Monday, August 1, 2016

Maker's Monday: Silver and Red Coral Swarovski Pendant

I was looking through my findings, wondering what to make next when I saw a neglected zipper bag of sterling silver crimp tubes. These tubes looked fine on the outside, but when I'd try to crimp them shut, they would break along the fold in the metal. They've been in a sort of limbo where I didn't want to throw them away, but I could use them. Today, I found a use for them: as beads for a pendant! I've added links to where I've purchased items. My source for the small Swarovskis in Dark Red Coral seems to have dried up.

3 sterling silver headpins (2 inches long)
1 sterling silver split jump ring (8 mm)
1 sterling silver filigree scalloped component
9 sterling silver crimp tubes (2 mm)
3 round Swarovski crystals in Dark Red Coral (4 mm)

Jeweler's pliers (one or two pairs, depending on your preference)
Flush cutters


1.  Slide a Swarovski onto a headpin and follow it with three crimp tubes. Repeat for the other two headpins.

2.  With the tips of your pliers, make a 90 degree bend in the headpin just above the last crimp tube. Repeat for the other headpins.

3.  Cut a headpin so that it measures just under 1/2 an inch long. Repeat.

4.  Now you'll make your loops. Line the very end of a trimmed headpin and bead up with the mark on your pliers. Make sure the mark is facing up and clamp the pliers around the end of the headpin—hold the rest of the wire tightly with your other hand.  Hold the pliers tightly and "roll" them toward you to make a loop.  You will notice that you can only roll them so far before you have to stop.  Readjust your hands on the pliers and make sure the pliers are snug in the loop you've started.  Finish rolling the pliers toward you.


6.   Slightly open your  loop by clasping it in the pliers with one hand and holding it firmly between your thumb and index finger of your other hand. Gently twist the pliers away from you and the loop should open.
Add your loop to a loop of your filigree component. Close the loop  by reversing the twisting motion of step.
7. Repeat these steps for the other two headpins, making sure all of the loop openings face the same direction..
8.  Open your jump ring using the same push/pull twisting motion you used to open your loops and slide the top hole of the component on.  Close your jump ring, reversing the motion you used to open it. 

Now I just need to slide the jump ring onto a nice sterling silver chain and I'm all set! It makes me think of droplets of blood, but maybe that's because I'm a vampire fan.

What other uses have you found for crimp tubes or crimp beads?

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