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