Saturday, January 19, 2013

Wire Wrap Dragonfly Pendant Tutorial


As promised here is the latest tutorial for this lovely dragonfly pendant. So lets gather our tools and get started.
For this project I used:
  1. bent nose pliers
  2. wire snips
  3. round nose pliers
  4. 8 inches of 18 gauge artistic wire
  5. 20 inch length , and a 12 inch length of 24 gauge wire
  6. chain
  7. matching clasps and jump rings 
  8. complimentary brass finding or flower accent
  9. 6 glass pearl beads in graduating sizes
NOTE: This is just an example, not written in stone! I love happy accidents , and encourage you to experiment with your own colors and variations :)

Here's the note card sketch I did when I made the first one. I generally make a quick sketch afterwards to remind me of how I did a new design. If it serves as a reference for you, great!
 Starting with the 8 inch thicker wire, and using my bent nose pliers I bent a gentle 'v' shape at the 4 inch mark.


 I wanted the wings to be about 1 inch, so I measured and marked 1 inch out from the center on both sides.
 Then proceeded to gently fold the wire over my ring mandrel at that 1 inch mark, make the bend on both sides. you should wind up with a basic heart shape. ( you can also use a pen, dowel, knitting needle, etc to form what ever size curve you wish.)
 Bring the tails up until they lie flat and parallel to the tops of the wings. hold the tails in place at the 'v' point with your pliers and use your fingers to bend the tails down at a gentle angle. The tails are criss cross here. Looks like a bow now.
 At this point I measured and snipped both tails to equal lengths (1.25 inch) to start forming the bottom wings. 
 Using the round pliers hold the tip of tail up towards the top points of the pliers. ( I generally roll away from myself) roll the pliers until the wire forms the small loop, continue to to roll the loop until you have a small half spiral. Looking at the picture  the small loop will curve up towards the bottom of the top wings. 

 There the frame is formed, and we have 2 top wings and 2 bottom wings. 
 Now it's time to add the lacy look to the wings. Using the longer 24 gauge wire we are going to find the half point on the fine wire, and lie that center point over the top center of the wings, and fold the fine wire to the back of wings.
 Take the top fine wire and wrap one coil around the 'v' point going to the left, and take the bottom fine wire and wrap one coil around the bottom right of the top wing. 
 Just working on the right wing for now we are going to do that over under thing. Since the wrapping wire is at the back....up through the center over the front of the top, around and up through the center, and over the front of the bottom....continue alternating top and bottom until you reach the curved tip of the wing. 
 Around the curve of the wing we are just going to tightly coil the wrapping wire around and around until the curve is filled.
 Once filled with the coiling make sure the wrapping wire is to the back of the piece, and snip it close to the wing frame wire.

See the tiny snipped end. Use your flat pliers to crimp that end towards the inside of the wire frame. I always run the piece against my cheek (The cheek test) to make sure I can't feel any snags!
 From here continue on the opposite side and complete the left wing in the same pattern.
 Okay, let's bead this bad boy :) I was out of brass flowers so I flattened a bead cap to create one. 

 Next using the 12 inch piece of 24 gauge wire we are going to put the (large) head bead at about the 4 inch mark. bend the wire around the bead and pinch together under the bead.
 The tails of the wire should be one long, one short. Add the flower and pull it up close to the head bead.

 open the tails slightly (like a bobby pin) and slide onto the center wrap on the frame. One tail on each side of that center wire. Pull the head bead and flower up close and snug to the frame.
 In back separate the tails and bend the longer one up to the top of the frame, and the short one down to the bottom of the frame.
 Take the top wire and bring it to the center front between the top flower petals , and wrap it one and a half times around the base of the bead. So now the long wire is in front and pointed down
 Gently nudge the bead upwards towards the top of the petals. String the next large bead on the short wire and push up to first bead. Cross the long wire over the top of the short wire between the two beads, and coil the long wire around the short wire once. the long wire is now pointed sideways between the two beads.

 Holding the long wire on the right side of the second bead, wrap it around the short wire with one coil at the bottom of the second bead. String the next size bead on and repeat process between each bead down the short wire


 Now that each of the beads  have been strung and wrapped all the way down, your piece should look like the picture above. Now we are going to continue with the long wire and wrap and coil in the same fashion going up the opposite side.To 'tie off' the long wire I ended between the first and second beads and put the long (not as long now) wire through to the back of the piece and wrapped 3 coils on the heavy wing frame wire. Snipped and crimped to the inside like previously instructed.
At this point I gently nudged any slack out of the bead wrapping, by pushing the beads upwards along the short wire.
 To finish the short tail I trimmed the wire to 1 inch and used the round nose pliers to make a tight flat spiral.

To finish I chose to use double clasps to attach to the wings. My daughter likes to trade out her pendants, and this is an easy way to do that. 

Well I truly hope you find this helpful or inspirational! If I missed anything or if you have a question please leave a comment :)
Creative Blessings! T

9 comments:

  1. Beautiful pendant and great tutorial. All the photos and descriptions are easy to follow. I'll definitely be trying this tutorial out. Thank you!

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  2. What a great tutorial! I will be definitely trying this one out soon!!

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  3. I love dragonflies and I think your wire work, pearl dragonfly is beautiful. Your tutorial is wonderful, very detailed, lots of pictures to show what is being done and very clearly written. I can see there will be a lot of pretty dragonflies flittering around soon. :)

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  4. This is a great tutorial, can wait to try it.

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  5. Beautiful! Thank you so much for a well written and photographed tutorial. Peace. Judy

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  6. thank you very much:) i was struggling to figure out how to make this dragon fly but you helped me big time.

    Cheers.
    Susie

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  7. Really nice,I havnt tried this on yet,classy.

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  8. Thank you for this! I was asked to make a dragonfly as a memory pendant for someone very close and this was perfect!

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  9. Hello thank you so much for this tutorial, I used it to make little dragonflies for our boutonniere at our wedding. It is lovely of you to share such a wonderful tutorial! I blogged about the ones I made here ---http://qspace.id.au/blog/2015/06/wirework-beaded-dragonfly-and-wedding-boutonniere-tutorial-overview/
    Thank You Again!

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