Beautiful Bird’s Nest Jewelry Tutorial

Birds Nest Jewelry Tutorial DSCF0111

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.

Supplies P1050967

You’ll need:

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.

Beads Centered DSCF0026

One Tiwist DSCF0028

Multi Twists DSCF0029

Fold the twist under, so that the beads rest on top. Hold the piece between thumb and finger.

Folded Over Pearls DSCF0030

To form the nest, begin wrapping the wires around the bead bundle, until about 4” to 5″ of wire remains.

Hold between finger DSCF0031

Beg Nest Wrap DSCF0032

(Here’s the same step with only one bead and different wire.)

Pre Secured Nest DSCF0086

(And again with two beads.)

Dark Wound Wrap P1050980

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.

First Stitch DSCF0035

Second Stitch DSCF0036

Third Stitch DSCF0038


Pendant bail:

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.

Bail Form 1 DSCF0042

Underside of pendant

Bail Wrap 2 DSCF0045

Bil Wrap 4 DSCF0046

Back of Nest DSCF0047

Back of pendant

Finished Nest Pendant

And the front of our finished nest!

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.

Earrings DSCF0135

Finished Silver Ring P1050962


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.

Highlighter Mandrel w Ring P1050956

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.

Blue Ring on Mandrel DSCF0076

Form Shank 1 DSCF0077

Form Shank 2 DSCF0078

Form Shank 3 DSCF0080

Finished Ring DSCF0082

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.

Highlighter Mandrel P1050959

Design Tips:

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.)

Birds Nest Pendants DSCF0126

Enjoy… now go make something beautiful! With a TWIST!

Birds Nest On Set P1050986

“A Penny Saved” — My New Book (In Honor of Lucky Penny Day)

To commemorate Lucky Penny Day, and with the hope that I garner a little extra luck today, I’m thrilled to announce that … I’ve written a book!

A Penny Saved Cover.jpg

This is my first foray into the world of publishing, and I’ve chosen the iBook platform. Technically, the book falls in the ‘”Enhanced eBook” category and, if you’ve never seen one, you’ve got to check it out. Along with text and graphics, these highly interactive books include pop-out glossaries, hyperlinks, photo galleries, instructional video, and a host of other high-tech thingamajigs all at your fingertips. For my latest work it means a myriad of possibilities for viewing and learning how to make your own precious, penny pieces.

P1050114 Lucky Leaf Hero 2 copy

I discovered Lucky Penny Day was a holiday just last year (which was fortunate, indeed!), when I first published my blog entry on how to make a Lucky Penny. (See the original post HERE.)

I thought it was a lovely time to remind us of one of those happy childhood superstitions:

“See a penny, pick it up, all day long, you’ll have good luck!”

Pennies tend to be a bit more scarce in the world than in the past, and the U. S. Treasury has even considered halting the minting of my favorite little coin!

But until they do, I’ll continue to pound, stretch, color and stamp on them.

A Penny Saved, Make Beautiful and Stylish Jewelry for Pennies… From Pennies! contains 5 projects, is available on iTunes, and can be viewed on an iPad.

If you missed my segment on Home & Family, here it is: