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Pea Pod Bead and Wire Pendant
I love these wire and bead pea pod pendants. They make great gifts for Mother's Day or to celebrate a new addition to the family. I have made them with birthstones of each family member, with pearls, or any other beads that look pretty. The design is easy to customize by changing the beads, the color or thickness of the wrap wire or by even adding seed beads. Chances are whatever beads and wire you have on hand will work.
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Materials needed to make a pea pod beaded pendant
To make a pea pod pendant, you will need:
- Beads for the peas. I used 8 mm smooth round dyed quartz beads.
- Wire to hold the beads. I used 20g Silver Plated Beadalon Artistic Wire. This is the main support for the pendant, so half hard wire works well.
- Wire to make the wraps around the beads. I use 24g gold colored craft wire for this example, but anywhere from 20g to 26g will work. Soft wire works best for this. The exact length you need will depend on how many wraps you want to make. I used about... 18 inches of wire for this red, white and blue pendant.
You will also need a basic wire jewelry tools: ruler, wire cutters, and round nose pliers. An emory board or nail file to keep the wire ends smooth is also good to have on hand.Continue to 3 of 10 below.
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Secure the wrap wire to start making the pea pod
The name of the technique used to wrap the wire around the beads is called a herringbone weave. I have links to several free herringbone weave tutorials at my jewelry blog as well as a variety of herringbone weave project ideas.
Cut a piece of wire to hold the beads for your pea pod. My wire is just over 4 inches long. It needs to be long enough to hold the beads, the wraps, make the loop to hang the pendant, and still have at least an inch left over if you want to make a curly tendril.
Fold one... end of the wire over and press it flat. This will hold the beads and wire wrap in place. Add your beads. Add the wrap wire to the open end of the wire by wrapping it once around the wire. You want the tail end of the wire closest to the beads. It is easiest if the tail is about 1 inch long since it gives you something to hold on to while you are wrapping.
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Wrap the wire around the beads and over the base wire
The front side of the pendant is where your wrap wire is coming over the base wire. Wrap the wire down the side of the beads and place it over the base wire. Your wraps will always be starting with the wrap wire on the top of the base wire and then wrapping around it.
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Secure the beads by wrapping over the base wire
Wrap the wire once around the base wire. Make sure the first wrap is flush against the beads and that the wire holding the beads is straight. You don't want the wrap to pull the beads into a curve or your pod will be lopsided. If you leave space, the beads will move a little within the pod.
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Repeat the wire wrap steps to completely surround the beads
Repeat the same steps again - bringing the wire around the side of the beads and over the base wire, just above the previous wrap. You are going to wrap the wire around the base wire again - and continue to do this until you have the pod as big as you would like.
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Align the wire under the previous wire to form the pod
As you wrap the wire around the beads, put the wire behind the wire from the previous round. This picture shows the side view.
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View of the back side of the pea pod pendant
By placing the wire behind the previous wrap, the wires will begin to curve around the back of the beads and form a pod. I tend to wrap the wire right behind one another and space them out when I am finished, but you can leave space as you wrap if that is easier.
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Secure the wires to finish your pea pod pendant
When you are happy with the look of your wraps, secure the wrap wire with the end in the back of the pod so you can trim it. Make sure your last wrap is on the open end of the wire where you started so your wraps are even. You can also trim the tail from your first wrap at this time. File the wire ends smooth with the nail file.
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Finish the pea pod pendant
Add a wrapped loop and spiral wire tendrils to finish your pendant. You may want to spread the wires around the back of the beads and make any other adjustments to make the pendant look more like a pea pod. You can use a wood cuticle stick to flatten the wires around the shape of the beads to make it more pod-like too.