Filigree fantastique pendant

Wire-wrap a delicate heirloom-quality pendant

In this advanced project, you'll use lacy components with ultra-thin gauges to make an intricate pendant.


Pendant 1 3⁄4 in. (44 mm)

  • brass wire, round
    • 18 3⁄4 in. (47.6 cm) 20-gauge (0.8 mm)
    • 4 ft. (1.2 m) 26-gauge (0.4 mm)
    • 3 ft. (91.4 cm) 28-gauge (0.32 mm)
    • 26 ft. (7.9 m) 32-gauge (0.2 mm)
  • round rolo chain
    • 3 3.5 mm individual links, plus 2 joined links (oxidized brass plated)
    • 3 1.9 mm individual links (antique copper-plated brass)
  • 1 8 mm cabochon (paua shell)
  • 11/0 seed beads
    • 6 color A (Toho 262, gold-lined crystal)
    • 6 color B (Toho 27BD, silver-lined teal)
  • round beads
    • 6 4 mms (agate)
    • 5 2 mms, color C (agate)
    • 6 2 mms, color D (white coral)
  • chainnose pliers
  • roundnose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • metal file or emery board
  • permanent marker
  • steel bench block or anvil
  • hammer 

Notes on materials

The center of the pendant is composed of chain links joined into a base to support the cabochon. In lieu of links, you can use a handmade wire spiral, soldered jump ring, or other circular component that is the same circumference as your cab. Then, using a permanent marker, make six evenly spaced marks around the component so you know where to make the loops in steps 3 and 4. Also, choose a cab that is thicker rather than thinner so you have plenty of vertical space to make subsequent loops in steps 5 and 6.

Filigree fantastique pendant a
Step a
Filigree fantastique pendant b
Step b

1. Cut three individual links from a piece of 3.5 mm rolo chain. Cut 4 ft. (1.2 m) of 26-gauge wrapping wire. Leaving a short tail, wire-wrap the three links together in a triangle formation (a). Trim the short tail.

2. Cut three individual links from a piece of a 1.9 mm rolo chain, and center the links between the 3.5 mm links on each side of the triangle. Continuing with the wrapping wire, wrap the smaller links to the larger ones (b). End with your wire exiting up out of a link.

3. Bring the wrapping wire around the outside of the component to the next link, and pass the wire up through the link. Do not pull too tightly, but rather allow the wire to form a loop bridging these two links. Bring the wire through the loop to anchor it in place.

Filigree fantastique pendant c
Step c
Filigree fantastique pendant d
Step d
4. Continue working as in step 3 (c) until you have six loops around the outside of your component. Place an 8 mm cabochon at the center of the component, and snug the loops around it (d).
Filigree fantastique pendant e
Step e
Filigree fantastique pendant f
Step f

5. Bring the wrapping wire down through the next loop and up through the previous loop. This forms the first loop of the new round. Pull gently until the new loop hugs the cab. Repeat to complete the round (e).

6. If necessary, work one or more additional rounds until your cab is secure.

7. Feed the wire down to the base of the component. Work as in step 3 to add another round of loops to the links, but string a color A 11/0 seed bead onto the wire before anchoring each loop (f).

8. End the wrapping wire by making several wraps around a link. Trim and tuck the wire tails.

To read the rest of the instructions, click here for the free project PDF.

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