If you’re a crafter, chances are you have a bag, a box, or a drawer full of marbles that you don’t know how to use. They’re fun when you’re a kid, but when you’re grown, how do you incorporate them into anything other than a game? Well, Arty Zen Studios has the answer: you can turn these marbles into lovely pendants. A few simple wire wrapping techniques and supplies and your favorite marbles and a few hours of your day and you’ll have a whole set of jewelry to wear or give away to your friends and family members.
What I love about this project is that it isn’t expensive, it teaches you a new technique, and it’s so easy that you can easily make them as gifts for teachers, mothers, siblings, cousins, and co-workers. They’re delicate enough that people will love them, unique enough that people will notice, and inexpensive enough that they won’t break the bank. This is a great project to do when you need to get through a stash — make an assembly line and get to work.
To make your own marble pendants, you’ll need the following tools: a ruler, flush cutters, round nose, medium stepper, chain nose and flat nose pliers, a sharpie or marker, and a wire straightener. The pliers will usually come together in a kit and are well worth the investment, especially if you’re going to be making a lot of wire jewelry.
Materials for the project include wire, marbles, and a cord for the necklace. The tutorial suggests using 20 and 22 gauge metal-plated wire. You can use gold, silver, copper, etc. Just be sure that the wire is thick enough to be a sturdy enclosure for the marble, but light enough that you can bend it with the pliers.
You’ll need to cut bits of wire and mark them with the sharpie. Bind them together and then bend into the shape of a spiderweb. This is when you’ll add the marble. Be sure and position it so that it is in the middle and not off to the side, as this will create problems later. Keep the marble centered as you bend the wire over and around it, forming the cage. After that, you will twirl each piece of wire into a spiral — there should be six total. This will create the elegant top of the casing. Then you’ll create a loop with the last two strands of wire, which you can affix to a cord for the necklace.
You can adjust the wire as you go, which makes this a forgiving project for beginners. Don’t worry about the spacing since it can be altered later. Concentrate on ensuring the marble is centered in the “spiderweb” and that the spirals are made so that the excess wire can be trimmed to avoid scratching the wearer.
If you enjoyed this tutorial and want more jewelry tips, you can bookmark Arty Zen Studios or follow them on Facebook. There’s also an Etsy shop if you’d care to peruse their beautiful creations. You can find the tutorial for this pendant on the blog at Arty Zen Studios.