I do hope you all enjoyed some festive
relaxation and are ready for a very
positive, new beginning ...
A few years back ... I wrote a project book called:
MAKING BEAUTIFUL BEAD and WIRE JEWELRY.
I had wanted to call it: "Making Jewelry for Next to
Nothing", as it was packed full of projects using
found objects, such as buttons, ribbons, washers,
feathers, etc... but the publishers had other ideas.
If you haven't seen it, it's definitely worth a look
for project inspiration! One of the last projects in
the book is the BOW BROOCH and for the start
of this year, I have chosen to update it into a
So, with the usual set of pliers, plus some 0.8mm (20-gauge)
wire ... here's how to get started:
The amount of 0.8mm wire required, is obviously dependent on the
size of the bow. I used 18" for the one I created. So, (as shown above),
cut your length and near the centre of the length, create 2 loops.
Place the tips of your chain nosed pliers just by the tip of each loop
and bend the wire back up.
Bring the wire around the first loop, leaving a little 'halo' space. It
doesn't have to a perfect mirror of the first loop ... anything goes!
Once you've done one side, repeat for the other loop.
Now wrap both wires, just once, around the centre to secure in
place and pull the excess wires down at the middle of the 2 loops.
Bend the excess wires back up to create the bow ends. Like
me, you can add a little wiggle indent in the base, using your
round nosed pliers.
Repeat for the other side of the bow. Then, secure the ends in
the middle, plus cut off any excess wire and neaten the ends.
Once you're happy with the bow frame, place it on a steel block
and Whammer hammer the outer wires (avoiding the central
binding) to work harden the overall structure.
Now you're ready to bind it with 0.4mm wire. Or, you could
add seed beads to 'colour it in'...
For this version, I am binding it with 2 layers of wire.
This is the first covering ...
... and now for a second layer in a golden yellow wire. (But, you
could use a more contrasting colour if preferred).
With a short length of 0.4mm wire, you can attach a bead, or
button to the centre of the bow.
To create a 'nest' setting for the bead, you can wrap it with
0.8mm wire and secure the ends within the nest, or behind
the bow. Once completed, it's ready to be wired onto a brooch
back or stick pin. However, for the necklace, please read on ...
For extra decoration, you can suspend a bead, threaded with
0.8mm wire, to dangle from the bow.
All that's left to do now, is to create and connect a chain to each
side of the loops. Alternatively, suspend it from ready made chain.
Experiment with this idea and create your own versions, with
beads, tassels, buttons, etc... Here are a few more variations for
triggering that inspiration!
This tassel version looks great, worn against a contrasting
plain colour to highlight the bow frame.
This one is suspended with an Agate bead.
And here's one that's fully beaded!