One of the most innovative wire jewelry artisans I have had the pleasure to come across is Andreea Boloiloi. The lead photo in the feature designer post about her wonderful work inspired this tutorial. What I did was to create a wire wrapped crystal leather necklace with crystals on both sides of the cord.  This contemporary style design is easy to do!

What you need :

  • 5 mm stitched leather cord (mine was courtesy of Endless Leather) . This has a cotton core so it is easier to pierce through than solid leather
  • Crystals of 2 different sizes; I used 8 mm and  20 mm sizes
  • 20 G wire (I used silverplated silver wire, courtesy of Parawire
  • thick needle
  • beading awl
  • end caps and clasp (mine were courtesy of Endless Leather)
  • glue - I use Super New Glue (not the same formulation as regular Super Glue)
  • general jewelry tools - flush cutter and pliers
  • extension chain and charm (optional)

The first thing is to prepare the holes for the wire. So pierce the center of the measured leather cord right through with a thick needle. Avoid the stitching if you are using stitched leather. Enlarge the hole with a beading awl. Poke through both ends of the hole.

How much wire you will need will depend on how big your crystals are.  I used about 18 inches of wire.  Poke through about 6 inches of the wire through the prepared hole. This is for the small crystal. Bend the wire at the bottom around the big crystal.

When the wire reaches the main stem, wrap it once around the stem and continue around the crystal.

Wrap the wire around the stem again. Trim and use pliers to tuck the wire end as close as possible to the stem. Push the large crystal up against the leather cord.

Wrap the remaining wire around the small crystal exactly like for the large crystal. Trim and tuck as before.

You could just have one pair of wire wrapped crystals.

But if you like a bit more of a statement, pierce additional holes on either side of the central pair and wire up more crystals!

I like to use Super New Glue which is a liquid. I have found it to be strong and durable and ideal for cord ends. Less messy than E6000.

Here is a tip. Before you add any glue, do test runs with the cord ends. Insert them dry into the end caps. Use the awl if you need to help things along. Once in, rotate the cord ends to compress them down a bit. Remove the cords.  Another tip. It is better to add a drop of glue inside the end cap rather than on the cords themselves. This avoids the messy situation where your fingers stick together! Insert the cords into the caps and let dry.

An extension chain with a charm can be added. I used the same small crystal as the charm. Viola! You're done.


All final project photographs were taken on my iPhone 5 using the camera+ app and the Modahaus TS320 Tabletop Photostudio in natural light. If you have the Modahaus, try putting the black sheet behind the white to get that graduated grey effect. Tutorial photographs were taken with artificial lights in my windowless basement studio using the same phone camera, app and photostudio.

More information on my How to Photograph Jewelry Webinar.

Before You Go:

Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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