Types Of Settings For Free-Form Stones & Crystals

Your chosen stone will determine the type of setting you need to use or make for a piece of jewellery. Cabochons, faceted stones and free-form gemstones will require different settings.

On this advice page we share with you our favourite settings for free-form cabochons, crystals and other irregular shaped stones. We begin with great beginner friendly settings up to more advanced stone setting techniques.

What is a free-form cabochon stone?

Cabochons are shaped and polished to have a domed top and flat bottom. Unlike calibrated cabochons which are made to a specific size and shape to fit standard sized settings, free-form cabochons are not cut to a specific shape or size. Free-form stones are usually cut to maximise the material, this is why they are often very beautiful stones to work with for unique jewellery designs.

Use these techniques with calibrated stones & other free-form materials like sea glass

This page aims to inspire you with our favourite projects using free-form stones and materials however these techniques can also be easily used with calibrated stones too. Sea glass is a popular free-form material which has become increasingly popular in the jewellery making world, that's why many of these tutorials feature sea glass.

At Kernowcraft, we offer a beautiful selection of both calibrated cabochons and free-form cabochons. You will often find our free-form stones in our limited edition category.

Most Popular Free-Form Stones Used In Jewellery Making

Bell Caps

Bell caps are brilliant components that can be used with smaller unusual shaped stones to create charms for earring drops, pendants or to add to bracelets. 

Using bell caps requires minimal tools and supplies which makes them perfect for beginners who would like to give jewellery making a try using small crystals or sea glass.

Bell caps come in different styles but many have flexible prongs or claws, which can be easily manipulated to fit your chosen stone. All you need to do is to ensure you have chosen an appropriate sized stone for the bell cap and use Devcon 5 Minute Epoxy Glue to set your stone in place.

 Easily Create Pendants & Charms

We've used our filigree bell cap to set one of our beautiful citrine crystals with the help of some glue. To complete the design simply attach a jump ring and chain! Simple yet effective.

Devcon 5 Minute Epoxy

Devcon 5 Minute Epoxy is our favourite glue for gluing stones to settings. Our top tip is to use sandpaper to roughen the metal surface before setting to ensure a stronger bond.

Claw Setting

Claw settings are a popular choice for setting irregular shaped stones and they are a really effective way to show off the beauty of the stone. Below, we share with you our beginner friendly, ready-made claw settings as well as a more advanced step by step tutorial on how to create your own from scratch.

Huggie Settings

If you're a jewellery making beginner wanting to incorporate crystals into your designs, we couldn't recommend our Huggie settings enough!

They are suitable for irregularly shaped stones such as crystals and sea glass, where their flexible claws hold the stone in place.

Our Huggie collection includes a ring setting, earstud settings and a link setting so you can create a whole range of designs.

Watch our video below to see how easy these settings are to use!

Watch How Easy Huggie Settings Are To Use!

How To Make A Claw Setting

This step by step tutorial is aimed at jewellers with stone setting experience and teaches you how to make a prong or claw setting for irregular shaped stone. This project can easily be replicated for calibrated cabochons too!

Claw Set Rings

Here is another example of rough crystals being set in a claw set ring.

Wire Wrap

Wire wrapping a cabochon stone or crystal is another great way to transform a stone into beautiful jewellery! As you can see from the wire wrapped examples below, you can really play around with the design to suit your style.

We recommend checking out our wire work tutorials, with plenty of advice, guides and tutorials on using wire to create jewellery designs.

Bezel Setting

Fine Silver Bezel Strip

Bezel strip is used for creating bezel settings for cabochon stones and can be used on irregular shaped stones and crystals too. It's made from fine silver which is slightly softer than sterling silver which makes it lovely and flexible to easily rub over stones to secure them in place.

At Kernowcraft, we offer 2 depths, the 3mm bezel strip is most suitable for smaller stones and wider option is useful for stones with higher domes. If your bezel is too high, you can simply file it down to your desired height.

Designs & Tutorials Using Bezel Strip

Pendant With Backless Bezel Setting

This tutorial walks you through how to make a backless bezel setting using bezel strip which works perfectly for a piece of sea glass. 

Set A Stone Onto A Pendant

This is a brilliant project to inspire you! We show you how to solder and set a freeform stone onto a pendant design, which also incorporates a wire wrapped bead too.

Decorative Ring Tutorial

This tutorial and project shows you how you can go that step further by adding decorative elements to your design. This ring uses beaded wire to create a statement design.

Shop Beaded Wire

Beaded wire is ideal for creating stacking rings, creating jewellery findings and for adding decorative elements to your designs. Choose from two diameters, which we will cut to your desired length.

Bezel Made From Metal Sheet

Sea Glass Ring With Bezel Setting

This popular tutorial shows you how to make a ring setting for a piece of sea glass but can be used with another free-form stone of your choice. 

Guest tutor Sarah from Seastone Jewellery uses metal sheet to create the bezel but for ease or your preferred preference, you can use bezel strip instead.

Examples of bezel set crystals

An apatite rough crystal bezel set onto a textured silver pendant by Hayley Agar Jewellery

Rough crystal bezel set cuff made by Roses & Whiskey - check out our interview with Jessica here!

Want To Learn More About Making Sea Glass Jewellery?

Jewellery Making With Sea Glass For Beginners

Includes a video showing you easy ways to make sea glass jewellery, with lots of ideas to inspire you.

Drilling & Stone Setting Sea Glass

For more advanced jewellery making with sea glass check out our drilling tutorial, claw and bezel setting tutorials.

Learn More Stone Setting Techniques

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If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with our friendly team who will be more than happy to give you advice over email or on the phone.

You can learn more and find inspiration by visiting our Jewellery Making Tutorials, Jewellery Making Kits and YouTube Channel. Don't forget to follow us on social media and tag us in your designs on Instagram & Facebook, we would love to see!

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