As part of Cousin Corporation’s Show Your Passion series, I’m going to give you all a quick, easy, and very versatile wrapped gemstone DIY.
My passion: gemstones. Gemstones of all kinds, of all colors, of all finishes, of all origins. I, along with my cousin Eric, tumble our own rocks- we’ll buy large chunks of raw earth, tumble with different grits, and end up with polished stones at the end. It’s like a surprise – the stones’ colors, shapes, sizes and textures are all revealed at the very end!
Now, obviously plain stones are just fine – some people use for meditation, yoga, as good luck charms and more. However, being a jewelry designer, these little pretties MUST make it into some sort of wearable art! I feel that gemstones just give off good vibes. My passion for stones- especially raw stones- stems from the fact that they’re something developed by nature. Considering most of them are MILLIONS of years old, they hold mysteries, energy, the power of the past. I’ve been making jewelry since I was about 8 or 9, but have been using gemstones within the past two years.
I used to glue bails on top until I discovered wire-wrapping. This is a perfect way to make use out of all my loose stones, and to allow them to become part of a portable jewelry piece.
Wherever I go, especially if I’m traveling, I always like to pick up a gemstone here and there. I have amassed a small collection, as you could imagine! My favorite pick was probably from when I was in Albuquerque – I picked up some raw turquoise from a Zuni vendor at a street fair. Cool, right?!
The collection above is my hand-tumbled rocks. Crazy Lace Agate, Turritella Agate, Ametrine, Adventurine and more are all waiting for bedazzling! Below are my beginners basics to collecting gemstones.
Certainly, we must have a tutorial to follow. I’m gonna show you the easiest way to wrap some of your favorite stones. Add sparkle with charms for extra bling – why not?! Cousin’s got some great bohemian charms (evil eyes, hamsas, butterflies, feathers and more) that pair very well with your stones. Let’s go!
Step 1: Gather materials. Needed are pliers (wire cutters and round nose), 24 or thin gauge Cousin wire, pendants or charms (my feather charms are from Cousin), jump rings and a lobster clasp. Finally, your gemstone. I am using girasol opal here. It helps to have somewhat of a triangle-shaped stone.
You can grab Cousin jewelry making supplies at Meijer, JoAnn Fabrics, Walmart and Walmart Canada, Michael’s, AC Moore stores and Beverly’s Fabrics!
First start by cutting two 12″ lengths of wire. In the middle, twist together about 5 times. Situate this twisted part right at the bottom of your stone. Bend all the ends up. Turn your stone upside dow. Twist the two leftmost wires together another five times, catching the bend of the stone in the twist. Repeat with the rightmost wires.
Now, twist the two frontmost wires together five times, then the two back most wires. You should be “enclosing” your stone. You may need to do more wraps, depending on the size of your stone. At the top, simply create a top-wrapped loop with all wires and cut the excess wire. Add a jumpring to the top loop, and attach your clasp.
You can add your other charm or pendant with another jumping. What’s great about these is that they whip up fast. Once you get the wrapping technique down, you’re good to go! When you are wrapping, just make sure you are wrapping wires on EITHER side of the stone, to encapsulate it. It’s also harder to work with very flat stones – do not choose a flat stone.
I like the idea of having a little gemstone with me all day – I keep this charm on my wallet. You can decorate backpacks, zipper pulls, use as phone charms, really anything.
View the other Ambassadors’ posts!
Dawn Doucette – Seed Bead Passion
Rebecca Utermholen– Textured Wire Passion
Molly Alexander – Beads – Not Just for Jewelry Passion
Rachel Nielsen – Pearl Passion
Shelly Owen – Wire Wrapping Passion
Lisa Crone – Crystal Bead Ball Passion
All photos copyright Allison Beth Cooling. Do not post/reuse without linking to me and crediting me.