Bird Pendants by Virginia Miska, Sterling Bails available at Fusion Beads
Ceramic Pendants by Marsha Neal Studio
#3 (above) Make your own metal bail using wire
Doing your own wire work is an inexpensive solution to the frontally drilled pendant problem, and one that provides for additional creative opportunities. Use a soft, high quality wire such as sterling or gold-filled, and use some caution when applying your metal and pliers to the pendant. Shown here are a simple wrap, a more elaborate wrap with two wire spirals, and a wrap with an additional bead wired between the bail and the pendant.
You may find a pendant with double frontally drilled holes, which happen to be on the smaller side. The holes int he pendant shown here would only accommodate a thinner cord, in this case a waxed cotton cord. Using thinner cord can be an advantage design-wise, and here it was used doubled throughout the necklace for a multi-strand effect. Knots placed atop the first bead section secured the pendant tightly and securely. The cords were then alternately separated for stringing and brought together for knotting, creating a chunky, textural feel to the necklace.
Another way to make your own bail is to use tiny beads such as seed beads to create a beaded bail. Seed beads are wonderful because they come in so many colors and sizes, are inexpensive, and add great detail to beading. For the bail used in this example, size 8 and size 11 seed beads were alternated on flexible cable wire, with the ends of the cable criss-crossed through a crimp in back to create a loop of seed beads onto the pendant. The pendant could then be string onto a beaded necklace, cord, or chain.
#6 (above) Use seed beads to incorporate pendant into necklace.
While we are on the topic of seed beads, here is an example of seed beads and accent beads weaving almost seamlessly in and out of a front drilled pendant (this one with three holes!) Notice the use of multiple crimps, which are hidden under the crimp covers, which look like little silver balls. Repeating the same seed bead throughout the necklace makes for a perfectly integrated solution, with endless possibilities for creativity.
I hope that these ideas have given you something to consider, and make the prospect of using those frontally drilled pendants a little less confusing!
p.s. Ms Bead-It-All reluctantly admits to not knowing *every* solution to *every* beading problem... If you can think of another solution to the question at hand, please share with us and your fellow beaders! We invite you to leave a comment here. Or write about it in your own blog. Let us know about your post and we will link to it!