Cabochons are stones or gems that have a flat side and are set to embellish many types of jewellery including rings, necklace pendants and brooches. There are several different ways to mount or set a cabochon so that you can attach it to a piece of jewellery, and one of these methods is wire wrapping. With a few simple tools and materials, you can put together a stylish wire wrapped cabochon pendant.
Cut a piece of masking tape and use it as a guide for the length and width of your wire wrap. Wrap the piece of tape all the way around the edge of the cabochon and leave about three inches of length extra. Cut the tape long ways to the thickness of the cabochon. Make marks with your pen on the tape on the bottom end of the cabochon, on the two sides halfway up, and at the top. Remove the tape from the cabochon and lay it out on your table.
Cut pieces of your 20 gauge half-hard wire with your wire cutters in the length that you measured out with the tape. Make a bundle with the pieces and lay them out flat right next to each other until you have the thickness that you determined with the tape. This is the wire you will be wrapping around the outside of the cabochon. Wrap around both ends of the bundle with pieces of tape to keep it together and make sure the bundle remains tight and flat.
Cut five piece of the 24 gauge dead-soft wire that are each about two inches long. Wrap each one around the centre, the middle of the two sides and the two sides on each end of the bundle and use the marks you made on the tape as your guide. Make sure the wrappings are tight and the bundle stays flat. Use more tape to help keep the bundle together as you wrap.
Use something round, hard and about the same size around as your cabochon to help shape the wire into a curved shape. If your cabochon is square, use the chain nose pliers to help shape it and make bends.
Stick a knife or a thin metal file into the bundle next to the outside wire and twist so that a piece of wire sticks out and points inward toward the middle of the shape you formed. This is called a "locking turn" and will hold the cabochon securely in place. Do this on both sides of every wrap that you made to secure the bundle together, front and back, and make sure the locking turns are all about the same size.
Place the cabochon inside the shape and gently press the wire into the cabochon so that it is tightly in place. Twist one end of the bundle around the other end at the top and form a loop with your round nose pliers if you want to hang the cabochon from a necklace. Use your round nose pliers to make decorative coils around the front of the cabochon with the left over wire and cut off any pieces that you don't want.
Things you need
- Masking tape
- 20-gauge half hard wire
- Wire cutters
- 24-gauge dead soft wire
- Round nose pliers
- Chain nose pliers