Thursday, June 17, 2010

hand wrapped wire bird nest tutorial

Hi Sweet Hearts...
Who's up for a probably not so good, but really fun & given in love,
tutorial??? Yeahhh, me too.

I'm ADDICTED to making these wire bird nests, I adore their versatility.
I make them into...necklaces, bracelets, key chains & glue them onto
my vintage domino's. I sell that at my shop for $16.95, but if you go to
etsy you can see them going for much more.
OK...Ready??? Here we go...

I'm showing you the back of my nest so you'll know that like
in a real birds nest, they are not perfect. Every one is a
little bit different then the next. Take joy in the uniqueness of
each piece & know you will get better with practice.
{I've practiced a lot & my backs still are messy!}

These are the three tools I use. A wire cutter, a crimper & a round
nosed pliers. I got mine at the craft store, but any household tools
you have on hand will work.

The supplies needed are:
jewelry wire, {I use a 26 gauge}
3 faux or freshwater pearls
1 larger bead or faux pearl & 1 smaller one
2 end caps
1 tube bead to use as a bale to put your chain through

Now, I'm a thrifty gal. What I like to do is go treasure hunting
for old vintage necklaces & bracelets that are broken. I buy them
for their pieces & other then the end caps, I think that's where I got
all of these supplies. Even the cool ball chains were from the Senior
Thrift Store. They had hideous plastic promo #1's on them,
but they were only .10 cents. I bought them all!

You are going to use 2 pieces of wire, both about the length of your arm.
{now that's just what works for me, you could also cut one 2 lengths long}

Thread the 3 faux pearls onto your wire leaving a tail about 2" long
Push the pearls together into a triangle & twist the 2 ends tightly several
times at the base Fold your short end to the back & with the long end,
start to hand wrap in a circle around the pearls

I like to keep the wrap pretty tight because as you work with it,
it tends to loosen it's self. Stop when you have about 4" of wire left.
Taking your wire...pull it under the nest & up through the bottom
into 1 of the 3 holes next to your pearls. This is where I use my
round nose pliers to pull the wire up through the nest &
wrap it around a 2nd time.

Tip: Don't wrap too tight. Not loose, but not tight.
When you pull it tightly it pulls all the wire over to one side
& now you have a lopsided nest. Coming from underneath,
do this in the remaining 2 holes of the nest. Your nest
should start looking a little like a peace sign.

Pull both of the tails you have on the backside up through the top
of your nest & clip to about 1". Time for your 2nd piece of wire.
Take one end of the wire & pull it up from the bottom to the top side
leaving an inch on the top. Hold the 1" tail with one hand & start
wrapping the wire in a circle around the nest as above. I do this until a
little less then 1/2 of the wire is left. Holding the nest firmly, turn it over
to the back side. Continue wrapping, now your creating the bottom of
your nest. Work from the outside in, until you have a nest base that you
are happy with. Make sure to leave a couple of inches of wire to secure.

Going back through the same places you had worked on before, pull
the wire from the bottom to the top securing 2 times in each spot & ending
with the small tail. {I try to go into the bottom, center circle a couple
of times to make sure the bottom doesn't come undone}

Pull your final tail from the bottom back up through the top & now
you should have 4 short 1" tails sticking out of your nest. {the 2
ends of the 1st length of wire & the 2 ends of the 2nd length of wire}

With the 4 pieces of wire coming up through the top, we are going
to make tendrils. Using my round nose, I grab the tip of 1 wire &
roll a tiny bit into a circle. Pull your pliers out, grab a hold again &
keep twisting your wire into a tiny coil. You can push them down
into the nest or pull them loose, but make sure the very end is
tucked away so as not to scratch anyone.

Your nest is done, now for the extras! Cut another piece of wire
about 4" long. With the round nose, take one end & create a
coil just like you did for the tendrils, that will hold your
beads on. Add 1 small bead, 1 end cap, 1 large
faux pearl or bead & 2nd end cap.

Bend the top wire at a right angle leaving only 1/4" below to wrap
on. Push the end of the wire through 1 of your nest secures,
I use which ever one is loose enough to push it through easily.

This part is the hardest part for wrapping sucks!!
Take the wire & wrap it several times around the wire above
the end cap. Try & keep it nice & tight & use your round
nose to help pull it around. After 4 wraps, clip the wire on
the back as close as possible & use your crimper to push
down the sharp end so it won't scratch.

Now your nest should look something like this.
OMG...we're almost done, I promise!!!

At this point you can do many different things. You can simply
use a jump ring. You can create a ring with another little piece
of wire & attach securely. I used a tube bead. Cut a piece
of wire about 4" long. Put it through the bead & slip one end
of the wire through the top of the nest going to the back & the
other end through the back to the front.

Pull firmly to straighten. Using the round nose, wrap the wire ends
around the base of the bead going in different directions, clip
as close as possible & crimp down the sharp ends.

Viola!!! We're done.
Now you have your very own,
Hand Wrapped Wire Bird's Nest & I bet it's FABULOUS!!!
This one I made into a key chain.

I hope this all wasn't too confusing for you, trust me...
it took way longer to write this then it does to actually make one. LOL

Thank you for joining me on our Creative Fieldtrip &
I hope you have fun making your own little bird nests.
I can't wait to see what you all come up with!!!


PS: I think I should get some kind of workmens comp for
this project as I hit my head really hard on this when I stood
up after making our craft. OUCH!!! LOL


Susan HP said...

I LOVE those, and will definitely check them out in your shop.
Also, loved your step by step & thanks for reminding us that birds nests are all a little different & not perfect. Well, yes perfect, but each in their own way. That can apply to so much in life.

Angela said...

Thank you, I can't wait to try some.

Alice said...

I tried this one time. Mine didn't look so good. I guess this is where practice makes perfect. Thanks for the tute!

Linda in New Mexico said...

Oh no, just when I think I am going to be able to just finish what I have already gotten stuff for and what is in progress...there it is, the cutest bird's nest jewelry piece on I've gotta do this or I shall perish. These are wonderful and wonderful and look so wonderful. I do love them and will have to try these after Solstice. Thanks for being a sweetie and sharing the information. The Olde Bagg, Linda

Karen said...

What a beautiful blog! I love it. I'll be back.
And thanks for the visit today.
Ladybug Creek

MosaicMagpie said...

This is a great tutorial. I have made some of these little nests and I must say I would not change a word of this tutorial. Great Job.

Greatma said...

Love your art work. You are very creative, I enjoy stopping by and checking out your blog. Thanks for checking mine out as well.
Antique Rose

Linda said...

These are great Susie~ thanks so much! Hope your head is better...what we do for art...

Tammie said...

how wonderful of you to share how to make these. I may have to give it a try. I think I even have all the materials. Thank you also for your lovely comment on my blog. Lovely to get to know you.

'odd and old' Linda Dacey said...

You passed by my blog,left a kind comment and became a follower hoorah! and big thanks. We seem to be pretty similar in our tastes and I really love your collage work which is sophisticated and not at all tacky, (unlike plenty of stuff out there!). You appear, to me, to be a young, and giving spirit; thanks Linda x

la Brocanteuse said...

Hello Suzi! thanks for visiting my blog.. I am so enjoying working through yours, and love the little wire and pearl nests, will try them once we are back home..have a great day
Colette x

Ellie said...

Hi Suzie,
I will have to try this, so cute! I will have to seen what kind of wire, I have. Sorry about your head, are you okay?! Are we related, sounds like what would happen to me~
Pretty over here, I will visit you again!

Ruth said...

Hi Susie... Thanks for stopping for a visit. I'm new to this wonderful world of blogging.

It's so special to find like minded.... those kindred spirits we all should have in our lives.

Just love your blog look forward to my morning visits!

Ruth ;)

Lucy - By the Hill said...

oh Susie girl! I was just last week looking for tutorials on these! I will follow yours when I get around to doing one.
It will be about 108th on my to do list! LOL
Yours are just so pretty and neat looking! Good job! Love the tutorial.

Limar said...

Love your little birds nest, the whole piece is beautiful! Thanks so much for the walk-through :)

Romeo said...

WOW! Thank you for showing how to do this! I have seen these around and wonder how?!?!? Now I know and can't wait to try it. Your instructions look very straight forward and easy to understand - thanks!!!


Romeo and "her"

Mysticiris said...

Cute cute thanks for sharing! Also thanks for stopping by my blog...always makes me day when I get comments =)

Cindy said...

Susie, I've always adored wire bird nests...and yours are wonderful. I can only imagine how long it did take to write this tutorial, and take/edit the pictures! You're not only super creative, you're one generous soul! Thanks so much.

Katsui Jewelry said...

That was really well done! I am going to try one soon. I wondered what guage of wire to answered that for me...and I also wondered when you put the eggs in...thank you. That being said, I am sure I will create a messy nest but it will be lots of fun!
You are a big Sweetie!
Suz (happily living under the Katsui banner)

Beach House Living said...

Goodness I wire wrap but that seems like a way lot of work!

Dianne said...

I've been wanting to try these! Thanks!

Burlap Luxe said...

I need to make one... really I do!!!
I just adore it. :)


Jodie (everything vintage) said...

Are you trying to get me addicted to something ELSE?
I adore these little nest and you make them look so easy...I gotta try this tonight/tomorrow.
You are the best can teach me anything anytime! I promise to be your bestest student!!!! hahahaha
Love ya girl...this was wonderful.
If I try one, two or twenty, I'll let you know :)

Queen Bee said...

Oh, my gosh! These are fabulous! I am definitely going to try one. They are beautiful!
Queen Bee Studio

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Lovely tutorial!

Diane said...

Wow! You are a jewelry designer too =) Sweet tutorial my friend. I love your little nests!
I will teach you how to wrap when I see you =))
BTW, hope you are doing well!

goldenbird said...

I bought a wire-wrapped bird nest ring at a gift shop at Yosemite several years ago and just love it. I had never seen anything like it and loved the symbolism of the three eggs ... possibilities.

Terri said...

Fantastic post ..hope all is well with you! I have enjoyed making these birds nests too. And I really like how yours turned out! TFS

marie said...

I was googling for a wire nest tutorial today and came across yours. It's wonderful. I love the extra beads, etc that you add to it.
Thanks for the great explanation too!

If I manage to complete one I'll be sure to let you know.

Sherry Edwards said...

I found your tutorial via Google and think it's brilliant! I've made a couple of my own nests now and am really pleased with them! Thanks for sharing your tutorial.

ANGIE said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful tutorial! I've been using a bird's nest theme on my blog and have seen these but never could figure out how to make one. You're so generous to share!

I became a follower so I can come back for more inspiration.

Darlene said...

Love your little, sweet bird nests!!!

Thanks so much for sharing.

Gaby Bee said...

Your little birds nests are gorgeous. Thanks for your great tutorial!

Gaby xo