Handmade Glass Bead Pendant

Ginny Hampton of Dallas demonstrates the creation of a fun one-of-a-kind necklace.

In this project, Ginny Hampton, a fun and bubbly Texan, demonstrates the creation of a large, handmade glass focal bead featuring a small sculptural accent. She wire-wraps the pendant to create a fun one-of-a-kind necklace.

c2c231_2final

c2c231_2final

Materials and Tools:

Nortel minor torch
various glass rods
stainless steel mandrel
bead release
shaping tools: graphite paddles, mashers, picks, razor
jewelry pliers: flat, round, cutters
handmade glass beads
sterling silver headpins
sterling silver findings *
accent beads: sterling, crystal, semi-precious stones

* bail for pendant or ear wires for earrings

Steps:

1. To make the bead: Choose colors for glass bead and prepare "stringers" — thin pulls of glass that will be used for decorating the base bead.

2. Create a roughly shaped base bead by winding hot glass around the stainless steel mandrel that has been coated in bead release. Continue to add glass and refine shape with tools until the final shape (heart) is achieved and good enough for decoration.

3. Decorate base bead using different colored stringers that are prepared in step 1. Melt flush with base bead and continue to reshape as needed so the final shape is not distorted by the added glass.

4. Once base bead is decorated and the shape is complete, add sculptural accent to the surface.

5. Place hot bead directly into the kiln for annealing.

6. Soak the cooled bead (still on mandrel) in water to soften the release. Carefully remove the bead from the mandrel and clean it. It's ready to wrap into a pendant, or make two for earrings.

Note: When wire-wrapping a larger focal bead to a bail, you can either slide a chain or cord through the bail or hang your focal piece on jewelry wire and string an entire necklace.

Next Up

How to Make Dichroic Glass and Enamel Earrings

Make a playful yet well-crafted pair of earrings using multi-colored dichroic glass, accent beads and gold-filled wire.

Fused-Glass Dichroic Pendant

Learn how to create a one-of-a-kind pendant by using fused glass.

How to Make a Melted Glass Pendant

Try a new glass blowing technique that creates a swirling, melted glass pendant.

How to Make a Fused Glass Butterfly Pendant

Make a one-of-a-kind dichroic glass necklace pendant with this simple fused glass technique.

How to Create Nubby Recycled Glass Beads

Make your own recycled glass beads for necklaces or bracelets using glass bottles and lampworking tools.

How to Make a Lampwork Glass Bead Necklace

Create your own unique lampwork glass beads for a colorful, leaf-inspired necklace.

Millefiori Butterfly Pendant

Shawn Nelson demonstrates how to create a lampwork butterfly pendant.

How to Make a Ceramic Necklace With a Gold Leaf Glass Bead

Go big and bold with this chunky ceramic necklace project featuring a dangling glass bead.

How to Make a Fused Dichroic Glass Watch

Make a stylish, fused-glass watch using dichroic glass and decals.

How to Make a Fused Glass Confetti Barrette

Add handmade flair to your hair with this fused glass barrette project.

Stories We're Following

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.