- 22 gauge wire - 4-5 feet; you will use less for a smaller nest, but I recommend starting with that much
- faux pearl beads - 6 mm and/or 8 mm; I used pink, blue, white, and gold
- hemp cord or a simple chain
- jewelry pliers and wire cutters (or a combo tool like above)
A word about the beads - I chose to use two sizes of pink and blue beads - 8 mm for my living children and 6 mm for Naomi, my daughter in Heaven, because we know she is a girl. I got 6 mm white and gold beads to represent my babies in Heaven whose gender I don't know (I used gold in this example), so I ended up having two different size beads.
Because I have seven children all together, using all big beads would have made a much bigger and heavier nest. If you have fewer children, you may want all large beads; if you have many, then smaller beads would be the more practical choice. It is what YOU want. Honestly, choosing colors and sizes of beads was a very meaningful part of this project for me, and it may be for you as well.
String the beads on your wire, leaving about three inches of wire at the end. You can string them on in your children's birth order if you want (that is what I did), but they will end up being in a circle.
Bend the beads in a circle, making sure you don't leave a gap in the middle. See how I made sure a bead is in the center? Twist the long and short ends of the wire together to keep the beads in place. Make sure you leave that three-inch section there because it will be part of your hanging loop later.
Crumple up the long end of the wire and then uncrumple it to make some natural-looking bends. Now start wrapping the wire around the circle of beads. Take care to make sure it is not too tight, where it bunches up under the beads, and not too loose, where there are big gaps between the beads and the wire. It's okay if you have to unwrap it and try again. Relax. You'll get be hang of it. Wrap it around about five times.
Now take the long end of the wire and thread it through the center of the nest. Choose a spot between two beads and wrap the wire around that and the edge of the bird's nest. Go around that area twice to attach the beads to the nest. Thread up through the center again and repeat with the next two beads, and so on. So depending on the number of beads you have, you will wrap around the nest a few times or many.
Now repeat this - wrap the wire around another three or four times, depending on how thick you want the nest to be, and once again, wrap the wire around the joints between the beads and the outside of the nest.
Turn the nest over. With the long end of the wire (you may have about two feet left), weave it back and forth on the back to cover some of the gaps and give a little support for the beads. It does not need to be completely solid surface. Don't use all of the wire to do this. You need to still have a few inches of wire left to finish it off.
Bring the two ends of the wire together and twist them together to make one strand. This is the top of your nest. Now use your pliers to bend that strand into a loop and twist it at the base. Trim off any stray ends, being careful not to leave sharp ends that will scratch you.
Now you will get the cord on. Cut a length of cord long enough to go over your head. Thread it through the wire loop. Take one end and tie it around the cord about three inches from the other end. Now take the second end and tie it around the cord a couple of inches from the first end. This will give you two knots that the cord can slip through and you will be able to lengthen or shorten it as you wish.
You're done! I hope you enjoy wearing it and sharing your children - all of them - with others.
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