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Fiber-filled pod brooch

Add fabric to a wire project for a splash of color

See the project instructions below, or click here for the free project PDF

Materials

Brooch 6 in. (15.2 cm) 

  • 21–25 in. (53.3–63.5 cm) 19-gauge (0.9 mm) dark annealed steel wire, on the spool (Anchor Wire by the Hillman Group, at hardware stores)
  • 1 yd. (91.4 cm) 24-gauge (0.5 mm) coated copper craft wire (black)
  • 2–3 in. (51–76 mm) tulle
  • 1 pin-back finding
  • Chainnose pliers
  • Roundnose pliers
  • Wire cutters strong enough to cut 19-gauge (0.9 mm) steel wire
Fiber filled pod brooch a
Step a
Fiber filled pod brooch b
Step b

1. Decide the length of your brooch. All measurements below will be based on my 6-in. (15.2 cm) finished brooch; adjust those measurements as desired for a longer or shorter piece.

Leaving the 19-gauge annealed steel wire on the spool, use chainnose pliers to make a V-bend 6 1⁄2 in. (16.5 cm) from the end of the wire (a)

2. Bend the wire again 6 in. (15.2 cm) from the first V-bend so that the starting end of the wire extends 1⁄2 in. (13 mm) beyond the new V-bend. Bend the 1⁄2-in. (13 mm) end in a V to loosely capture the long wire tail still attached to the spool. Bend the long wire tail back along the length of the assembly, and trim it from the spool at a length of roughly 8 in. (20.3 cm) (b).

Tip!

The long wire tail must be longer than the rest of the assembly so that you have flexibility and room to work, and to accommodate the curled tail on the finished piece. If you want your curled tail to be more or less elaborate, you can adjust the length of the tail wire later.

This assembly is the armature. It has three “legs,” including the long wire tail.

Fiber filled pod brooch c
Step c
Fiber filled pod brooch d
Step d

3. Cut 1 yd. (91.4 cm) of 24-gauge (weaving) wire. Use chainnose pliers to tuck the end of the weaving wire securely so that you won’t prick your finger on the raw end.

Wrap the weaving wire around the 1⁄2-in. (13 mm) end of the wire and the leg of the armature it overlaps. Continue for the entire length of the 1⁄2-in. (13 mm) end, binding it to the armature (c).

4. Wrap the weaving wire once around the first leg of the armature. Bring the weaving wire over the second leg (the long wire tail), and make another wrap. Bring the weaving wire over the third leg, and make another wrap. Now bring the wire around the back of the armature to the first leg. Continue to weave around the armature in this way (d) until you’ve woven about 1 1⁄2 in. (38 mm) of the armature. Keep your weave somewhat loose; the weave will need to have some give to it when you fill the brooch with tulle later.

Tip!
As you weave, make sure you don’t skip any of the legs of the armature. Each wrap around the legs will make a stronger piece.
Fiber filled pod brooch e
Step e
Fiber filled pod brooch f
Step f

5. Cut a 2–3-in. (51–76 mm) piece of 19-gauge annealed steel wire. Open a pin-back finding, and wrap the wire around the finding so that at least 1 in. (25.5 mm) of wire extends on either end of the finding. Close the pin-back finding, and place it against the back of the armature. Thread the wire ends under the legs of the armature (e), and wrap each wire end around the adjacent leg. Trim and tuck the wire ends.

6. Continue weaving around the pin-back finding, covering the wraps of the pin-back wires (f)

Fiber filled pod brooch g
Step g
Fiber filled pod brooch h
Step h

7. Continue weaving, adjusting the long wire tail as you go (g). Make sure you keep the space between the legs of the armature roughly even; if the space on one side is narrowing, adjust it before weaving any farther. 

8. When you reach the end of the armature, wrap the weaving wire around the tail (h) until the entire tail is wrapped. Trim and tuck the end of the weaving wire.

Fiber filled pod brooch i
Step i
Fiber filled pod brooch j
Step j

9. With roundnose pliers, grasp the tip of the tail, and curl it in a loose spiral (i).

10. With your fingers, spread the weaving wires at the back of the brooch slightly to make an opening. Begin stuffing the tulle into the armature (j). Don’t try to push in too much at once, or you’ll distort the weave; work gradually. Insert your chainnose pliers between the wires to grasp the tulle and pull it into the corners of the inner chamber, and arrange it to your liking. When you are satisfied with the look of your piece, bend the weaving wires at the opening back into place.

FIND MORE: wire , wirework , fiber , brooches

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