Donuts (not the kind you eat) are fun, instant, jewelry components that look great as a focal or all by themselves on a cord. Here’s a way to create a bail for any type of donut whether it’s made of gemstone, ceramic, polymer clay, metal or other material.
A donut of any size or material
18ga or 20ga, soft round wire of any type, approximately 7-8 inches for the frame (depends on the size of your donut).
24ga, soft round wire of any type, approximately 20-24 inches for weaving
Round nose pliers
Square or chain nose pliers – optional for bending and gripping wire
Looping pliers or mandrel – optional for creating a loop or bend
Needle file – optional
Find the center of your “frame wire”, bend it and create an open loop with a mandrel or other cylindrical object.
Attach the weaving wire to one side of the frame about 1/2″ from the top, center of the of the loop. Wind it around one leg leaving a short piece (about 1/2″) to hold onto this wire.
Continue wrapping the weaving wire around the loop of the frame until you’ve wrapped about 1/2″ on each side of the frame. Do not cut this piece of weaving wire. Cut the short tail of weaving wire at the side where you began from inside the frame. Tuck it in close with your chain or flat nose pliers.
Turn the frame to whichever side you’re comfortable with – I am right handed and find it easier to work on the left leg of the wire first. You will be weaving from inside the frame to the outside, around the wire, wrapping it around twice, up between the two wire legs, over the other wire, wrapping it twice, under and in between the wires again, up and over again to the other side, etc. This is like a figure eight pattern. Try to keep the tension of your weaving wire consistent and your frame wires straight. Check your weaving now and then and close up any gaps by pushing the woven wires closer together with your fingers.
Place the whole woven frame against the donut to check where the hole (in the donut) begins.
Wrap the weaving wire once more around the nearest “leg” and cut off the weaving wire on the inside, tuck it in close. Create a bend in the frame wires just below the woven section with your round nose pliers.
Insert both of the ends of the wire into the hole in the donut to hook it on the frame.
Carefully bend and insert the ends of the wire from the back to the front through the loop at the top. Trim the ends of the wire to about 3/4-1 inch.
Keep the wire frame close to the donut. It is helpful to create a small bend inward with your flat nose pliers at the point the the wires meet the top of the donut. Hold the wires tight against the donut with your fingers on both sides of the donut. Make another small bend of about 1/8″ at the end of the wires facing towards the back.
With your round nose pliers or small mandrel, create a loop facing the back of the pendant. Keep shaping this loop back until it closes against the frame. It does not need to be rounded. It can be triangular and work just as well, just make sure there are no gaps in this closure or sharp edges sticking out. If there are sharp edges, file them down with a needle file.
Your bail is finished! You can oxidize it or leave it as is.