Wire wrapped pea pod charm

I first learned of these adorable pea pod pendants from a class offered by the Meetup group. I didn’t actually take the class, but during the herringbone bracelet class, the instructor mentioned it’s the same weave for the pea pod pendant. (I don’t know why the photos in the post are so blurry. They’re sharp when I am editing the draft. You can click on them to see a slightly larger image.)

Length (including the loop) is 2.2 cm, width is 0.5 cm.

Length (including the loop) is 2.2 cm, width is 0.5 cm.

I watched some video tutorials online. In the first one, the wire was bent in half and you wrapped both ends of the wire around the beads. I didn’t like it because it looked messy, but now I think it’s just the way those particular ones were made. In the second video that I watched, she wrapped one end of the wire, much like the herringbone weave. I thought I liked that version better, so that was the one I tried first, except I put it on a headpin. After making it, I decided to try the first version, and to my surprise, I liked it better. It also gives you two tendrils. Of course, my first attempt would be to make it tiny! I had some green 3mm round beads that were lying around unused. (I bought them because they were cheap and I thought I could do something with them, but when they arrived they didn’t look quite like how I imagined.) The only green 26 gauge wire that I have is sea green colored. I wonder if there isn’t enough contrast between the color of the beads and the wire, but since that’s what I have, that’s what I used.

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Arranged from left to right in the order that they were made.

As you can see in the photo above, the leftmost one was made by wrapping one wire. Hence, it only has one tendril. I wasn’t completely satisfied with it, so I gave the two-end wrapping a try. (Plus, I messed up when wrapping the loop, resulting in a gap.) The shape of the second one is my favorite, though I’m not sure what I did differently. I didn’t finish it because I had used a piece of previously used scrap wire, thinking it would just be a test. I might take it apart to reuse the beads and headpin, since the previous bends in the wire and parts where the color had come off are visible. After that, I made the rest using the two-ended method. My next best one was the fourth one. When shaping the fifth one, I accidentally nicked off the color with the pliers. I didn’t time how long it took me to make one, but they didn’t take long to make. P1100803eq Since my pendants are small and light—more like charms—I decided to make them into earrings. My major concern is that the tendrils might get caught in hair. I wore them for a couple hours and had no problems, but I was careful to keep my hair away from them. Another concern is that the 26 gauge wire might not be strong enough to withstand bending, so the pea pod could get deformed easily. More testing is necessary before I can make these for sale or give them as gifts.

Tiny Tree of Life Pendants

A couple of nights ago I was lying in bed when I thought I should attempt to make a tiny Tree of Life pendant (more like a charm). It actually wasn’t my idea; I had read about a challenge to make a wire wrapped Tree of Life that’s smaller than a nickel.

Yesterday evening I gave it a try, and here’s the result.

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The nickel is in there for scale. My use of purple seed beads would make these resemble flowering Jacaranda mimosifolia.

I struggled at first with making the frame, because I thought a wrapped loop would look disproportionately large on a small ring. That’s why I did the three loops, and secured the ends of the ring when wrapping the tree branch. Then I discovered the three loops are practically impossible to replicate exactly. (It’s possible that I just need a lot more practice, or maybe it can be done using a jig.) At first I thought I would use these charms for earrings, since they’re small and light, but then decided against it. When it comes to earrings, I prefer that the frames be close to identical. I don’t mind if the trees aren’t identical, because it’s even more difficult to make identical trees than it is to make identical frames. (But if people actually want mismatched earrings that don’t look deliberately mismatched—like the outer two in the photo above—then I’ll make them.)

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Although the trees aren’t identical, the size and style of the frames are similar enough for me to use them for earrings.

The tree part was actually fairly easy and enjoyable to make. I used 26 gauge wire for it, so it’s easy to bend. It takes me about half an hour to make one piece from start to finish, so I am seriously considering selling these. Because they are so small, there’s no room for complicated details, so the design remains simple, and I like that.

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The smallest one has a 1.4 cm diameter, and the larger one has a 1.6 cm diameter.

I made the ring by wrapping the 18 gauge wire around a ring mandrel. I started out at size 5. Making the tree was easier than I thought it would be. Then I decided to try size 2. Once again, no problem. To challenge myself more, I tried size 1. (After wrapping the loop, the ring got smaller so that it no longer fit on the mandrel.) That one actually was challenging, and it took the longest to make. I’m satisfied that the whole piece fits on a nickel. I don’t plan to make another one like that any time soon.

DSCF7437qThe next morning, I couldn’t wait to try to make more, with wrapped loops, so they could be used for earrings. My fingers were still sore from the night before, so I didn’t have as good control of the wire as I would have liked. It took three attempts before I had two frames that were close enough in size, but during the process I scraped the silver plating off the wire on one of them. However, it’s not noticeable after I wrapped the 26 gauge wire on.

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Clip-on earrings, because I don’t have pierced ears, but I have ear hooks for those who do. This one has a 1.6 cm diameter.

Tiny paper boats

I made a boat, I made a boat
Take a good hard look
At the teeny tiny boats

As you can see, I actually made four boats, but I wanted to parody the song I’m On A Boat.

I folded these some time in 2010 but did not take photos until October of 2011 (when I grew my nails out long). They are made from a cherry Starburst wrapper.

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Mini Kusudama Flowers

Some of you may have seen this when I posted it on Xanga a few years ago.

According to the instructions, kusudama means medicine ball.

The petals are made separately and then glued together. Folding the petals is rather simple. The hardest part was gluing the petals together, especially when it came to the third and fourth ones.


My smallest one. It measures about 6mm at the widest points and 2mm at the narrowest part.

When I folded my first one (not pictured) out of 0.5″ by 0.5″ squares, I noticed that it ended up pretty large (for something intended to be tiny), so I made a second one out of 9mm by 9mm squares. I felt like it could be even smaller, so on my third try, I used 0.25″ by 0.25″ squares for each petal. It might be possible to make an even smaller one, but it would have to be made from thinner paper, since the folds were already rather thick.

These were made from a strawberry Starburst wrapper. The hardest part was cutting the squares, since they had to be almost perfect. At that size, fractions of a millimeter matter.

I used a toothpick to open up some folds when making the smallest one. Aside from that, my fingernails did all the folding.

Posted 4/12/2011 at 4:40 PM

Tiny origami

This is a repost of something I posted on Xanga on 3/30/2011.

Back in 2010, a friend from high school posted this link on my Facebook wall. I asked her why she shared it with me, and she said that the article reminded her of me because I used to fold tiny paper cranes.

Determined, I decided to see what I could do. That night I used a 0.5” by 0.5” piece of paper to fold a crane, using my fingernails because I didn’t have tweezers. The one pictured below is my second paper crane. It took fifteen minutes to make. The first one took a little longer but didn’t come out as well.

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That is the tip of my left index finger, in case you were wondering what it could possibly look like. silly And yes, those are my initials. I put them there because I shared these photos on Facebook.

A few weeks later I decided to make miniature paper stars. I know that’s not the best picture, but it’s hard getting clear pictures of such tiny things. The smallest ones (blue and white) are 3 mm at the widest part.

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I thought it would be nice if I had a 1 inch tall glass bottle with a cork stopper to put the stars in. I would call it “The Magic Bottle” even though there really isn’t anything magical about it.

I tried making a tiny iris also out of a 0.5” by 0.5” paper, but it didn’t work because there are too many folds that become thick too quickly. It might work if I had really really thin paper. Maybe I’ll try tissue paper.

There’s more coming!