In this video tutorial, I’ll show you how to wire wrap a bead to make it look like a caged cabochon setting.
I use an unusual bead that is flat on the back like a cabochon but is drilled like a bead, but this technique should work with any ‘normal’ long drilled bead as well.
You’ll find the list of supplies after the video.
If you’re on a mobile device and can’t see the embedded video, click to watch my Wire Wrapped Caged Bead Tutorial on YouTube.
TOOLS AND SUPPLIES:
• 16 x 24mm (.75″ x 1″) long drilled bead* (These pretty carved peach aventurine beads are available in my Etsy shop)
• 18 inches* 26 gauge round wire, cut into 3 6 inch pieces (your choice of material)
• flush cutters
• round nosed pliers
• chain nosed pliers
• Wubber’s large round mandrel bail making pliers (or another object to use as a mandrel, about 6 – 7mm in diameter)
* The measurements I give you for the wire are based on the bead I use in this video.
Be sure to add more wire for a larger bead! Measure the length of your bead from hole to hole. Then add at least 5 or 6 inches to that amount and begin with 2 pieces of wire at that length. For example, my bead is 1 inch long, and I start with 6 inches of wire. Please note – if your bead is much wider than mine, you’ll need to add more wire to allow enough extra to wrap with after you bend it up around the sides of the bead.
For your wrapping wire, you should have at least 3″ extra on either side of the width of the bead. You may need to add more for a very chunky bead – mine is flat on the back and low profile, so I can get away with a little less than that. Unfortunately the measurements are variable depending on your bead so I can’t give you an exact number, but if you’re ever in doubt, start with a few inches more than you think you need!
ABOUT THE BEAD:
Well, I mentioned there was an interesting story behind these beads. I actually drew the floral design for these stones to be custom carved, when I was designing jewelry for a different company than the one I work for now.
They were supposed to be double sided beads with the carved design on both sides, to go along with the cabochons that were to be set in sterling silver – I drew the flowers to match my design on the metalwork.
We had the beads carved in a factory overseas in several different colors of aventurine, but when they arrived they were flat on the back! We ended up not using the beads, as they didn’t quite fit with the original plan for what we wanted, so they were tucked away in a far corner of the warehouse and promptly forgotten.
I came across them by accident several years later, and since it was clear they would probably never be used, I was able to buy some of these pretty carved stones with my very own design on them!
I chose a range of colors in the peach aventurine, since it was my favorite. There were even a few extra in some of the other shapes and sizes. The color and feel of the stone reminds me of old-fashioned cameos and I thought I could make something pretty with them. Of course, I ended up buying way more than I could ever use, so I have them listed for sale in my Etsy bead shop now, along with the lovely wire wrapped pendant :)