Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A clever bail idea!

I wanted to share this idea because I just thought it was so clever. See the bail on the pendant? It's a bit different to your standard bail and that's because it isn't a bail at all! It's a beautiful crystal-set headpin.

I have Sabrina from Bead with Me at Springwood to thank for this brilliant idea! I was having difficulty finding a bail suitable for this pendant which I'd made out of polymer clay. It's cast from a Krafty Lady art mould (AM 353) and it already has a depression in it ready for a jump ring but a jump ring wasn't elegant enough for this piece. My pronged bails didn't cover enough of the depression either. So Sabrina suggested the crystal head pin and it is just the perfect finishing touch!

So how do you turn a head pin into a bail? Well just follow the pics below....

Insert the headpin through the hole. Using flat nosed pliers, bend the headpin at a 90° angle directly behind the bead so that it's flush and there's not too much movement.Bend the tail of the headpin at a right angle, either to the front or the side depending on how you want the loop to sit, leaving about 3 or 4 mm above the top of the cabochon straight. Here, I've bent it to the side as this piece will hang from a jump ring, but if you want it to hang directly from your stringing material as in the completed piece at the top of this post, then bend it to the front.
Switch to round nosed pliers and turn a loop at that point.
Wrap the tail of the headpin around the straight length you just created.
Use pliers to help you wrap it firmly..... two or three wraps will be nice and sturdy.
Trim away the excess headpin with flush cutters and use pliers to tuck in the cut end so that there are no jagged edges exposed.

And that's it... so simple, yet so elegant.

If you'd like to download a printable tutorial with lots of pics and step by step instructions just click here.

Of course if you don't have a crystal set head pin, you could always add a small bead to a regular head pin to add interest.

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