Most people tend to make just single donut pendants.  But why stop at one?  Add a whole bunch for a statement necklace.  The tagua slice beads which I received from Ecuadorian Hands are irregular donuts. They come in many colors so I chose 5 of them for this necklace. If you are using heavier and/or largefocals, maybe just 3 would be best.

You will need :

  • Tagua donut slices (mine were courtesy of Ecuadorian Hands) or other donut focals of your choice
  • 20 G wire (I used fine silver plated silver wire; courtesy of Parawire)
  • 5 mm diameter leather cord
  • end caps
  • glue  (I use Super New Glue which I buy from Goody Beads.)
  • coiling mandrel of some kind
  • chain or broad nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • flush cutters
  • nylon jawed pliers
  • clasp and jump rings
  • extender chain and charm (optional)
Cut about 18-20 inches of wire.  Use a dowel or any kind of coiling tool with a diameter just larger than 5mm.  As you can see I used my large bail forming pliers to create a short wire coil. Form the coil so it is roughly in the middle of the wire length.

Twist the two wire ends a couple of times close to the coil.

Here is the sideways view to show that the donut sits on the twisted portion i.e. the latter is behind the focal.

Bring up one of the wire ends through the hole. The nylon jawed pliers helps flatten the wire against the donut.

Continue to wrap the wire around the donut. Also wrap the other side using the remaining wire end. Trim the wire ends to about an inch in length. 

Scroll the wire ends. 

Flatten the scrolls as well as the wire wraps.

Use your chain nose or broad nose pliers to make bends in the wire. This tightens the wire work against the pendant.

String the leather cord through the pendant bail. Also add about 10 inches of wire and center it.

Bend each wire ends in opposite directions.

Twist the wire ends once in the front.

Wrap each wire end on each side of the wire coil as evenly as possible. 

Bring the wire ends again to the front. Twist them 1-2 times. Trim the ends to about 1 inch in length. Then scroll the ends. Repeat for all the other donuts. The coils will still move so use the nylon jawed pliers to gently press the side wire coils into the leather cord.

Here is how I finished up the ends.  I wrapped wire around the end to form a coil with one end bent so it will go through an end cap.  I did some glue as security.  Super New Glue is a lot less messy than E6000 as I was able to add a drop of this liquid glue in between the coils. The glue seeped to the leather below.

The wire coil was necessary to make the end caps I had fit better. A drop of glue inside the end caps won't hurt either.

Do a wire wrapped loop with the wire end.  Using the chain nose pliers, press down on the other end which also helps keep the wire coil on.  I like how the wire coil done this way adds to the design of the necklace as it echoes the other wire coils used in this design. Add a clasp and jump rings and you're done.

There is nothing wrong with using a single donut so go ahead if you prefer a simpler design.


All the final design photographs were taken on my iPhone 5 with the help of the camera+ app and the Modahaus Tabletop Studio (TS320) and the tallest Steady Stand (overhead picture) using natural light.  The model was my mannequin "Bertha".  The tutorial pictures were accomplished using artificial light in my basement (windowless) studio.   I've always preferred photographing tagua beads on black backgrounds. For some reason, it is trickier with white backgrounds.

Check this link for more information on my How to Photograph Jewelry Webinar.

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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