I wrote about the copper crystal ball necklace I made back in January, and I finally got around to creating a tutorial for it. There are a lot of components, so it will take several hours to complete the necklace but the result will be worth the time invested.
Tools and Materials
- Rubber gloves
- Chasing hammer
- Pliers: round nosed; flat nosed
- Flush cutter
- Round mandrels (1/2-inch, 5/8-inch)
- Liver of sulfur
- Renaissance Wax
- 10 4x4mm crystal beads (3 gold, 3clear)
- 5 4mm natural pearls
- 2 6x8mm clear crystal beads
- 8 4mm copper daisy spacer beads
- 8 3x5mm faceted copper beads
- 23 6-mm 20-GA copper jump rings
- 5 6-mm 16-GA copper jump rings
- Copper wire (18 and 24 gauges)
1. Cut a 48-inch piece of 18-GA wire and make small loops on the ends. Bend entire length of wire back and forth with round nosed pliers in an uneven zigzag pattern. The bends should be approximately 1/8-inch in depth for all wires that form a zigzag pattern.
2. Start on one end and tightly wrap wire around loop using round nose pliers.
3. Continue wrapping wire, turning it in different directions to form a ball. Push wires together to make the ball compact and uniform. Once wire is fully wrapped, push loop on the end straight up.
1. Cut the following of 18-GA wire:
- 3 pieces measuring 2 ½-inches
- 2 pieces measuring 2-inches
- 2 pieces measuring 1 ¾-inches
- 2 pieces measuring 1 ½-inches
2. For each wire, form small loops on the ends and bend wire in zigzag pattern.
1. Hammer large jump rings and flatten to 1/8-inch thickness. The ends will separate, so use flat nose pliers to wiggle the ends back together.
2. Gently hammer again to form dimples with ball end of the hammer, adjusting ends as necessary.
3. Connect one of the longest pieces zigzag wire to the ball then connect it to flattened ring on other end. Note that all components are connected using 6-mm jump rings.
4. Connect remaining wires to flattened ring. One of each size should be connected to either side of longest wire in the following order:
Zigzag wire with beads
1. Cut 6 pieces 18-GA wire measuring 2 1/2-inches. Slide 5 beads onto wire, with crystal in the center, copper spaces on either side, and copper beads on the ends as shown below:
2. Bend wire at 90-degree angles on either side of the beads and form small loops on ends. Bend remainder of wire in zigzag pattern.
3. Finish remaining three wires in the same manner as done in steps 1 and 2.
Zigzag wire with copper balls
1. Cut 2 pieces of 24-GA wire measuring 18-inches. With remaining 2 pieces of zigzag wire, wrap one length of 24-GA wire tightly around the center several times.
2. Continue wrapping the wire, but loosen it slightly to form a 3/8-inch ball. Tuck end of wire into ball.
1. Cut 4 pieces of 18-GA wire measuring 3-inches and create figure-8 connectors. Mark the center of wires and form small loops on ends in opposing directions.
2. With each wire, place one side on a 1/2-inch mandrel and push around to form a loop that connects just past center of wire. Repeat on the other end going in opposite direction.
3. Hammer rounded part of figure-8 connectors to flatten and add dimples.
Clasp and closure
1. Cut 3-inch length of 18-GA wire and form small loops that point in the same direction on ends. Form two zigzags on one end, wrap around mandrel to form a circle, then push end straight down.
2. Cut a 2 ¼-inch length of 18-GA wire and form a small loop on one end. Grasp wire above the loop with round nose pliers and bend wire at a 90 degree angle. Push wire against mandrel to form a circle, then wrap end tightly, just above the loop several times.
3. Flatten clasp and connector on curved sides then apply dimples with hammer.
1. Create the sides of necklace, connecting components as follows:
- Beaded wire to flattened ring that is attached to ball and other end to two flattened ring
- Zigzag with ball to flattened ring
- Beaded wire to flattened ring
- Figure-8 to flattened ring
- Figure-8 to figure-8
- Clasp to figure-8
2. Apply a dark patina using liver of sulfur to all components then apply Renaissance Wax, following manufacturer’s instructions.
I hope you have an opportunity to give this design a try. It can be worn with a casual outfit or evening attire. It can also make a statement at your next New Year’s Eve celebration!