About this project

Bird Nest Mess Wire Wrapped Marble Pendant

Easy to make wire-wrapped "fried" marble pendant.



  • How to make a glass pendant. Bird Nest Mess Wire Wrapped Marble - Step 1
    Step 1

    Pick a marble for your pendant. I prefer using "fried" (fractured) marbles for my pendants. These are marbles that have been fractured into many facets on the inside, but are still intact on the outside.

    If you plan to fracture marbles, pick marbles that are transparent. They can be clear or colored glass, but if light does not pass through them, you won't be able to see the facets after they have been fractured.

    To fracture marbles, place them on a tin-foil lined cookie sheet. (The tin foil prevents residue from the heated cookie sheet from transferring to the surface of the marble).

    Heat in the oven at 500 degrees fahrenheit (260 degrees celsius) for 20 minutes.

    Roll marbles around periodically to heat evenly.

    After heating the marbles, immediately drop them into a bowl of ice cubes and water. You will immediately hear the marbles crackle as they fracture on the inside.

    Let the marbles cool a few minutes before removing.

  • How to make a glass pendant. Bird Nest Mess Wire Wrapped Marble - Step 2
    Step 2

    All you need to complete this project is:

    1 marble

    Round Nose Pliers and Wire Cutters. (Both of these tools are designed specifically for jewelry-making. You can find them in the bead and jewelry-making section of most craft stores.)

    A few pieces of 20-gauge, round jewelry wire. I usually cut 2 or 3 wires into approximately 6-7 inch pieces to do the basic wrap, then use shorter pieces of wire to fill in gaps and to help secure the wire cage around the marble.

  • How to make a glass pendant. Bird Nest Mess Wire Wrapped Marble - Step 3
    Step 3

    Using your round nose pliers, bend the 6-7 inch sections of wire back and forth as pictured until you have bent the entire wire. Note: You might want to leave a very short fraction of wire straight on one end to help you weave that end into other wire surrounding the marble later once you start forming a cage.

    Vary the length of wire between bends so the pattern is not too uniform. Do not make complete loops (overlapping wires) while working on these central wires. These wires are going to be used to form a cage around the marble. You can pinch the openings together at the bottom of the bends, however, to give the appearance of a closed loop.

  • How to make a glass pendant. Bird Nest Mess Wire Wrapped Marble - Step 4
    Step 4

    After bending the 6-7 inch central wires, use your fingers to manipulate the wire around the marble so it forms a cage. Cut smaller pieces of wire and bend them also to fill in gaps between the main wire sections and to make connections at various places around the marble to secure the cage in place.

    Unfortunately, there is no "trick" to build the cage around the marble. You will simply have to fumble with it, finding a couple places to interlock wires and make some end loops with your round nose pliers. The marble may go flying across the room a time or two until you can form the basic wire cage around the marble.

    The initial cage may be loose, but you can tighten it up some by rolling the marble around periodically beneath your palm on a firm, but protected surface. I rolled the marble around on a countertop protected by a small towel. This safeguards both the countertop and the wire.

    I've made a few of these pendants now. The challenge is using enough wire to create a balanced and secure cage for the marble, but not overlapping wires too many times so the cage becomes bulky and obstructs the view of the marble.

  • How to make a glass pendant. Bird Nest Mess Wire Wrapped Marble - Step 5
    Step 5

    The way the wire is bent around the marble, you can hang it on a chain or ribbon without a jump ring or loop.

    I created another version of this pendant (pictured in a separate post) that includes a loop on top for hanging.

    Enjoy your beautiful pendant!

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CO + K User

I like the fractured marble look, too.
Joybells · Norfolk, Virginia, US · 22 projects
Hi Tina. I'm glad you like the fractured marble look. It is fun to turn ordinary glass marbles into pretty little gems. Happy
Riya K.
Riya K. · Chandigarh, Chandigarh, IN · 87 projects
thanks a lot Happy
Riya K.
Riya K. · Chandigarh, Chandigarh, IN · 87 projects
my wires slip down from marble...any idea how to fix them??
Joybells · Norfolk, Virginia, US · 22 projects
Hi Riya -- When I first start forming the cage around the marble, I will take two separate wires (bent back and forth as shown in the instructions) and will criss-cross them in a spot so they are interlocked together between bends. As I'm forming the cage, I try to interlock the wires in several other locations around the marble creating tension that will help hold the cage together in spots. I then use shorter pieces of wire to weave and bend into the gaps, latching wires together even more. I keep my round nose pliers handy to make spirals on the ends of the shorter wires after I have worked them into position. There is really no "trick" for forming the cage. Every pendant I've made has been like a puzzle -- trying to weave the wires together in such a way that the tension holds the cage together. Sometimes it takes awhile and other times everything just "works" right away. I've botched a few in the process and chased many flying marbles across the room.
Laura J.
Laura J. · U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, US
I have made these before and I use a small piece of poster tac to help hold the marble still. poster tac can be found in most KMarts Wall Marts and is pretty cheap and can be used over and over if it doesn't get to dirty. Hope this tip helps . Nice Pendants Laura J.
Joybells · Norfolk, Virginia, US · 22 projects
Thanks for the tip Laura. I'll have to check out the poster tac. Whenever I make fried marble pendants, I usually have to chase the marble across the room a few times before enough of the cage is completed to secure it. I do other pendant designs as well and have the same problem with flying marbles. haha
Tracy C.
Tracy C. · Pretoria, Gauteng, ZA · 10 projects
This is simply stunning!
Xandra · 9 projects
Thank you, I'll add that as a quote to the post I put your picture in Happy

And I'm glad you didn't throw away the scraps ;)
This is fabulous! Thank you for a such a great idea for using up stray pieces of wire. I hated the thought of tossing them but had no idea what to do with them until now.
Joybells · Norfolk, Virginia, US · 22 projects
Hi Molly. The wire I used on this project was actually scrap wire from a more formal design I was trying to make but "botched" too badly to complete. Interestingly, I've had a number of requests from friends now to make them one of these bird nest mess pendants. So, I guess I'll be making good use of all my scrap wire going forward. Happy Even if someone doesn't want to wear the pendant, they make pretty mini suncatchers in the window. I'm thinking of making a hanging marble suncatcher mobile now.
Olivia H.
Olivia H. · Indianapolis, Indiana, US · 32 projects
This is gorgeous!
Joybells · Norfolk, Virginia, US · 22 projects
Thanks Olivia. It was fun and really easy to make.
Xandra · 9 projects
What a gorgeous necklace Happy I linked to this in my new blog http://Iwillusethat.blogspot.co.uk

If you mind, let me know, and I will take it down. Thank you for the tutorial Happy
Joybells · Norfolk, Virginia, US · 22 projects
Hi Xandra. I don't mind at all. I am honored that someone liked my idea enough to share it with others. I was about to throw out all that scrap wire until the idea came to me to work all the wire pieces together somehow in a less formal design. I've gotten lots of compliments on that design which has been very encouraging. Happy
Joybells · Norfolk, Virginia, US · 22 projects
By the way Xandra -- if you are going to fracture (fry) marbles per the instructions I provided, you'll need to find marbles that are made up of transparent glass (whether clear or tinted). That way you can see the facets. If they are opaque (where light doesn't go through them), they don't work. Good luck with your project. I hope if you make one that you'll post your version on the Cut out and keep website. I would love to see how this turns out for other folks.
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