Five DIY Pendant Bails by Jamie Hogsett10:47 AM
A few weekends ago, I worked in the Lillypilly Designs booth at a bead show in Denver and came away with the orange leaf small pendant shown below. When I got home and played around with it and the other pendants already in my collection, this cute stack was formed. Stacking the shell pieces was the easy part - now it's time to decide on a bail. Here are five options I'm playing around with:
Bail #1: An organic-looking (messy-looking?) bail wire-wrapped with Smokey Quartz 22-gauge Soft Flex Craft Wire. To make, use 6" of wire to form a large wrapped loop that attaches to the stacked pendants. Use the other end of the wire to form a small wrapped loop about 1/4" above the first loop. Use the tail end of the wire to loosely wrap back and forth between the two loops. Tuck wire ends into the wraps.
Bail #2: Double wrapped loops made with Brown 22-gauge Soft Flex Craft Wire and a10x7mm polymer clay disk bead from Humblebeads. To make, use 3" of wire to form a large wrapped loop that attaches to the stacked pendants. Wrap the wire two or three times away from the wrapped loop, then double the wrap by wrapping back toward the loop. String the bead, then form a small double wrapped loop on top of the bead. I like the addition of another patten in the polymer clay bead, but if it seems like too much for you, a solid color bead would work too.
Bail #3: A simple bail made with Red Jasper .019 diameter Soft Flex Beading Wire and gold-filled findings. To make, use 4" of wire to string one 2mm gold-filled crimp tube and the three pendants to the center of the wire. Pass back through the crimp tube. Use the other end of the wire to pass through the crimp tube, forming a figure 8 with the wire. Adjust the wire to the desired size loops, then crimp the crimp tube and cover with one 3mm crimp cover.
Bail #4: A two loop bail made with Antique Brass .019 diameter Soft Flex Metallics Beading Wire and gold-filled crimp findings. To make, use 8" of wire to string one 2mm crimp tube, the three pendants, and one 2mm crimp tube to the center of the wire. Use one end of the wire to pass through the crimp tube, pendants, and crimp tube again. Repeat with the other end of the wire to form two loops. Adjust the loops to the desired size, making sure they're even, and crimp both crimp tubes. Cover the crimp tubes with 3mm crimp covers. This can be strung with a 6mm or larger bead between the loops to keep them separated on the strung necklace.
Bail #5: A tiered bail using Vintage Bronze 22-gauge Soft Flex Craft Wire. To make, use 2" of wire to form a wrapped loop bail that attaches to the smallest shell pendant, making sure the top loop of the bail is perpendicular to the bottom loop. Use 2" of wire to form a wrapped loop bail that attaches to the middle shell pendant and the top loop of the previous bail, making sure the top loop of this bail is perpendicular to the bottom loop. Use 2" of wire to form a wrapped loop bail that attaches to the largest shell pendant and the top loop of the previous bail, making sure the top loop of this bail is parallel to the bottom loop.
Decision time! I plan on stringing this with chain and beading wire and adding just a few beads to the necklace. Which bail should I choose? What would you choose if it were your piece? Any other suggestions?