by Judy Markwell

These instructions list the supplies and tools you'll need and give you some techniques for using a Thing-A-Ma-Jig for the first time. My instructions assume you have read the tutorial from December. If you need some specific information, feel free to go to last month's Charm Bracelet Tutorial.

This is a very simple necklace to get you started using a Thing-A-Ma-Jig. You can buy one right here if you don't already have one. It's a great tool to help you get great results right off the bat.

This necklace looks great with a very high neckline, like a turtle-neck, or something very low-cut and I've included a picture of some matching earrings at the end of the tutorial. You can easily make the earrings following the instructions for the necklace and referring to the picture.

To start off, lets go over the list of tools you'll need for this project.

The tools I recommend are the following:
You may not want to bother with the tool magic on this small project, if you don't already have any. Refer to the charm bracelet tutorial if you're interested in what all that "blue stuff" is on the tools in the pictures. Since you're going to be hammering your wire work, this would be a time that it's not important. I highly recommend finding some if you're going to be doing very much wire-work at all.

You may also want to refer to the charm bracelet tutorial for information about cutting wire safely, which side of the wire cutters to use, and other general wire-wrapping information.

Well, now it's time to learn how to use our that Thing-a-Ma-Jig

Start by putting four small pegs in the Thing-a-Ma-Jig as shown here. Leave a tail of wire straight down, and make this shape. It needn't be really tight, but keep it close to the peg.

Now pull the wire across the top of the next peg.

Continue wrapping until you have this shape.

Remove the wire from the jig, and you'll have something like this. The pegs will probably come off your Thing-A-Ma-Jig when you take off the wire you've shaped.

Now cut the excess wire off both ends. This is the location of the cut.

You'll have a shape something like this when you take it off the jig.

Adjust the wire with your fingers or pliers so the loops touch each other as shown here. Basically, you're tightening things so that your finished product looks more like this.

The next step is to hammer the piece on an anvil. If you don't have an anvil, you can use something metal. Sometimes even now I use an old cookie sheet on the sidewalk. This will give your work texture, and it can look really good. You do need to use something metal, not just hammer on something stone. The same is true of the hammer. If you use one with nicks it will make marks.
This is what the piece will look like if you use smooth surfaces.

To make the other piece, put the pegs into the Thing-A-Ma-Jig as shown here.

This is the order to follow for this next wrapping. You'll actually need to NOT put in the last 3 pegs until you need them. They get in the way when you're wrapping the first pegs. Make sure you don't cross the wire over itself anywhere (while you're working, the wire will LAY over itself sometimes, but make sure you don't actually cross over any wires.)

Here's what this piece looks like before you put the last three pegs in. You can see that the wire is on top of itself right after the third peg. You'll straighten these things out later.

This is the piece after you've cut the extra off the wires and tightened the wires as shown for the small piece. Make sure the wires touch as shown.

Here's another picture of the piece after it's been hammered flat. You'll need six pieces, three of each size.

Now we'll make the bead units that go between the wire pieces you made. Start with sliding a bead on the wire. If you want to use a couple of seed beads on each side of the bead, add those now. For the sake of the instructions, consider the seed beads part of the main bead. Leave a little over an inch on each side of the bead, and cut off the excess. Bend the wire as shown here using chain-nosed pliers. Make the same space on each side of the bead for EVERY BEAD you wrap. Go ahead and get all of your beads to this point before going to the next step.

Next you'll make a loop at each end of the bead. If you need more instruction for this, there is detailed information about this in the charm bracelet tutorial. Don't make these loops tiny. You'll be putting the flattened wire through them. Look at the pieces you've made, and make sure your loops are big enough to thread your pieces through.

Here's what the beads should look like with the beginnings of the loops at the end.

As you finish the wire wrapping, only wrap a little bit on each side, working back and forth from side to side. The point is to make both sides of the bead wrapping even.

Use this picture as a reference of how to put your necklace together. Open the wire pieces you've made by twisting the ends to the side, not pulling them apart. This is really important, because the pieces could break if you just pull them apart. If you need pictures of this, go the Charm Bracelet Tutorial.

When you put the large wire pieces on the sides, you'll need to thread the beads through. That's pretty self-explanatory. Simply look at the pieces you've made and the finished product. There's a close-up below.

I also made a dangle that hangs from the center wire piece. I used one of the small wire pieces, and connected it as shown. The bottom bead is connected with the headpin and a few seed beads. You could make this any way you want, but I wouldn't recommend using bead caps unless you found some that were rather primitive looking.

To make this into a necklace, figure out how much chain you want. Do this by first attaching the necklace to the chain on one end without cutting any chain off the package. Put the chain around your neck and play with how long you want the necklace to be.

When you've cut the curb chain to the proper length, attach it to the other side of the necklace. Then find the center of the chain and cut it to attach your clasp. Attach the clasp however it's appropriate for your particular clasp.

Here's the matching earrings that I designed. They look really special, and don't take very long once you've figured out how to use your Thing-A-Ma-Jig.

Well, that's it for this month. We'd love to hear from you. Just click here to let me know if this tutorial was helpful to you, or what you'd like to see here in the future. Also, I'd love to see anything you made using my tutorials.

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