Cabochons are focals without any holes.One good way to turn them into pendants is to wire wrap them. Here are some free tutorials to show you how.

There are three main requirements for this technique.
  • The use of square rather than round wire makes it easier to wrap wires together as the flat sides meet properly.
  • Half round wire to do this wrapping as the flat side faces down and the rounded side is above. However, it can be all done with round wire - just check out Szarka's jasper pendant design here if you are experienced like her.
  • If you like the look of this type of traditional wire work, some precision preparation is needed - you will have to measure and mark your wires.

Traditional wire wrapping
Tumbleweed Glass Studio has an excellent tutorial for the cabochon shown above. 4 lengths of wire are used to go around the cabochon. Update : They also have a video showing how it is done.

I also love the detailed tutorial by Dev Khan on Craftzine. (tutorial no longer available). There are many photographs showing each step.

Mavis Llewelly's Tutorial on Rockhounds uses 6 lengths of wire on a faceted stone. With more wires, the design boasts a different approach in the bail area.In general, the thicker the cabochon, the more wires you need.

If you are a little concerned about using so many wires off the bat, Tammy Powley's tutorial on might be easier for beginners as it only uses 3 lengths of wire. 3 is the minimum number- the middle wire stays around the edge of the cabochon, the other two form bends in the front and the back which hold in the stone or glass.

One problem I have with this style of wire wrapping is that apart from different finishing touches with the wire ends at the bail, they all look pretty much the same. So it is refreshing to see a different approach. The tutorial by Towercrystals has the wire ends at the bottom of the cabochon! The stone here is a herkimer diamond - a kind of quartz.

Now if you can get hold of grooved glass cabochons, your wire-wrapping life would be easier! Just check out Shoozles' tutorial for super easy cabochon wrapping. Glass Fusing Made Easy's article describes how to get that indentation by using a diamond coated grinder bit. Also check out this excellent tutorial by Cindy Gimbrone on how to use a glass grinder.

Prong style wire wrapping
If you prefer more discrete bends in the wire which resemble prongs, try Felicity's tutorial.

Please check this post on a new contemporary approach to prong wire wrapping of cabochons.

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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