Bracelet with Rose Quartz Cabochon, Swarovski Crystal and Wirework

Creating the Centerpiece Setting

This bracelet consists of two wire-wrapped pieces--the centerpiece where the stone is set and decorative wire flourishes accent the stone, and the bangle which gives the design structure as well as creates a frame for the set stone.
STEP 1
Cut one length of 22-gauge sterling silver square wire 8 inches long and two lengths 7 inches long. Straighten these wires using a polishing cloth, piece of leather scrap or nylon jaw pliers.
STEP 2

Using a permanent marker, place a mark on your round-nose pliers at the spot that creates the size loop you need for your design. Having the mark will help ensure you create the same size loops each time.

Design tip: The size of the loop is up to you; I make them about 3mm in diameter, which ends up being about 5mm up my pliers, but all pliers are slightly different.

Mark the center of the 8-inch length of wire with a permanent marker, then measure and mark 10mm to each side of the center mark. With chain-nose pliers, make a 90-degree bend at one of the 10mm marks. This is the start of the loops that are used later to attach the wrapped cabochon to the bangle.

Place the length of wire along the length of the round-nose pliers at the mark. Loop the wire around the round-nose pliers.

Use the chain-nose pliers to make another 90-degree bend at the end of the loop so the wire continues in a straight line.

Repeat at the other 10mm mark.

Note: Be sure that both loops hang down from the same side of the wire.
STEP 3
Line up all three wires so the centers all line up and the loops point out, allowing all the wires to line up right up against each other. Place a small piece of masking tape on the outside of each loop to hold the wires in place.

Cut a 12-inch length of half-round wire. Using chain- or flat-nose pliers, bend the half-round wire about 10mm from the end. Hook the bend over the grouped wires. Use flat-nose pliers or your other hand to hold the half-round wire in place as you wrap it around the wires, creating one continuous binding from inside the loop to the outside of the other loop.

Finish the binding with three wraps outside the loops and so both ends of the half-round wire are facing the inside of the piece so they are hidden when the project is complete.

Tips:
  • Keep the bindings close together for a nice and neat look
  • Use the flat-nose pliers to flatten down the ends of the wire so they hold the wires tightly, don't slip and so the ends won't catch when the finished design is worn
  • Remove the tape once the wires have been bound in place but do not remove them too early
STEP 4
Bend the wires around the side of your cabochon to form it into a "U" shape before continuing.

Note: If the cabochon is delicate, use a wooden dowel to shape the cage without putting pressure on the cabochon. The wooden dowel should be slightly smaller than the cabochon is wide, so around 20mm in diameter.

Remove the cabochon from the wire form. Bend one outside wire on one side 90 degrees, so the wire spans across the cage.

Make another 90-degree bend about 3-4mm from the first.

Make a 90-degree bend about 20mm from the last bend so the wire bends toward the outside of the cage.

Finally, make one more 90-degree bend to bring the wire back in line with the others. Repeat these bends with all four wires.

Place your cabochon in the wires to make sure they will hold the cabochon in place. Make any adjustments needed to the bends to make sure your cabochon will be secure.
STEP 5
Repeat Step 2 to form a loop on the middle wire just above where the outside wires bend in to meet it.

Repeat to make another loop that is the same size on the other side of the cage. There should be one loop on each side of the cabochon equidistant from the first set of loops made in Step 2.
STEP 6
Tape the wires in line so they lie flat next to each other on each side of the cage. Cut two lengths of half-round wire about 4 inches each. Bind each side of the bundled wire with at least three binding loops above and below the loop.

Separate the remaining wires slightly so there is a small amount of room between each wire. Lace the wires together starting with one from the right, then one from the left, repeat.
STEP 7
Place the cabochon into the cage. Bend the formed wires down to the shape of the cabochon. Using the marker, mark where the laced wires overlap. Use the chain-nose pliers to bend each wire at the mark so that the wires point straight up. Tape the wires together in line with each other.

Cut about 4 inches of half-round wire. Bind the taped wires that are pointing straight up together making about 4-6 binding loops.

Use the stepped round-nose pliers to bend all of the wires around so they are pointing down toward the cabochon. Cut and shape extra wire as desired.

Note: In the example shown, the wires were cut gradually shorter and the ends were formed into loops using the smallest point on the round-nose pliers.

Creating the Bangle

STEP 1
Cut one 21-inch length of 18-gauge square wire and four lengths 9-1/2 inches each. Straighten all of the wires using the polishing cloth, a piece of leather scrap or a pair of nylon jaw pliers. Measure and mark the center of the long piece of wire then mark 4mm to the left and right of the center mark. Using the chain-nose pliers bend a 90-degree angle at the two outer marks so that the wires run parallel to each other with a space in between them.
STEP 2
Line up the four 9-1/2 inch pieces of wire so they are next to each other. Place them inside the space in the center of the longer wire so that the ends of the short wires just touch the inside of the loop. Tape all wires in place.

Cut about 4 inches of 20-gauge half-round wire. 10mm below the end of the loop, begin binding the wires and complete 4-6 wraps. Bend the ends of the four inside wires so they are flush against the inside of the binding. The space between the binding and the bend in the wire will create the loop for the clasp hook.
STEP 3
Using flat-nose pliers or a wire-twisting tool, twist the two outer wires as desired.

Note: Be careful not to twist too much as the wires can snap. Cross the two outer wires on the top of the bangle. Bring the wires back in line about 20mm from the last binding. Cut another 4-inch length of 20-gauge half-round wire and bind with about 4-6 binding loops.

Repeat to create a second "X" on the bangle.
STEP 4
Split the wires into two groups of three. Use the flat-nose pliers to bend each set out to form a "V". Add tape or coated copper binding wires to help the wires stay together. This forms the first half of the diamond frame.

Mark 40mm down the wires on each set. Using flat-nose pliers, bend each set of wires back to the center.
STEP 5
Place the rose quartz centerpiece in the middle of the frame and bend the wires toward the middle until all four loops touch the inside wire of the bracelet. Adjust the bend in the wire as needed. Mark where the outer wires overlap. Note: We are closing the frame here to start the second half of the bangle. Once the measurement is made, set the center piece to the side again.

Using flat-nose pliers, bend the wires in line with each other. Tape the wires to hold them in place. Cut a 4-inch length of 20-gauge half-round wire then bind the wires with about 4-6 binding loops.

Note: Keep the tape on the wires in the diamond-shaped center until later.

Repeat Step 3 to make two "X"s and add binding wires on this side of the bracelet. At the last binding after the second "X", cut the two outer wires to 5mm. Bend the two outer wires down against the binding.
STEP 6
Cut the other wires so the ends are even. Cut a new 4-inch length of 20-gauge half-round wire and bind these wires from the end of the binding until about 3mm from the end of the wires. Curl the ends down using the point of the round-nose pliers.

Bend the wires over the stepped round-nose pliers to make a hook for the clasp.

Cut about 2 feet of 24-gauge half-round wire. Bind the wire to the diamond frame using about 3 loops. String on a Swarovski crystal crystal in the color of your choice then loop the wire around the frame twice. Add another crystal.

Note: Remove the tape holding the diamond-frame wires in place as you work up to them. Continue wrapping the 24-gauge half-round wire and adding crystals until you have covered half of the diamond-shaped frame. You may need to adjust the spacing of beads to account for differences in length that occur in the bending process.

Repeat on the other side of the diamond-shaped frame
STEP 7
Cut four pieces of 24-gauge half-round wire. Wrap one wire around each of the loops on the centerpiece about three times.

Place the centerpiece into the center of the bracelet. Loop one 24-gauge half-round wire onto the bracelet between two crystals. You should wrap between about three or four different crystals going down the side of the diamond. Repeat with the other three wires so that the center piece is secure in the diamond of the bangle.
STEP 8
Place the design, working from the end of the diamond shape to the end of the bracelet, against the bracelet mandrel or a 1-1/2 inch diameter dowel. Slowly and gently shape the band into a bangle. Repeat with the other side and make sure it has been bent far enough for the hook to meet the loop. Hold the bangle sideways and check the shape. Bend the bangle into shape as needed.

Design Tip: You want the bracelet to be oval, not round, so it fits comfortably and flat against the top of the wrist.

Use acetone on a cotton-tip swab or cotton ball to remove any permanent marker that is still visible.

The pieces featured in the Gallery of Designs are copyrighted designs and are provided for inspiration only. We encourage you to substitute different colors, products and techniques to make the design your own.

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