Many of you know I spend a good portion of my time in my local bead store. Being the resident wire junkie, has its perks, it also has its challenges. One of the challenges is, that I constantly get requests to create or re-create a manufactured finding. The request usually goes something like this….. “I really love blank, but it’s not blank enough. Can you make it for me bigger, bolder, smaller, in silver, in gold, fancier, simpler, blank. blank, or blank.”
That’s how the Faux Bow Angel came about – they needed bigger angel wings than are commercially available. So to make a long story short… here’s how to make wire “Angel Wings”. You could really make them any size you like, but for this we’re going to make them big – for a pendant size angel.
Materials needed for wings approximately 1 1/2 by 3/4 inches – 10 to 12 inches (25.4 to 30.5cm) 18ga Artistic wire – I like the Non-Tarnish Silver – but you can use any color you like. You can also use copper, sterling, fine silver or gold filled wire, (soft is better.)
Materials for a finished Angel : 1 lg briolette – at least 10 x 20mm drilled top to bottom; 1 bead cone in proportion to the briolette; 1-10mm round bead; 1 4 inch head pin; 1 or 2 6 to 8mm crystal rondell
Tools: flush cutters; chain nose pliers; round nose pliers; extra large round nose ( approx 15mm dia. or larger)
Now if you paid attention to the title, you might recognize the “Faux Bow” – the angels wings are loosely based on that free tutorial. If you don’t already have a copy – head over to my “Free Tutorials” page to download a copy.
After cutting your piece of wire, straighten it out with your fingers and use round nose pliers to form a small coil at the center.
Hold the wire so the coil hole is straight up and down – not facing you. Place your extra large round nose pliers on the wire to the right of the coil, roughly 1/2 inch from the coil as shown.
Bring the right wire over the pliers, forming a teardrop. The wire should cross behind the coil.
Your wings should look something like these at this point.
Hold the left ‘wing’ and the wire just under it (the right wire you angled to the left) tightly so they don’t move. If you don’t have the finger strength, use a pair of wide nylon jaw pliers. If you let the wires slip on this next part, your wings will shrink and be uneven.
Use the wire angled to the right, to wrap tightly around the right wing one time. Leave the wire facing down.
Turn the wings around, so you can get a good grip on the other wing. Bring the free end of the wire towards you, around the wing, and ending in the same direction it was in to start.
I curled the ends of the wires the same as in the Faux Bow, but you could just cut them short, and tuck them in towards the Angel.
Put your Angel together by threading the headpin from the bottom in this order – briolette, bead cone, crystal rondell, wings, round bead, and another rondell for her halo.
Form a double loop at the top for a bail, and you’re all set – maybe. 🙂
To give the wings a little more “wingly” shape – At the middle of the outside of the wing, use flat nose pliers – grip the wire, and turn it in towards the center just a bit.
I hope you enjoyed a quick peek at Faux Bow Angel Wings. Look for the full tutorial on the Free Tutorials page soon.