This page features jewelry bails for jewelry making... buying tips and use. Learn what exactly a bail is and about the many different types that you find.
You can also find an answer to the question: "Can you make them?"
Scroll down to find a great video.
What is a Bail?
A jewelry bail is a jewelry making component (findings) that attaches a pendant to a necklace, chain, cord etc. The pendant slides with the bail onto the necklace. It sits in the centre at the top of the pendant. Usually the bail helps to keep the pendant in position and lying flat.
Jewelry bails can also be used with pins and brooches.
There are different types of bails. They differ in size, shape and method that you attach them to the pendant with. Some bails can only be used with specific pendants and others can be used with many different kinds of pendants.
Where does wire jewelry making fit into all this?
Firstly, you can use wire to attach a store bought bail. That’s obvious I guess. You can also make your own bails out of wire. It really doesn’t have to have a wire-look. Of course you sometimes want a wire-look too, depending on the jewelry piece.
I started making bails because I had a need for simple looking components to compliment my jewelry.
Here are a few examples of bails made out of wire...
|Simple Ring||S-Hook|| Soldered
The Different Kinds of Bails
All these components have a loop that slides onto a chain or cord. It’s the “other sides” of the bails that are different. The bails are made to attach to different kinds of pendants.
This one is used when the pendant has no loop, ring or hole that you can use to attach a bail too. Fused glass pendants, stones, and clay are all examples of where these can be used.
This one works with a pendant with a hole closer to the edge. It has two prongs that you put through the hole of the pendant and pinch closed.
Snap or Snap-On
The snap-on reminds me of a paperclip. You need a ring of sorts to use this one with. You may have to use pliers to do some bending to get the finding to snap on.
The donut bail is specifically used with donut beads. It has a big loop section that will fit through the center of the donut bead.
Pin and Hole
With this one you push the pin through the pendant and bail hole before closing the pin.
Triangular, Oval and Other Shapes
These all work with a ring that you attach to the pendant.
You find these findings in solid metals and plated metals. You can expect to pay more for the solid metals.
Apart from looking beautiful, you also want a bail that is going to fit the pendant and the chain/cord. Trying to make a decision based on your memory of the pendant and chain/cord is not the best way of buying a perfect component. The easiest is to keep your other components (pendant and chain/cord) that you want to use handy when you are looking for a bail.
Bail Attaching Video
This is a great video for learning more about the different types of bails and how you attach them to pendants.
Wrapping It Up
Whether you choose to buy or make your jewelry bail findings make sure that the loop and attachment fit (size-wise) and also that it unifies the necklace and pendant.
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