Today's project is how to make a crescent moon shaped wire frame that you can use as is, or wire beads to it, maybe add some bead fringe. Lots of options!
I've wanted to make a crescent moon shape for a while. For whatever, reason, it started off as a difficult project for me. I had to draw a few on paper and think about how nature makes a crescent moon in order to translate that into how to make one with wire. In the end, I think you will find it pretty easy!
To make these instructions simple, there were lots of mistakes and a good number of eh moon frames.
First, here are just some of the mistakes. I always think it's important for everyone, but especially beginners, to know that anyone who makes jewelry or does a craft has success and failures.
It takes a lot of patience to come up with beautiful design or color combinations or the shape you pictured in your mind. Sometimes, things come out great on the first shot, but sometimes there's a lot of bent wire and scrap. Even if you don't see it, it's there. So don't be hard on yourself when your project doesn't come out just right - or when it looks like a banana instead of a crescent moon.
So, now you know I'm not perfect. (Ha! As if you didn't already!) I actually went through three different set of instructions to come up with this version of the wire crescent moon tutorial - which is by far the simplest.
What did I learn from all of those bent pieces of wire? I learned that I like a pointy end on the crescent moon or I think it looks like a banana. No kidding - even when I did manage to get a pointy end on the crescent moon, it still looks like a banana to me sometimes. I hate that.
Below is my first bunch of bananas - before I changed my technique to the ones published here.
I also learned that there are fat crescent moons and skinny crescent moons. Neither is right or wrong - just a personal preference. I like both. The fat ones remind me less of bananas though. Last, I like smooth curves.
Now, lets get started making a crescent moon from wire. I used 18 gauge copper wire. I also played with brass wire and 20 gauge craft wire. I liked working with the copper wire best. Now that I have the technique down, I will probably experiment with other wires.
You will need the basic wire work tools :
- round nose pliers
- flat nose pliers
- wire cutters
You will also need:
I will forever rave about these plastic step mandrels from Beadsmith because they are so inexpensive and work great. I use them a lot in my projects.
These instruction will make a pendant that is just over an inch long, and use the largest 20mm barrel of the step pliers.
Start with a piece of wire that is 5 inches long. Using your pliers, grab it close to the center and fold it in half.
Press the wire fold tight so the ends are close together. This will help give you the sharp edge instead of the banana tip. (If you don't laugh while you're reading this, I'm doing something wrong - cause I crack myself up).
Grab your step mandrel or step pliers or something round about 20mm in diameter that you can wrap around. Using the step pliers, I put the folded end in between the jaws so just a little bit shows.
Then I wrap the tail around the barrel until I have a circle shape. It will only be a partial circle.
Now, you are going to ease the two wire circles apart to make the crescent moon shape. Do this gently and carefully to avoid bending the curves out of shape. Even though my pliers are pulling from the top, I will make adjustments and separate the two wires all along the shape - especially near the fold.
Continue to massage and separate the wires until you have the shape you want. Then you can add a loop on one of the wires to be used for hanging the pendant.
You can trim the second wire and add another loop to hang a dangle or charm.
Once I have the shape and at least one of the hanging loops, I hammer the wire frame so it will keep the shape better. This will harden the metal.
In this case, I didn't make a second loop. Instead, I trimmed the wire and will secure the end when I wrap wire and beads to the frame.
That is pretty much it! I may put the frames in a tumbler with stainless steel shot to polish them and harden them more - but I may also wait. It depends on what types of beads or embellishment I plan on adding. If I use pearls, I can't tumble them because then can get damaged and lose their luster. It's safest to tumble the wire frames now. I guess that's what I'll do. (I talked myself into it).
If you prefer full step by step video instructions, I also created a video on how to make the crescent moon wire frame to my YouTube channel.
There are several helpful tutorials there. I try to keep them short - at around 5 minutes or so. Please subscribe to my channel if you 'd like to be notified of future videos. I've made quite a few that I will be publishing in the next few weeks.
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