You don't have to invest in an expensive course to learn to make wire names for pendants, pins, brooches and more.
The tools you will need are wire cutters known as side cutters,round nose pliers, and flat nose or chain nose pliers. Your practice wire should be easy to bend and cheap so just get some 20 or 22 gauge wire from a craft store. Copper bends the easiest but regular silver or gold colored wire is fine. After you are comfortable making names with this type of wire, then go out and purchase gold filled or silver wire. You will be amazed at how much easier it is to use these compared to the cheap stuff. Piece of cake.
First you need a fancy font to see and work from. I use Anglia Script. Any script or cursive font is fine as long as the letters depicted will work together in your names. If the font you like is not on your computer, you can find it by searching for it online and downloading it to your computer. Put it in your windowsfonts folder, usually located in your C: drive. Now you can open up a word document, or a document with any other similar program. Type all the upper case and lower case letters. This will be your starting template. Either view it on your computer screen or print it, as you wish.
Now you are ready to make letters. You will have to be a little creative in making your letters so that they will flow nicely from one to the next. Some of our letters won't look exactly like the font you chose. This is fine. Exercise your creative license here. For the first letter of each name, you will need to figure where to start so you don't have to re-trace your steps too often. A pencil and paper are useful at this stage.
To start with, just practice making the upper case letters. When you get one you like, save it for future reference. I have separate letters and completed names pinned to a cloth for easy reference and they are always there in front of me when I am creating names for people. Working at a show can be quite hectic at times and it is easy to get lost. Having the letters there to use as reference from time to time is invaluable.
For most names you should try to make the upper case letters between 1/2 to 3/4 inches tall and the lower case letters from 3/8 to 1/2 inches tall. This all depends on the intended use and can be smaller or larger as you choose.
When you have your entire alphabet in upper case letters you need to make each one of them in lower case letters. Try making different names and use up every letter of the alphabet in them. Some letters are a little tricky but you should get the hang of them after a few tries.
There are places where you will have to back track over previous work. That's ok and is to be expected. To do this neatly, hide the back tracks behind your previous wire. Here again, use your creativeness, going to the front is sometimes the best way. Then, for a neat appearance, squash the wire tips where you bent them. Many times you have to cross over a previous wire with your back tracked wire. Just make sure you squash it where your bend is so things will stay in place.
After you get comfortable in making plain letters and combining them into names, you should try adding curlicues and loops on each end to jazz up the appearance. You can make some ends of letters like K, J, H a little longer and give them a little tweak to make a fancier letter.
You can make pins from your names by making sure you have a long wire on each end when you have finished a name. Then create a pin with those ends. There are free tutorials online for making pins yourself.
You can make pendants, tie and hat tacks, pins, purse embellishments, jewelry for your curtains, and other decorative elements from your wire names. Just vary your technique a little for each type of jewelry. You can make a pendant from a name, then make a separate pin from which to hang it. In this way the wearer has more options for using the wire name other than just around the neck.
Embellishments are fun to do too. You can make little charms from your wire to hang on your names such as hearts, moons, stars, simple flowers, etc. You can also attach these charms somewhere on the top of the name.
You can find free short tutorials for a few names online to give you some ideas and get you started. Just do a search for wire name tutorials.
I hope this helps you on your way to making awesome wire names.
Happy Wire Bending