Crafty Blog: Simple Beaded Earrings
As a jeweler, I love to make beaded earrings. They’re relatively easy to make, and the end result is an elegant piece of jewelry that you have created yourself – always a fun conversation piece. You can use any mixture of beads, metal for the wire, etc that you want and make them as long or short as you like! The styles are endless, so use whatever most inspires you.
Materials you will need:
-As many beads as you want for the earrings – from just two to eight or more!
-Two earring hooks, typically in the same color as the wire you use, but go funky with it if that’s what you like
-18 or 20 gauge wire – copper, gold, silver, colored copper, etc.
-Flat nose and needle nose pliers, jewelry wire cutters
-Headpins for end beads (optional, I’ll also show you another style you can do instead)
1. Before you start putting beads to wire, line up the order the beads will go in when you connect them, to make sure that you like how they look together. The gaps between beads you see in the photo below show that these beads will be wrapped individually.
2. Next, I like to start with the biggest section to have a solid “anchor” for the rest of the piece. This is where, if you haven’t made jewelry with wire before, you should watch closely. I tried to take as many photos as I could for each step, so hopefully it makes sense (I’ll explain with each photo) – note that normally when working on jewelry I use both hands, but I would have needed a third hand to take photos…
3. Measure a length of roughly 1/2 inch down the end of your wire and grip with your needle nose pliers.
4. Bend the wire to form a 90 degree angle at the pliers…
5. …Then switch the pliers to the horizontal portion of the wire and wrap the 1/2 inch portion around it, creating a loop.
6. Close the loop and wrap the remaining wire around three times. I recommend holding the tip of the wire you’re wrapping with the flat nose pliers to get it flush against the rest of the wire.
7. Cut the excess wire from the end, careful not to cut the part where the beads are going!! Then tighten the end of your coiled wire using your flat nose pliers.
8. Cut wire to 1/2 inch + size of bead(s) and add them to the wire. To finish off this next loop, be careful to hold the wire from the tip of the unwrapped portion with your fingers before gripping with your needle nose pliers to keep wire wrapping flush with the bead(s).
9. Repeat wrap as above, ensuring that your loops are both going the same direction!
10. Repeat steps 3-8 for each individual wire wrapping! When you go to close off the second half of each wrapping, attach it to the other sections BEFORE finishing the wrap! (See below)
11. For the last bead on a dangle, you can either use a headpin (meaning you only have to do one wrap on it and attach it to the next wrapped bead up) OR you can create a small loop with the wire you’re already using for the rest of the beads and then wrap as normal. Simply wrap the wire around the smallest part of your needle nose pilers, shown below.
12. Repeat for the other earring and put them on the ear wires (easiest way to open the loop is with flat nose pliers.) Et voila! You’ve made your very own pair of earrings.
Do you have something crafty you’d like to learn how to make, or have your own favorite crafty tutorials? Let us know in the comments!