Zen Spiral Pendant Tutorial

by Rena Klingenberg. © 2003-Present Rena Klingenberg. All Rights Reserved

Zen Spiral Pendant Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Zen Spiral Pendant Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Zen Spiral Pendant Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg.

This Zen Spiral Pendant tutorial is super-easy and a great beginning wire jewelry project.

It has a rustic, primal appeal.

Zen Spiral Pendant in hammered copper wire, by Rena Klingenberg

Zen Spiral Pendant in hammered copper wire, by Rena Klingenberg.

It’s a great pendant for both guys and gals – and it’s one of those items you can make several of, in a variety of metals and finishes, to sell in your jewelry booth or online store.

Zen Spiral Pendants by Rena Klingenberg

Zen Spiral Pendants are popular in a variety of metals.


  • 1 piece of round wire, 16- or 18-gauge, 10 inches (25.4 cm) long.
    Brass and copper wire for making pendants

    These are the exact wires I used for this project – 18-gauge copper and 16-gauge brass. Both came from a local hardware store.

  • A file, cup burr, or knife sharpening stone for smoothing off the wire ends.
  • Wire cutters (don’t use your best cutters on this gauge of wire; use either a cheap cutter or a heavy-duty one).
  • Round-nose pliers (don’t use your best pliers on 16-gauge wire, unless they’ve been manufactured to handle that gauge).
  • Jewelry hammer (I used a ball-peen hammer so I could add a hammered texture to the copper spiral pendant).
    Ball-peen jewelry hammer

    I used the flat end of the hammer head to flatten and harden my wire spirals. I used the round (“peen”) end to create the hammered texture on the copper spiral after hammering it with the flat side.

  • Steel jeweler’s block or other hammering surface.

Brass Zen Spiral Pendant

How to Make the Zen Spiral Pendant:

Cut a piece of your wire 10 inches (25.4 cm) long:

Zen Spiral Pendant Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Smooth both ends of the wire, using a file, cup burr, or knife sharpening stone:

We’re going to start by making the bail of the pendant.

Using your round-nose pliers, make a bend near one end of your wire:

wire pendant tutorial

Now your wire should look like this:

I like to make pendant bails nice and big, so they can accommodate any size of cord or chain, plus one end of the clasp that will have to be threaded through the bail.

So, working on the wire end where you just made the bend, use the fat end of your round-nose pliers to shape a big circle.

Notice that we’re NOT wrapping the wire tightly around the jaw of the pliers – instead, the circle is quite a bit bigger than the pliers’ jaw:

wire jewelry project

Keep on using your pliers this way, till you’ve done 3 or 4 rounds with your wire.

As much as possible, make each round the same size as the others:

make a wire bail

Now the bail end of your wire should look like this:

making a wire pendant bail

Now we’re going to make the spiral.

Remember, “rustic and primal” is a great look for this Zen Spiral Pendant, so your spiral doesn’t have to be perfectly even!

Pick up the other end of your wire, and use your round-nose pliers to make a small curve at the tip:

easy wire jewelry project

Using the fat end of your pliers, keep moving your pliers slightly along your wire, and keep curving your wire into an open spiral.

(For more help with this part, you can also watch my 3-minute video on How to Make an Open Wire Spiral.)

make a wire spiral

Keep moving your pliers along the wire and curving it to continue the open spiral, working your way toward the bail:

make a wire spiral

Curve your spiral all the way up to the bail.

Your wire should look like this:

wire spiral pendant

Now use the thin tips of your round-nose pliers to bend the bail perpendicular to your spiral:

make wire jewelry

Your wire should look like this:

zen spiral wire pendant

Now lay the spiral part of your pendant on your steel jeweler’s block or other hammering surface.

(We won’t be hammering the bail – only the spiral.)

Use the flat side of your hammer to pound both sides of the spiral, to flatten it nicely and harden it enough to hold its shape against wear and tear:

hammering wire jewelry

If you want to create a rustic, hammered texture like my copper pendant has, now is the time to use the round “peen” end of your hammer to pound little dents into the metal:

hammered wire pendant

Your pendant is now finished!

I haven’t used any patina or oxidizing on my pendants, although that would be a great look for them.

Zen Spiral Pendant Tutorial

Instead, I’ll leave them hanging out in the open air and let them acquire a nice amount of natural patina.
Zen Spiral Pendant Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

These pendants make great gifts for guys and gals of any age – and I love them best on a leather or suede cord!

Zen Spiral Pendant Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

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  • Liz says:

    Gorgeous!! I love wireworking (and the cuts, bruises and callouses to prove it…) At times, though, it seems I forget that less is more. Your design is simple, yet elegant and very innovative. I can’t wait to get out my hammer. Thanks Rena!

  • Kelly says:

    Very nice, yet simple pendant. I love it. This is certainly one that can be done by beginners to wire work. Thanks Rena.

  • Danni Baird says:

    So cool and not nearly as difficult as I would have thought! Love them!

  • Jill says:

    That is beautiful! Both the pendant and earrings!

  • Great Turorial! Simple and beautiful. It is difficult to find designs for men, this is a good one.

  • Cecilia says:

    Great tutorial! Now I want to hammer copper too 🙂 Looks easy enough! ( but I am not so sure I’ll have the same result :))

  • Mel says:

    Oh this is really cool. I love hand made jewellery 🙂

  • Bobbie Beliveau says:

    Absolutely gorgeous jewelry Rena – I alway’s thought this type of work would really be hard to do, but it’s not. I love make jewelry. I love designing and creating my own jewelry and the best part is when I finish. The comments I get from friends and family and just anyone who has seen my work. Just a quick story – I was on vacation (cruise) in Alaska and I was wearing a necklace that I made, well I was wondering around in the jewelry stores and this woman wanted my necklace,unfortunaly at the time I could not sell to her because I noticed a flaw and I knew that it would break, so she gave me her name and phone number so when I fixed the necklace I could call her and get the necessary info to ship. Since then, I’ve made another necklace like that one and have other ladies want to purchase, wow – not bad for a newbie. Thanks for listining. Bobbie

  • Hoopsbyhand says:

    Another beauty! Keep up the good work, I always get excited when I see your pictures. You are an amazing jeweler and photographer!

  • Christine says:

    GREAT tutorial! I just LOVE how you show us so many ways to create beautiful jewelry!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer… From Dream To Reality!

  • Kathy says:

    What a great idea ! With the winter snowbirds coming here from the North, these would be a great addition to my booth.
    Thanks Rena !!

  • As usual, this is amazing! You really blow me away with your talent! You seriously rock 🙂

  • Sherry Hooker says:

    Great tutorial and what a simple and lovely piece to make. I really enjoy this site with all its tutorials, suggestions, and all the artisans willing to share.

  • patti says:

    Greta tutorial – and you make it look so easy! I am going to pin this a give it a try! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Crystelle says:

    so pretty! You have such an even hand….

  • Your spirals are great!

  • Julie says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this on Marvleous Mondays! I love this jewelry. This project was tied for most viewed links last week so I will be featuring it on my blog this weekend. Be sure to stop by and check out the post!


  • Clear and simple! Thanks. I saw it on Just Winging It Show Your Stuff.

  • Karri Reiser says:

    Your tutorials are so easy to follow and inspire me to give it a try. Thanks again.

  • Mariel says:

    I love this! Thanks for sharing it with my readers. 🙂

  • Hi, great tutorial!! I will have to try making a spiral as you have shown in tutorial. Thank you. Sheliah

  • Marilyn says:

    Have made some of your spiral earrings and have sold a few too. They are great and are not the usual type of earrings that you see everyday. Not heavy either. Thanks, love your newsletters and patterns.

  • Thanks for letting me know, Marilyn – that’s lovely to hear! 🙂

  • I recently purchased a medium size square Wubbers pliers. Can you suggest projects for use of this pliers? Thanks.

  • Laura says:

    hi,rena,thanks for wonderful tutorial.i have a question for you…how do you smoothen your spiral after hammering it to give it a beautiful finish?

  • Ginny says:

    i want to make wire jewelry with kids from 5 -12 and wonder if copper wire is too hard to work with. I think I have seen aluminum wire that is easily bent with just your hands. Any thoughts?

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