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Tips on Creating Custom Bails

The most unique, eye-catching pendants deserve a presentation worthy of their beauty, and sometimes it's hard to find the right bail to use. Oddly shaped pendants can be especially hard to finish. If you make your own bail, the possibilities for displaying your piece are limited only by your imagination! Customizing a bail is just one way to make your jewelry personal, and these techniques are just a few basic ways to make them your own. We'll show you how to make bails using wire wrapping, seed beads and suede material.
Double wrapped loop bail
Check to make sure you have the appropriate gauge of wire for your pendant and design. We chose 20 gauge silver wire for all of our bails. Also, remember that you will attach the pendant before bending the final wrapped loop. Learn the technique for a wrapped loop by reading our Handy Tip.
Double wrapped loop bail with beads: Step 1Step 2Step 3
Make the wrapped loop that will attach to the necklace. Our wraps are about ¼ of an inch long.
Add any beads you want as part of the bail. Leave approximately ¼ of an inch of wire exposed after the bead and make a 90 degree bend in the wire. At the bend, begin to make the second loop. Slide the pendant on so that it rests in this loop.
Make one or two wraps with the wire tail, just above the hanging pendant. Cut the tail end to your desired length and create a spiral with the remainder. Use chain nose pliers to adjust the placement of the wire spiral so it rests in front of the pendant. Learn how to make a wire spiral by reading our Handy Tip in the Learning Center. The spiral design is merely for decorative purposes, so you may embellish the excess wire however you like.
Donut style bail: Step 1Step 2Step 3
Start by creating a wrapped loop on one end of wire.
Next, measure the space needed for the pendant. Using chain nose pliers, create the bends where needed to accommodate the pendant and then slide the pendant onto the wire.
Cut the tail end of wire to a suitable length. Use chain nose pliers to bend the wire into a spiral shape or any other design you choose.
Step 4
Use the chain nose pliers to position placement of the spiral.
Donut style bail with beads: Step 1Step 2Step 3
Cut your length of wire and create a 90 degree bend at the center. Use round nose pliers to start a loop. Remove wire from pliers.
Use chain nose pliers to bend the wire after the loop so it forms a loop with two long tails.
String any desired beads over both tails of the wire and slide the beads to the top loop. Then, using chain nose pliers create the bends in the wire for the pendant to rest on. Add the pendant and adjust if necessary so that the pendant will hang appropriately.
Step 4Step 5
Cut the wire tails to the desired length. Using chain nose pliers, start creating spirals with both tail ends of wire.
Use chain nose pliers to position the placement of the spirals.
Seed beaded bail: Step 1Step 2Step 3
Cut one foot of jewelry wire and then string one crimp tube that fits your size wire. String several inches of seed beads.
Add a bead stopper to the crimp tube end to keep the seed beads tight as you work. Pass the strand of seed beads through the hole on the pendant so that the crimp tube and bead stopper are in the back.
Continue wrapping the strand of seed beads through the hole in the pendant, making sure that the loops will be big enough to go onto the beads, chain, ribbon or whatever material you will be attaching the pendant to on your finished necklace. When you reach your desired number of loops, pass the other end of the jewelry wire through the crimp tube.
Step 4
Use the bead crimper tool to crimp the tube down. Trim any excess wire.
A lark's head knot, also called a cow hitch, is commonly used in macramé but can also be helpful in creating bails. To start, cut a length of your desired stringing material and fold it in half.
Thread the loop through the stringing hole of your pendant.
Bring the ends of the stringing material to the top of the pendant and through the loop you made. Pull the ends tight.
String a bead of your choice over both ends and then slide the bead down close to the knot.
To change the look of the knot, simply thread the loop through the hole of the pendant from the other side in Step 2.


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