If you're just getting started with beading, one of the best skills to learn is how to make perfect headpin dangles. They are used in earrings, as quick pendants, for charms on bracelets and in y-chain style necklaces. Something like the necklace above is a quick project that makes a nice gift, and can be made quickly to go with any outfit.
So you will need a few basic tools-
- a pair of round nose pliers
- a pair of needle nose pliers
- long headpin- at least 3 inches
- Large beads
- smaller accent beads
- flush cutters
For pliers, you want smooth jaws and smaller tips. You can find inexpensive pliers for jewelry making at any craft store or beading shop.
Headpins have a head at one end. Usually it looks like a nail head on a very long, skinny nail, but it can be a ball or a shape. The headpin I used is a decorative headpin, at the end it has a small rose quartz crystal. The accent beads I used are sterling, 2 mm rounds and one Bali style "daisy spacer" which are also called "heishi".
For beginners, I always recommend using copper or sterling headpins. The reason is because metal gets hard and somewhat brittle as it works, and as you are learning to do wrapped loops, it's possible to break some of the base metal pins. This can be very frustrating. Match your accents to the metal of the headpin for a very nice look.
Start by picking your beads and layout. Until you actually bend the headpin to make the eye, you can slide beads on an off to find a balance you like. I used a stabilized turquoise disk shaped bead, and matched a rose quartz to the one in the headpin. Accent beads help for a very professional look and a more finished look with irregularly shaped beads like the rose quartz nugget I used.
Grip over the beads with the needle nose pliers, and make a 90 degree bend over the pliers tips. This leaves a small space on the wire for the wraps.
Use the round nose pliers to create the loop, wrapping the wire smoothly over and around so the end is extending perpendicular to the pendant.
Now it's time to make the wraps. Grip the loop with the round nose pliers, and use the needle nose pliers to wrap the wire. Then trim with the flush cutters, and tighten down where it's trimmed with the needle nose pliers.
Slide the pendant on a chain, ribbon or cord. I used a leather cord finished with adjustable slip knots