Make a Flowery Bird's Nest Necklace

 

I've spent most of May visiting back home in Tennessee, where azaleas are still blooming, irises are filling the farmer's markets, and even peonies (my favorites) are all over the neighborhood. My brother and I watched a mama bird feed four babies last week, and during the few hours of the day when it's not raining, there's a thin layer of yellow pollen on everything.

Though it feels more like summer already down here in the South, it's still my favorite season: spring. That's why I loved this project from our friends at Nunn Design, created by Erin Prais-Hintz–as if I needed another reason to put cute little wire and pearl birds' nests and flowers in my jewelry designs! There's plenty of opportunity for variety and customization in this project, plus it's a great way to mix and use the different flower beads and components that might be in your stash. And I love the mixed metals. Here's how to make it.

Bird's Nest Branch Necklace
by Erin Prais-Hintz for Nunn Design

I love the idea of nests of eggs. They speak of home and comfort and new life and possibilities. I love to mix metals, so using different tones was easy for me to do. When I saw the little copper bead cap, I thought it looked like a nest–and that is where I started. And a nest needs a branch and a bird to go along with it! The Nunn Design products are full of potential, especially if you are able to look past what their typical function is and use them as building blocks to making your design unique!

Materials: 

silver Nunn Design small bird circle decorative connector
8mm silver Nunn Design daisy bead cap
Mini silver Nunn Design twig connector bar
18-21" of 24-gauge copper wire
4 silver 2" Nunn Design headpins
18" copper Nunn Design large oval link chain
15mm copper Nunn Design lobster clasp
1" Nunn Design small hammered flat cable chain
8 textured silver 6mm Nunn Design jump rings
textured copper 6mm Nunn Design jump ring
3 pearls (about 6x5mm)
3 flower beads
2 leaf beads
Swarovski crystal bicone
wire flush cutters
round- or needle-nose pliers

Steps:

1.      Cut the copper chain into two 9" pieces. Set aside.

2.      Cut the silver chain into two 1/2" pieces. Set aside.

3.      Cut a 12-15" length of 24-gauge copper wire. Thread a pearl onto the middle of the wire. Twist the wires to secure.

 

4.      Thread a second pearl onto one of the wires and twist to secure.

5.      Thread a third pearl onto one of the wires and twist all together to secure.

6.      Pass the wires through the copper bead cap…

7.      …and start wrapping the ends around the small branch connector in a random fashion to resemble vines.

8.      Thread two headpins with a flower each. Wrap one around the branch randomly as in Step 7, tucking in the end of the wire. Repeat with the other flower.

9.      If your leaf bead has holes side to side: Take 6" of 24-gauge copper wire and thread to the middle. Cross the wires and twist to secure. Wrap the leaf around the branch randomly as in Step 7, tucking in the end of the wire.

10.  If your glass leaf bead has a hole back to front: Pass a headpin through the hole and bend the pin up at a 90-degree angle, leaving a little bit of space on the pin.

11.  Place your round-nose pliers about 1/4" up from the top of the leaf and bend the wire back down over the pliers.

12.  Bring the wire around the bottom of the headpin. Trim the excess and curl the wire into a vine shape.

13.  Thread a headpin with the following: one Swarovski bicone, one flower bead, one silver floral bead cap. Create a wrapped loop to secure.

14.  Attach the flower and leaf dangle to the bottom of the flat tag connector with two silver jump rings.

15.  Attach the short lengths of silver chain to the top two loops on the flat tag connector with two jump rings. Attach the chain to the branch with two silver jump rings.

16.  Attach the ends of the branch connector to the copper chain with silver jump rings.

17.  Attach the copper lobster claw clasp to the chain end with a copper jump ring.

One of my favorite uses of wire in jewelry making is to make these cute little pearl bird nests. For more great ways to use wire in jewelry making, including written and visual tutorials for just about any wirework technique you can imagine, get The Wireworker's Companion by the current and past editors of Step-by-Step Wire Jewelry magazine, Denise Peck and Jane Dickerson. Who knows wire better than they do? 

 

About the designer: Erin Prais-Hintz is a Nunn Design Innovation Team member. She creates one-of-a-kind pieces utilizing everything from precious gemstones to found objects from foreign lands or close to home. You can learn more about her on her website, TesoriTrovati.com and see more of her work in her Etsy shop.

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