by Rena Klingenberg.
Here’s how to wire wrap an arrowhead, step-by-step.
Our mailman asked me to turn this beautiful arrowhead into a necklace:
He found it in North Carolina while on a rafting trip that included his grandson – and the necklace is for his grandson as a memento of that special day.
They had stopped for a picnic during their adventure and saw the arrowhead on the river bank.
I felt a unique creative energy with this project – the sacredness of combining my craftsmanship with the work of the long-ago person who hand-knapped the arrowhead.
But it wasn’t until I gave the finished necklace to our mailman that I found out that this arrowhead is from the Woodland Period – and that the person who made it probably lived about 20 centuries ago.
Here’s a step-by-step tutorial of how I wire-wrapped the arrowhead so it could be hung on a leather cord. My goal was to create a rustic yet artistic setting that held the arrowhead securely, but without covering it up with gobs of wire.
How to Wire Wrap an Arrowhead
Skill Level: Beginner.
Supplies and Tools:
* 1 arrowhead (the one in this tutorial is 35 mm x 21 mm).
* 1 piece of 20-gauge half-hard round wire – about 14 inches (35 cm) long, for the size of arrowhead I used. If you’ll be wire-wrapping a larger or smaller one, you may want to use a few inches more or less of wire.
* Chain nose pliers.
* Round nose pliers.
* Flat nose pliers.
* Side cutters.
For this project, we’ll wrap the arrowhead starting down near its tip and ending up at its stem.
First, find the center of your piece of wire, and use your round nose pliers to bend the wire in half there:
Now decide on a spot somewhere near the tip of your arrowhead, where you’d like the bottom-most wrap of your wire to go.
Place the left edge of the arrowhead inside the wire bend you just made, and pull the wire securely around the arrowhead – one wire across the front of the arrowhead and the other wire across the back.
Where the two wires meet on the right side of the arrowhead, twist them together tightly, using about 3 or 4 twists:
Bend the twisted section of wire straight up, so that it runs along the right edge of the arrowhead.
Then run one wire diagonally across the front of the arrowhead and the other wire diagonally across the back of it.
The two wires should meet at the top of the arrowhead’s left “shoulder”.
Twist the wires tightly together here, using about 2 twists:
Now wrap one wire horizontally across the front of the arrowhead stem, then tightly around the right side of the arrowhead stem, and around to the back of the stem.
Take the other wire across the back of the arrowhead stem.
(View of the BACK of the arrowhead):
Right in the middle of back side of the arrowhead stem, twist the two wires together tightly, using about 2 twists.
End with one wire pointing straight up (this will become the bail wire), and the other wire pointing straight down (this will become the wire that wraps around the arrowhead’s stem):
Now use your round nose pliers on the wire that points straight up, to create a bail. The bottom of the bail should be above the arrowhead stem.
(I always create bails that are large enough to accommodate any size of chain or cord someone might want to use with the pendant):
Once you’ve formed the bail, use the remaining tail on the bail wire to make a few nice, even wraps around the bail wire’s shaft.
Then clip off the excess wire:
Now take your remaining wire and wrap it around the entire arrowhead stem, including the bail wire shaft, about 3 or 4 times (depending on how much wire you have to work with):
Secure this wire by wrapping it a few times around the remaining bit of the bail wire shaft.
Clip off the excess wire and use your chain nose pliers to squeeze the wire end down tightly.
(View of the BACK of the arrowhead):
Now you’ve made a wire wrapped arrowhead pendant, ready to hang on a cord or chain:
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