I really love large Swavrovski crystals but the ones which catch my eye time and time again are the TierraCast Swarovski bezels and Rivoli frames.  TierraCast have expanded their line to include more pre-glued Swarovski charms with different loop configurations.  I couldn't resist using a number of them for this wire wrapped necklace tutorial.  For those of you unfamiliar with TierraCast - it is US based and makes lead free original pewter products.

They sent me this new sample collection includes their gorgeous letter and number charms which look like hand stamped ones.  The Swarovski flat back crystal charms had loops which were either vertical or horizontal.  I chose the several of the horizontal loop ones and mixed up both silver and gold for my eclectic statement necklace design.

New Tierracast Gold Antique Charms and Swarovski Bezels
I also used three sizes of bail forming pliers - small, medium and large for this tutorial.  If you do not have these, you`ll have to use a combination of dowels, knitting needles or round nose pliers (mark the size you want with a marker pen).

Other supplies :
  • 18 G and 26 G wire (I used gold colored fine silver plated wire, courtesy of Parawire.)
  • flush cutters
  • wire coiler (if you don`t have the bail forming pliers)
  • nylon hammer and steel or nylon base
  • marker
First make a smiley wire frame.  It`s up to you how long you want to make it.  I cut about 7 inches of the 18 G wire and make loops at each end.  Make sure the wire ends are flush cut that the loop is as closed as possible. Work harden by hammering the frame a few times.

Then I laid out the crystals I wanted and marked their eventual positions on the frame.

Cut about 3 feet of 26 G wire. Start wrapping just after the end loop of the frame. Use the short tail to wrap over the first few coils. This stops the coiled wire portion from moving into the loop.  (Alternatively, make wrapped loops for either end of the frame).

Keep coiling the wire along the frame.  When you get to the marked positions, attach each crystal bezel by wrapping the wire through the loop about 4-5 times. Keep coiling and adding along the entire smiley frame until you get to the other loop.  Wind the wire around the last couple of coils. Trim and tuck in the wire.l .

This is the fun part. Use the bail forming pliers to make alternating loops of different sizes.  I used the large pliers for this. Coil around the first jaw, close the pliers and take the wire around the second jaw. Once you have done this, you have to remove the pliers from the wire formation and reinsert the pliers in the most recently formed loop to anchor it. Then take the wire around the pliers free jaw. Repeat as many times as you like.

For this design, I created a section of the undulating wire loops and used 26 G wire to attach it to the main frame.  After finding the midpoint in a 2 foot length of wire, I started the attachment in the center of the design working my way to one end.  Then I completed the attachment in the other direction.

I also used the smaller bail forming pliers to create short sections of the same design element in decreasing sizes.

I also wanted the chain to match the wire I was using. So I made my own jump rings by coiling short lengths on the bail forming pliers. You can use any size you prefer.  I actually used a gold plated lobster clasp to complete the design.  Had I not run out of wire, I would have made the clasp too!

I then flush cut by hand using flush cutters.  The first trim on the first coil is done with the flat side of the flush cutter on the left as shown below.  The second trim on the next coil is done with the flat side of the pliers on the right. The result is a jump ring with flush cuts.  See these manual cut jump ring tutorials for more detail. 

I used the Color Splash app on my iPhone to create this alternative version. Makes the gold design pop! The app is very easy to use. It changes photos into black and white images.  Just zoom in and use finger to add back the color where you want!



All final project images were captured in natural light with my iPhone 6S with the camera+ app and the Modahaus Tabletop Photostudio TS320. The tutorial photos were taken with the same set up except in artificial light in my windowless basement studio. Quick edits were made with Adobe Photoshop Elements. Click her for more info on my How to Photograph Jewelry Webinars.

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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