I just spent some time in the Pacific Northwest, much of it outdoors, and saw all kinds of birds, from stately eagles to tiny finches. So with that in mind, here’s a super easy tutorial for you, beautiful bird’s nests! (Click here to see video of us making these on Home & Family!)
This is such a sweet project, a lovely nature-inspired bit of jewelry that is so pretty and makes a thoughtful gift.
There are lots of design choices you can make, wire color, bead selection, number of ‘eggs,’ and, of course, what the final project will end up being, such as a ring, pendant, even earrings.
26 gauge Wire
Beads — glass, gemstone or pearls
Needle-nosed pliers, flat-nosed pliers, wire cutters
Measure wire 24” long. Thread on bead “eggs” to the center of the wire. Fold wire in a ‘u’ shape, and twist wire 4 or 5 times cinching the twists close to the beads.
Fold the twist under, so that the beads rest on top. Hold the piece between thumb and finger.
To form the nest, begin wrapping the wires around the bead bundle, until about 4” to 5″ of wire remains.
(Here’s the same step with only one bead and different wire.)
(And again with two beads.)
To secure the nest wires, pull the end of one of the wires from the bottom through the center of the nest similar to taking a ‘stitch.’ Continue “stitching” in several spots around the nest until the wires are positioned as you like them, but leaving a 2” to 3” tail.
To form a pendant bail, pull up the tail of the wires, form a small circle with needle-nosed pliers and wire wrap the ends around the main wire with the other pliers.
Adjust the nest and bail as needed. Add to neck chain.
To make earrings, simply make two matching pendant-style nests and attach to ear wires.
Begin with a longer wire – about 36” long. Form the nest. To make the ring, place the nest on top of a ring mandrel. If you don’t have ring a mandrel, you can use a marker! Just make sure the end of the pen is tapered so the ring will slip off when you’re finished wrapping.
Wrap the ends of the long wire around the highlighter (or mandrel) several times in opposite directions to form the shank of the ring. With the remaining wire ends, wrap around the shank several times to secure.
Handy Sizing Tip: If making a ring, take a ring that already fits your finger, and slip it onto the highlighter. With a piece of electrical tape, mark the spot on the pen where the ring rests. Remove the ring and that’s where you’ll wrap the wire to make your nest ring shank.
For a Mom-gift, place one ‘egg’ in the nest for each of her children. For a birthday, make the ‘eggs’ out of the recipient’s birthstone.
Add some variety by using copper colored wire and sparkly glass beads.
If you use larger gauge (thicker) wire, you can make larger nests. (But remember, thicker wire requires that your beads have larger holes.)
Enjoy… now go make something beautiful! With a TWIST!