Do you ever buy a new outfit and then think of an idea for jewelry that will work beautifully with that outfit? That’s exactly how the Rosewood Pendant came about.
I recently tried Stitch Fix for the first time, and my stylist sent me a gorgeous fuchsia cardigan in my first fix. I immediately fell in love with that cardigan (and became addicted to Stitch Fix at the same time). And I knew I had the perfect Swarovski crystal elements in my bead stash to make a necklace and earrings to wear with that cardigan.
If you’re familiar with Door 44 Jewelry, you might even recognize the Rosewood bead frame. I first used this circular wire woven component in my Three Sisters necklace, which combines three of my Twig Pendants with this simple and elegant bead frame. You can see an example of the Three Sisters necklace in the Variations section of this tutorial below.
I think you’re going to really appreciate the versatility of the Rosewood bead frame. With some very simple tweaks, you can dramatically change the look and feel of this sweet little necklace. And you can use the Rosewood component for a multitude of fun and practical jewelry projects.
I chose a pretty 15mm x 14mm Swarovski crystal briolette for this tutorial. However, the Rosewood bead frame works beautifully with a wide variety of beads and dangles. Be sure to check out the Variations section at the end of this tutorial for some ideas. And then feel free to experiment with different beads, dangles, and focal elements.
Copyright & Disclosure
As always, you’re welcome to make and sell products from this tutorial on the condition that you credit Wendi of Door 44 Studios for the design and link back to this page.
When it comes to my written tutorials, however, I reserve exclusive rights to all images and written content. You may not reproduce or redistribute any portion of the Rosewood Pendant tutorial in any way, shape, or form. Furthermore, you may not teach the designs contained within this tutorial without my written permission.
This copyright applies to the printable PDF version of the fun and versatile Rosewood Pendant tutorial as well, and it’s included therein. Don’t forget, you may share the free version of this tutorial only by linking directly to this page.
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You may use half-hard or dead soft solid jewelry wire for the core wires for this design. Because we’re using heavier gauges, and there’s no heat involved, this design will work just as well with brass or bronze wire as it does with copper or sterling silver. As usual, you’ll need dead soft wire in the same (or a compatible) alloy for weaving. If you choose sterling silver for your core wires, I recommend using dead soft fine silver for weaving and sterling silver wire for securing beads.
If you choose to use a filled wire, be aware that the bead frames are finished and hardened by hammering the wire. Even light hammering can expose the base metal core in filled wires, which can negatively affect your final finish. As always, I don’t recommend plated or anodized craft wire for this necklace as those coatings will be ruined with this construction process.
How to Choose the Right Jewelry Wire
Jewelry wire is a constant source of confusion for beginners. I remember those days well! If you’d like to learn how to choose the right jewelry wire for wire weaving, be sure to read this post. In it, I share everything you need to know about jewelry wire as you set out on your wire weaving journey.
Tools & Materials
- 16ga wire – 8.5 inches
- 28ga dead soft wire – 8 feet
- 15mm x 14mm Swarovski Crystal Briolette – 1 each
- 4mm accent bead – 1 each
- Wire Cutters
- Stepped Bail-Making Pliers
- Nylon Jaw Pliers
- Needle File
- Chasing Hammer
- Bench Block
- Ring mandrel
- Fine Point Permanent Marker
- Sunshine® polishing cloths (optional). These are the polishing cloths that I use for dry polishing jewelry.
- WIDTH: about 1-1/4 inch (3.18 cm)
- LENGTH: about 1-3/4 inches (4.45 cm)
I added a delicate copper chain accented with copper beads and my signature Infinity Clasp to the sample pendant I made while writing this tutorial. However, this design works beautifully with all sorts of chain and cord variations. Be sure to see the Variations section of this tutorial for stringing ideas. Embellished chains and cords are a great way to express your unique personality and style, so feel free to experiment.
Skill Level: Intermediate
This is a more challenging project that involves wire weaving. It can be achieved by someone who has some basic wirework skills.
This tutorial uses the Modified Soumak Weave for two core wires. Check out my tutorial if you’re not already familiar with that weave. You should also be comfortable weaving pre-formed core wires for this tutorial.
How to Make the Rosewood Pendant
The written instructions assume that you’re using a 15mm x 14mm Swarovski briolette pendant, as specified in the materials list. However, this design can be easily adapted to any top-drilled drop bead.
Form the Bead Frame
Measure and cut two pieces of 16g wire.
Cut one piece at 4 inches long and the second piece at 4.5 inches. File the ends smooth, if necessary, and mark the center of each wire with your permanent marker, as shown.
Use your chasing hammer and bench block to paddle the ends of your 4-inch wire.
Then use your needle file to smooth and shape the paddled ends, if necessary. We’ll call this Wire 1. It should look something like the one shown here when finished.
Using the 2mm step (the smallest step) on your bail-making pliers, curl both ends of Wire 1 so that the curls are facing one another, as shown.
We’re now going to form the curve on Wire 1.
Center your wire at the size 13 mark on your ring mandrel, making sure that the curled ends are facing up (away) from your ring mandrel.
Then gently bend the ends of the wire all the way around the ring mandrel. The ends of the wire will cross, as shown.
Now, use the 3mm step (the second smallest step) on your bail-making pliers to finish forming Wire 1 as shown.
This will be the inner core wire on your Rosewood Pendant bead frame.
The last step to forming Wire 1 is to lock those final bends into place.
Use your bench block and chasing hammer to lightly flatten just the rounded ends of Wire 1. Be careful to avoid damaging the small curls with your hammer.
If hammering the ends opens the gap between the core wire and the small curls on the ends of your wire, just squeeze it closed with the 2mm step on your bail-making pliers.
This completes Wire 1. Set it aside for now, and we’ll form Wire 2 next.
Use your bench block and chasing hammer to paddle the ends of Wire 2, just as you did in Step 2 for Wire 1.
Again as you did for Wire 1 in Step 3, make small curls on each end of Wire 2 using the 2mm step on your bail-making pliers.
Next, finish forming the curled ends of Wire 2 by using the 3mm step of your bail-making pliers as shown.
We’re now going to lock those curved ends in by work hardening them. Use your chasing hammer and bench block to flatten just the large curve at each end of Wire 1.
Again, be careful to avoid marring your small curls with the hammer and tighten the gap between the core wire and the small curls with your stepped bail-making pliers, if necessary.
The last step is to form the curve on Wire 2. Center your core wire at the Size 16 mark on your ring mandrel. Make sure that the curled ends are facing up (away) from your ring mandrel, and then gently bend the ends of that wire around the ring mandrel.
Your two core wires are now fully formed. Nest them together and make sure they fit neatly, as pictured here. Make any final adjustments necessary before proceeding to the weaving section of this tutorial.
Weave the Core Wires Together
You’ll need about 8 feet of dead soft 28g wire for weaving.
I like to work off a bobbin when dealing with this much wire. Wind your bobbin with more than enough wire to complete the weaving for this project.
I usually wind my bobbins with between 50 and 100 feet of wire, and then I use that bobbin for multiple projects.
Before we start weaving the two core wires together, we’re going to mark the wires in four places. These marks will help you keep your core wires properly aligned while you weave them together.
Make sure that Wire 1 is centered within Wire 2. Slide them around, if necessary, until you get them precisely centered.
Once your core wires are properly aligned, use your fine-point permanent marker to mark both wires at the four points where you will begin and end your weave, as shown.
Now, starting at the marks at the top of your bead frame that feel most natural to you, leave a 3-inch tail and begin weaving Wires 1 and 2 together using the Modified Soumak Weave.
Continue weaving the first side of your core wires until you reach the first small curl on Wire 2. Then pull about four feet of weaving wire from your bobbin and cut that length of wire off the bobbin.
Continue your weave where you left off making sure to lash the small curl on Wire 2 to your core with a single pattern repeat.
Then continue weaving the closed end of the curl on Wire 2 to Wire 1 until you reach the point where the two wires diverge.
Coil your weaving wire neatly around Wire 1 until you reach the second curled end of Wire 2. Then continue weaving the two core wires together, as shown.
Continue weaving in pattern until you reach the point at the top of the bead frame where the two core wires diverge.
Then finish off your weave with three wraps around Wire 2 and break your weaving wire.
Finally, wrap the starting tail of your weaving wire three times around Wire 2 and break it as well.
Suspend the Focal and Accent Beads
Use your fingers to gently push Wire 1 forward and Wire 2 backward, as shown. If necessary, push the curved ends of Wire 1 slightly forward and the curved ends of Wire 2 slightly backward so they continue the curve of the bead frame.
This adds dimension and interest to your Rosewood Pendant, but it also makes the finished pendant more comfortable to wear.
Using the scrap piece of 28ga weaving wire that you have left after completing your weave, wrap a 4-inch tail of the wire twice around one of the curled ends of Wire 1, as shown.
Now thread your accent bead onto both wire ends attached to the bead frame, as shown.
Take the longer of the two wires passing through your accent bead and wrap it twice (neatly and tightly) around the other curved end of Wire 1.
Then feed the end of that wire back through the accent bead one more time. You should now have three passes of wire going through the bead.
Pull the wire snug, making sure to avoid kinks as you do so.
Finally, finish off your bead suspension by wrapping the tails of the wire at least three times around the three wires passing through your bead.
Break the tails off on the back of your bead frame (the concave side) and tuck the ends in neatly with chain nose pliers or a beading awl, if necessary.
Your bead frame should now look something like the one pictured here.
We’re now going to attach the focal bead using the same technique that we used for the accent bead. Start by finding the center of your remaining scrap wire and wrap the wire twice around one curved end of Wire 2, as shown.
Thread your focal bead onto the two wire ends. Then wrap one of those ends tightly and neatly around the remaining curved end of Wire 2.
Finally, feed that same end of wire once more through your focal bead until you have one wire tail on either side of the bead, as shown.
Finish off your focal bead by wrapping the wire tails tightly and neatly at least three times between the wire frame and the bead.
Break your wire tails on the back side of the bead frame, as shown. Tuck in the ends with chain nose pliers or a sharp beading awl, if necessary.
Your pendant is now complete and ready to finish and string on the necklace material of your choice. This is a versatile piece that looks beautiful on either a chain or cord. It also works beautifully on a Rosary-style beaded chain or cord.
See the Variations section below for a just a handful of the different stringing ideas and frame variations that you can accomplish with the Rosewood Pendant component.
Variations of the Rosewood Pendant
Beads that work well for this pendant are easy to locate. And this design can be easily adapted to top side-drilled beads of nearly any size and shape. The bead frame, as sized in this tutorial, will accommodate a variety of top-drilled beads including gemstone briolettes, crystal points, and even my Twig Pendants.
You can completely change the look of the bead frame by simply rotating Wire 1 so that the ends of both core wires meet in the center of the frame. The pendant pictured on the far left was created this way, and then the finished pendant was strung on a simple black leather cord.
I used the same basic variation of the wire woven Rosewood Pendant component on the Amethyst necklace pictured second from the left. Only this time, I flipped the component upside down and suspended a large variation of my Twig Pendant from the frame. Finally, I added an Amethyst drop to the center of the Rosewood component.
Combine with Other Jewelry Elements
Experiment with this design. I think you’ll find that it’s very versatile and works beautifully with a number of other jewelry components like tassels or one or more Twig Pendants, which is linked below.
My Three Sisters necklace, pictured second from right above, is simply a combination of the Rosewood circle component and three Twig Pendants.
The Twig Pendant
Combine the Rosewood Pendant with my popular Twig Pendant to create a more complex piece like my Three Sisters Necklace. Click the button below to get the full Twig Pendant Tutorial.
The principles for forming and weaving the core wires are the same regardless of the size of your focal beads. All you need to change to resize your bead frame are the cut lengths of your core and weaving wires and the size of the mandrels that you use to shape those wires. You can then fine-tune the gap between your focal beads and your bead frame by using metal spacer beads, if necessary.
Always keep good notes on the ideal lengths for your core wires and mandrels so you can easily repeat your modified design.
Finishing Your Rosewood Pendant
I antiqued the Rosewood Pendant that I made while writing this tutorial with Liver of Sulfur (LOS). And then I burnished the antiqued piece with super fine steel wool (Grade #0000) in a warm bath of water and original Blue Dawn dish soap. The steel wool brought back the bright copper highlights on the high spots.
Once that’s done, I rinsed the jewelry thoroughly to remove any particles of steel wool. And then I put my necklace in a tumbler barrel filled with warm water and a generous squirt of Blue Dawn. I tumbled each piece for about two hours.
If you’re new to wire weaving, read this detailed tutorial that walks you through my 7-step patina process. And if you’re wondering why I recommend tumble polishing specifically, check out this post. Also, be sure to clean your stainless steel shot regularly. Clean shot is necessary to achieve the best finish on your tumble-polished jewelry.
One last bit of tumbler advice before you go. Always make sure that any beads or stones that you use for your jewelry are safe to tumble. I don’t recommend tumbling natural pearls, soft gemstones, ceramic beads, or glass beads with polymer coatings, such as glass pearls and certain frosted-look glass. As always, if you’re unsure if your beads can handle the tumbler, run a test tumble with a bead that you’re willing to sacrifice.
Discover More Behind Door 44
Thanks so much for joining me today. I hope you enjoyed creating my pretty and versatile Rosewood Pendant. If you’d like a printable PDF version of this tutorial, you can find it here.
Would you like more free tutorials and useful wire jewelry tips?
I like to share useful wire weaving tips and tricks on my social media channels, and we have some great conversations about wire jewelry in my private Facebook Group. Also, be sure to connect with me @door44studios on Instagram, and Facebook to keep up with everything that’s happening behind Door 44. And if you haven’t already done so, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel where you’ll find new wire jewelry videos weekly.
Until next time, go make something beautiful!