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November 21, 2022

Wire Wrapping Top Drilled Bead Pendant [Book Excerpt]

Top drilled drop shape beads and briolette beads make eye catching additions to your handmade wire jewelry creations.  

Unfortunately, top drilled drop beads can also be challenging to wire wrap, especially for beginners.

There are a variety of techniques for wire wrapping top drilled beads and which one is best for you to use will depend on:

  • the size of the drop bead
  • the size of the drill hole on the bead
  • what size and type of wire material you are using
  • how you plan to use the wire wrapped drop bead in jewelry
  • and how experienced you are with wire wrapping. 

The wrapping technique in this article is one I often use to wire wrap top drilled drop beads. It is especially easy for beginning wire wrappers. 

This is an excerpt from my book Wire Wrap Jewelry Making for Beginners that is available now for purchase on Amazon and some other retailers such as ParaWire.

The following images are copyrighted material and for your personal use learning the wire wrapping technique and as a preview of my new book. Clicking on the photos will enlarge it.

Materials and Tools to Wire wrap a drop bead
Text © 2022 Callisto Media Photograph © 2022 Evi Abeler

Step by step wire wrap top drilled bead pendant
Text © 2022 Callisto Media

Step by step wire wrap top drilled bead pendant
Text © 2022 Callisto Media

Here are some additional tips to using this technique to wire wrap drop beads.

When you are wire wrapping large drop beads, you might need a bigger loop at the top to accomodate a larger chain. 

To make a pendant that will fit on larger chains, use the 4mm sized mandrel on your six step pliers. It is the 3rd smallest sized barrel.

How to wire wrap top drilled beads

To make drops that can attach to earring wires, you need the loop with the opening facing forward so you can slide it onto an earring wire. 

Make the loop following the instructions above and gently twist the loop 1/4 turn when you are done. 

It is easy to adjust the loop direction when the wire loop is still on the barrel of the pliers. It keeps the two wires aligned. 

Twist gently and hold the wire above the bead to avoid cracking the tip of the bead off.

For your convenience, the tools and supplies needed to wire wrap a top drilled bead are:

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  1. Just wanted to say, I ordered the paper copy of your book and it came yesterday and I think it is at the perfect level for my actual skill set, including addressing a number of issues I often have when working with wire. I stopped writing Amazon reviews about 5 years ago for various reasons but wanted you to know that I do appreciate the book a lot!

    1. That is so great to hear! Thank you for letting me know. I found it really challenging to write what I hoped would be a true wire jewelry beginner's book that I thought might also help people who may have a little more familiarity with jewelry making. The tips for common issues was what I hoped might resonate with makers with a little more experience while also helping a new jewelry maker avoid common frustrations.