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Monday, November 19, 2012

Simple Gifts - Homemade Glue-On Wire Bail for Pendants

 Glue-on bails are so much fun.  They can turn just about anything into a pendant to wear as necklace.  However, buying glue-on bails is expensive if you're trying to keep costs down.  There's an easier way.  Grab a spool of Artistic Wire jewelry grade wire from a craft store such as Hobby Lobby or Michael's and make your own!

I usually buy around 20 gauge wire in a nontarnish finish.  There are several colors, but I'm fond of the simple colors such as silver, gold, or aged brass. 

I'll be doing another post on Wednesday for hardware store jewelry as a  simple gift, and these glue-on bails make excellent parts of this project, so watch for the blog post! 

  • Approximately 6-7 inches of jewelry grade wire (I prefer Artistic Wire brand)
  • Wire snips
  • Needle-nose pliers wrapped with tape or round nosed pliers for jewelry making
  • An ink pen or pencil to serve as a mandrel to wrap the wire around
  • E6000 glue (to glue bail onto object). 
General information: Keep in mind the weight of the object this bail is going to be glued to.  If the object is heavier, you may want to use the double-loop technique for more strength.  If you wish to just use a single-loop bail, you may want to use a heavier/thicker gauge wire. 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR SINGLE-LOOP GLUE-ON WIRE BAIL:  Snip off approximately 6-7 inches of wire.  Straighten the wire and run it between your fingers several times to heat and soften the wire.  Eyeball  approximately the middle of the wire  and wrap it around your pen/pencil.  Twist it 3-4 times.  Make sure ends of wire are even.   You might need to snip off a little bit to get an even length.  

Next, begin curling the wires in a spiral either inward or outward.   Make the first curl around the end of the pliers.  

Then remove the pliers and use the flat part of the plier to grasp and turn the wire in circles to form a spiral.  I usually do at least 3 full spiral loops.  

Repeat this on the opposite side until the the spirals are even.  Do not curl too close to the loop so that you have  room to glue the spirals to the back of the object.  You'll need the "stem" part between the curls and the bail to show.  
Glue to the back of your object with E6000 and  allow to dry for a minimum of 4 hours... preferably 24 hours.  

INSTRUCTIONS FOR DOUBLE-LOOP GLUE-ON WIRE BAIL (Shown in top photo):  Snip off two sections of wire, approximately 6-7 inches long.  Loop both wires around the pen/pencil, then twist 3 times to form a stem.  Cut the tails of the  wire so that the  wire closest to the bail is shorter than the bottom wire.  Beginning with the top  wire, form spirals, as instructed in the single-loop bail instructions.  Use approximately 4 spirals for the top wire.  For the bottom wire, repeat, but make only about 3 spirals.  See photos above.   Curl either inward or outward, as your artistic inspiration fits.  Do not curl spirals too close to the stem of the bail, as the bail will be too close to the pendant.  You want to  have enough  room to glue the spirals to the  back of the item, have room for a small stem, and then the bail.  Once finished, remove the pen/pencil from the bail, straighten, and glue on  using E6000 glue.

These bails are so simple to make and can turn a plain item into something very elegant just by gluing one of these to the back.  If you have glass decorative marbles used as fillers for  vases, glue one of these to the  back for a simple yet elegant pendant!  Glue one to the  back of an interesting button.  Find a pretty rock that has been polished?  Glue a bail to that and wear it as a necklace!  The possibilities are endless. 


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    Beacon Gem-Tac

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