Wednesday 11 September 2013


The history of the PAISLEY pattern is very interesting
and you can find lots more information by surfing
the web.  Having said that, here's my little bit of potted
history to wet your wirey whistles:

The term 'Paisley' is an English word for an ancient
design using the 'boteh', a droplet shaped vegetable
motif of Persian and Indian origins.  Such designs became
incredibly popular in the West during the 18th-19th
centuries, following the imports of the design from
British India in the form of Kashmir shawls.  These
patterns were imitated initially in the town of Paisley
in Scotland and that's where the name stuck!

The pattern was also particularly popular during the
psychedelic '60's 'Summer of Love', with the Beatles 
pilgrimage to India and their interest in Indian spirituality
and culture... 

It's really never gone out of fashion and I think it's a
perfect shape for jewellery design. Over the years, I have
made many earrings, pendants and brooches using this
beautiful, linear contour.

So here's a simple tutorial, to get your creative
juices flowing.  I hope it will inspire you to create some
variations of your own!

1.  Begin by wrapping
some 0.8mm-1mm wire
around a circular dowel
or mandrel (mine was
about 1"/2.5cm) in
diameter) to create
a 'tear-drop' shape to
your desired size.

2.  Using the tips
of your chain
nosed pliers,
secure one end
around the stem,
leaving a projecting
tail of approx. 2-5".

Place aside.

3.  Working from the end of a spool of 0.8mm wire, thread
the end with a bead of your choice (I used a 4mm faceted crystal).
Using your round nosed pliers, create a curve at the end of the
wire ...

4.  ... and push the bead into the curve, and continue
to spiral the wire around the bead - until the
spiral is the same diameter as the base of the
frame you created in steps 1-2.

5.  Cut the wire from the spool, leaving approx. 2"
projecting and create another, much small spiral
at the opposite end.

6.  Working from the spool of 0.8mm, use some
bail making pliers (or, a cylindrical mandrel
such as a pen, or round nosed pliers, etc...)
to create a row of loops. (*I used the 6mm
mandrel of my bail makers).

7. Place all the components that you have
just made together, so that you can plan where
you are going to attach and bind them together.

8.  Cut a long length (approx. 12") of 0.4mm wire
and use this to bind and attach the spiral within the
teardrop frame.  Be as creative as you wish: you
could add small seed beads, coloured wire ...
Anything goes!

9.  Keep binding
until you have
used all the wire
up and if you run
out, just add more!

Once the spiral is
attached to the
centre of the frame,
you can either cut it
off, or create another
small decorative spiral
with any projecting

10.  Next, begin binding the loops to the
side of the frame: Cut another long length
of 0.4mm wire and use this to attach them
along the side of the frame, as shown above.

11.  Once the loops are secured, cut another
long length of 0.4mm wire and use this to
connect the beads within each loop.  I used
4mm faceted crystals and wrapped the wire
around each side of each loop, framing the
beads inside.

12.  Above - you can see all the beads are
in place and if you have any leftover wire,
a small tight spiral always looks good as
an extra embellishment.

13.  Finally, thread a bead onto the wire projecting
from the top of the frame, and following step 3,
curl the wire around the bead, so that it is positioned
as a suspension hanger for your pendant.

14.  If, like me, you have any left over wires
protruding, just make spirals out of them!
They will add extra decorative enhancement!

15.  Now spend a little time adjusting it -
you can wire more beads into it, or tweak
your wires to add extra movement ... You can
also, push the base spiral out slightly for
an extra dimensional quality.

This is just a simple openwork design to
get you going... Infinite variations are possible!!

Now it's ready to suspend as a pendant from a
chain, cord or both!

Experiment with different coloured beads, and binding

Plus, different ways of suspension!



  1. Nice one, Linda! I also enjoyed reading your potted history! Will share this one.

  2. Thanks, Pearl - it's all for sharing! :D

  3. This is very airy and lovely, too funny I had two silk maternity dresses with these all over them back in the 60's in lime green and hot pink too funny.

  4. Thanks Linda.
    I have always liked paisley-shape :). And lately wanted to make some with wire - here you are ;).

  5. Fantastic tutorial! For those who work in gauges, here is a conversion chart

  6. Great tutorial Linda and loving this one. And I had no idea of its' history so big thanks for that as well! Sal xx

  7. Lovely! So clear and simple and I love all the variations. Thanks for sharing.
    Kristin :)

  8. Thank you fellow wire lovers for your warmfelt comments - much appreciated! xxxxxxxx

  9. I love them - an addition to your 'potted history' - they are called 'mangoes' in India - if we had them on a sari border for instance, mum would say - 'a green saree with a gold mango border' - and everyone would know what she meant!
    Thanks for the tut

    1. Thank you, Neena! I prefer calling them 'mangoes' to paisleys ... as the mango is my favourite fruit! :D

  10. Thanks for your lovely Tutorial ! I`m a bit partial to mangoes myself and am going to try my hand at making this wonderful pendant .
    here`s my article and a paper and wire paisley pendant

    1. That's beautiful, Motidana! and I love your summer mango feature! :D

  11. I really like this. I am going to try this soon!!

  12. These are great! Thanks for sharing. I am going to try making them tonight!