How to Hang Flat Pendants? Wirework a Bail

Jean Campbell is a
contributing editor to Beading Daily

I don’t know about you, but I have many beautiful things in my stash that I’d like to hang as pendants. Cabochons. Found objects. Tiles. One catch: They don’t have holes to string through. I could get out the drill and make a hole. But that’s not always the best solution, especially with fragile stones that may crack or shatter from drilling. One solution? Wirework your own glue-on bail.


You can make your own bail a million different ways, but here’s one method that I came up with today:



1) Flush-cut 2 3/4" of 20-gauge wire.



2) Use round-nose pliers to form a small loop at one end of the wire. Keep wrapping the wire around the loop so the wire begins to spiral.



3) Grasp the loop within chain-nose pliers and pull the wire end around the loop, adjusting the pliers as necessary, to form a spiral with a 3-revolution radius.


4) Repeat Step 3 at the other end of the wire so that the spirals both curl up: It looks like a Snidely Whiplash-style mustachio. Set aside.


5) Repeat Steps 1 to 4 to form a second component.

6) Pair the two components so the spirals lay back to back.



7) Use 26-gauge wire to coil together the straight wires of each component.

  8) Trim any loose wire.


9) Use round-nose pliers to bend the coiled section in half.



10) Place the bail on your pendant and use your fingers and/or pliers to make any slight adjustments so the bail conforms to the pendant’s shape.



11) Use two-part epoxy or another type of strong glue to adhere the spirals on the bail to the pendant.


If you like this project, you’ll find loads of others like it when you subscribe to Step by Step Wire Jewelry. Each issue is filled with great ideas for wireworking techniques and contains dozens of fashion-forward wire jewelry projects.

How do you incorporate no-hole stuff into your jewelry making? Do you have tips to share with the rest of us? Share with us here on Beading Daily.

Related Posts:


Beading Daily Blog, Wire Wrapping

About jeancampbell

Jean Campbell is the founding editor (and currently the senior editor) of Beadwork magazine and has written and edited more than 45 beading books. She has written for Beading Daily and has appeared on the DIY Jewelry Making show, The Shay Pendray Show, and PBS' Beads, Baubles, and Jewels where she gives how-to instructions, provides inspiration, and lends crafting advice. Jean teaches jewelry-making workshops throughout the United States and calls Minneapolis home.

7 thoughts on “How to Hang Flat Pendants? Wirework a Bail

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you Jean for this great idea!! I have been making these spirals for weeks to hang on my pieces for an added bit of whimsy, but would never have thought of doing this and I have a box FULL of large stones that I have found here and there that have no holes and like you said, was afraid to try and drill them because of breakage. And trying to find bails in our area, especially large ones is very difficult. This is perfect!! Have my first big show coming up next month and this is just in time for me to get some more pieces made that otherwise would have just set on my shelves. Thanks again!!!

  2. Oh !!! I love it….Have been looking for a new way to make a Bail….Hee Haw!!
    Lots of times I will drill a hole for my Bail if I feel comfortable in the drilling part, I do wire wrap quite a few without holes and that is a really neat Bail…Sometimes I will take three pieces of 20g wire and solcer them together and then wrap around the stone using the top longer piece to wrap a circle… Other times I just use a free form style and let the wire lead the way…..

  3. I have an unrelated question… could not find on here. I just (almost) finished a steampunk necklace… I put ribbon through some chain for the end pieces and they are attached fine to the center attraction, but I am having a little trouble with the loose ends near the closure.. does anyone have ideas about this. When I attached to front, I used the little bell caps and wrapped wire around the ribbon and wire wrapped to the center… thank you!

  4. hi all, unrelated question. is there a front and back to jump rings? i cant seem to get the front of the necklace to remain facing in the correct directions! HELP!!! kalyna