace would be separated from one another by seed beads. The seed beads provide the spacing in a necklace that was historically provided by knotting the silk thread between each bead.
Step 21: After you have completed stringing the beads on your bead stringing wire to the appropriate length you are ready to connect the beadstringing wire to your clasp. For this necklace, we recommend about 10 inches of beads on either side of the 3 Stars yoke component. Connect the bead stringing wire to your clasp using the same technique you used for connecting the bead stringing wire to the Top Wire Component.
Step 22: The last step in completing this necklace is to use head pins to connect a small series of beads to the points of the 3 Stars at the 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock positions on each star. The technique for connecting beads to the points of these stars can be viewed here.
Once your selection of beads has been attached to the points of the stars, this necklace making project is finished.
Summary of jewelry making instructions:
This is a popular necklace design. It shows the concept of "scale" where we make jewelry wire components that are similar in shape but are in different sizes. It also shows the concepts of sets by making a necklace with matching earrings. This jewelry making project takes a little longer to make than many of our necklace projects, but the end results may be worth it.