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April 30, 2015

DIY Bird's Nest Birthstone Pendant Jewelry For Mothers

Are you my Mother?

Do you remember that book - Are You My Mother?   It was one of my favorites. About a confused baby bird looking for his mother.

It came to mind while I was making this wire nest pendant with birthstones for Mother's Day. The book doesn't seem to be that popular now since I had difficulty finding it on Amazon. (*Note that I had difficulty finding the Original version - they've put out a simplified version for younger readers). 

Wire nest with birthstones for Mother: DIY instructions

Here's my Mother's Nest - with birthstones for March (Aquamarine), October (Opal) and December (Turquoise).  Lots of blue.  I wish I had some appropriate Pink Peruvian opal since the pink would have been a nice contract - and the October birthday is for a girl - but I don't.

I tried to make my nest a little different than most of the ones I've seen.  Did you notice?

It's messy - like a real nest. I didn't want a perfect swirl.

I wanted something that was a jewelry representation of the nest that is sitting under the eaves of my deck right now - a mass of different twigs and leaves and goodies. I tried to get a picture of that nest - but so far, no luck.

DIY Birthstone Nest for Mother - free tutorial

So, my nest is a mass of wire, beads and a tiny little bit of fiber.

I found this free DIY Bird's Nest Necklace tutorial by Sarah Ortega to get started. She has those lovely, neat, swirly, totally unrealistic looking nests that I envy - just like I envy people who have super-neat homes. They're nice but totally impractical for me.

So look at her tutorial and if you're the fastidous type - just go for it. 

Mother's Day Jewelry: DIY Birthstone Nest, free tutorial

If you're more like me, and would like your nest to reveal the true nature of your being, as well as commemorate the reason for the mess (your children), you might want to wire your first circle of beads on some contrasting wire.  I used a scrap piece of 26 g gold filled wire. 

Then as I swirled my main nest wire - made from Beadalon 20-Gauge Artistic Wire , I added some stray beads and tried to kink the wire here and there and generally be messier than I ever am while working with wire. It's hard to be purposefully messy. Pretty easy when I'm not trying though. Go figure.

Mother's Day Jewelry: DIY Birthstone Nest, free tutorial

As my nest grew, I added a messy double loop to hang the pendant. I also added some more scrap wire - this time copper with an occasional bead here and there. I tried not to overdo the extra bits and baubles.

Great gift for Mom - Need to make one of these.  DIY birthstone nest

As final steps, I took my round nose pliers and twisted the wire here and there to add some more bends and knots. I also added some Liver of Sulfur Patina to oxidize the copper wire and add some contrast.

Having never used Artistic Wire before, I wasn't sure if it would oxidize or not.  It doesn't. I guess when it says Anti-Tarnish on the package that should have been a hint. My bad for not reading carefully. I probably would have liked to patina the silver and brush the highlights, but I'm good with it like this too.

Great gift for Mom - Need to make one of these.  DIY birthstone nest

I have a couple of other Mother's Day projects on my to-do list. I'm hoping I'll get them all done before the big day - cause you know I'll be sitting back with a Mimosa and a couple of Minions waiting on me on the happy day.

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  1. Hello Lisa, I just had to comment on your version of the, "Nest Pendant". I have seen many renditions and tutorials of the famous pendant and yours is the most creative and thoughtful I have seen! I love the realism and thought that you have applied to your design. I really liked the birthstone eggs used for a mother's gift. Thank you for the effort that it takes to share your expertise with all of us! I appreciate you and all you give to us!
    Happy, creative regards,

    1. Teresa - I think you win the award for most touching comment to date. Thank you. I really love playing with beads, publishing my blog and getting to know other jewelry makers - and the occasional kind notes from readers gives me such a lift. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. Your nest looks great -- it should look a little messy. I love that the turquoise bead looks like a real egg.

    1. I didn't notice that about the turquoise stone - but you're right, it does! I guess a nest filled with little turquoise eggs would be pretty too.

  3. My mom is a teacher and always reads that book to her class. Are you selling these? She would love this as a Mother's Day gift!

    1. Valerie - I could certainly make them to sell, but I would probably have trouble getting it to you before Mother's Day. If you want to email me the birthstones you would want (either by month or stone), I can tell you if I have those available and we can take it from there. My email is