Aug 152017
 

Have you ever purchased beads or charms just because you liked them, but without any idea what you were going to use them for?

starfish charms earrings cover

Since I don’t have unlimited funds I try not to purchase things without at least an idea of what I’m going to do with them, but sometimes you just have to go for it and trust that the ideas will come later!

That’s what I did with these starfish beads. I purchase them at Michael’s, they come on a strand of 12 beads, four each in antique copper, antique gold and antique silver finish.

They would make a really cute dangly charm bracelet just by stringing them onto head pins with some other beads and hanging them all from a bracelet chain, but that seemed kind of obvious and I’ve made lots and lots of charm bracelets.

Sooooooo….

In today’s video I give you ideas for using many of your beads and charms in unique ways and I’ll also give you tips for making your earrings hang nicely and keep your charms facing the way you want them to.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Starfish Charm Earrings-Jewelry Design Tutorial video at YouTube.

Mar 072016
 

spring sparkles earrings

These earrings are reminiscent of fuchsia flowers, with their purple & pink crystals and the loops hanging down.

As I’m writing this it’s still winter here in New England and a touch of spring is quite welcome!

This is such a simple design you could change the look and feel easily by choosing different styles of beads. Metallic beads in the loops and stone chips in the dangles would give you a more earthy pair of earrings. Clear crystals in the loops and pearly dangles would by fit for a bride.

Have fun making this design your own.

Materials:

Tools:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Spring Sparkles Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Jul 202015
 

pink sparkles earrings

We often use these large hole beads in bracelets and sometimes in necklaces but not very often in earrings. This is a fun way to display just a couple of pretty sparkly large hole beads.

Choosing large enough spacers to snugly fit into those large holes and then careful wire wrapping holds everything in place. Little bits of  chain makes them dangle nicely.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Pink Sparkles Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 2 4-inch pieces 20 gauge wire
  • 2 3-inch pieces fine chain
  • 4 6mm spacer beads
  • 2 13mm large hole beads
  • 2 ear wires

Tools:

  • round nose pliers
  • two pairs chain nose pliers
  • wire cutters

Directions:

  1. Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire 1 1/2 inches from one end.  Bend wire at 90° angle.
  2. Grasp bend with round nose pliers and wrap wire around pliers as far as possible to start to make a loop.  Reposition pliers to finish loop.  Slightly twist loop open and insert end link of one of the pieces of chain. Close loop and hold with chain nose pliers. Use another pair of chain nose to make 2-3 wraps with wire around wire below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.
  3. Slide onto wire a spacer bead, large hole bead and a spacer bead. Grasp wire with chain nose pliers and make a 90° bend 1/8-inch from spacer bead.
  4. Repeat step 2 to make another wrapped loop, inserting other end link of chain into loop before wrapping. Final wraps should sit snugly against spacer bead, holding spacers in place in holes of large hole bead.
  5. If you like, gently curve up ends of wrapped loops.
  6. Find center link of fine chain and insert loop of ear wire. If needed use chain nose pliers to twist loop of ear wire so earring faces front.
  7. Repeat to make second earring.
Apr 202015
 

swirly whirly earrings 2

These earrings are simple to create and completely open to interpretation. I love the idea of making them longer and with smaller seed beads. That would give ’em a lot of dangly movement.  Perhaps in a combination of metallic finishes? Maybe with a big, funky metallic bead at the bottom. Hmmm……

The only skills needed are making simple loops and opening & closing said loops. If you can do that and string beads onto wire, you’re ready to go!

I would love it if you shared any projects based on this video at my Facebook page in the “Your Creations” album.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Swirly Whirly Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 2 5-inch pieces 20 gauge wire
  • 2 2-inch head pins
  • 2 6-8mm beads
  • 2 ear wires
  • 6/0 seed beads in two different colors

Tools:

  • wire cutters
  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • a pen or small dowel to wrap wire around
  1. Add a 6-8mm bead to a headpin. Fill remainder of headpin with 6/0 beads in one color to within 3/8-inch of end of pin. Set aside.
  2. Use round nose pliers to make a small loop in one end  of 5-inch piece of wire. Fill wire with 4 inches of other color of 6/0 seed beads. Trim wire after last bead to 3/8-inch. Use round nose pliers to make a loop with remaining wire.
  3. Wrap this 4 inch beaded unit around a pen or a small dowel to make a spiral. Remove from dowel and use pliers to position one of the wire loops near the center of the spiral and parallel to the coils.
  4. Thread the head pin unit from step 1 up through the coils and then through the centered loop. Use round nose pliers to make a small loop with remaining wire. Open loop of an ear wire and attach to the headpin loop just made.
  5. Repeat to make second earring.
Feb 102014
 

Just in time for Valentine’s day here’s a great sparkly, dangly pair of earrings. With hearts! ….and crystals… and gold. How much better can it get?  

gold-crystal-sparkle-still

Now that I’ve gotten used to Swarovski crystals, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to anything else.  You just can’t beat their quality, sparkle and shine.

gold-crystal-sparkle-still-close-up

These earring aren’t for those of you who like them small and simple.  These are long, with lotsa swingy dangles & jangles. I love ’em. 🙂

If you want a less complicated version, feel free to leave off any of the elements and simplify.

Whatever you create, make sure it’s something you love. Happy Creating!

You can watch Sparkle & Gold Crystal Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 2 10mm Swarovski crystal hearts, amethyst
  • 2 11mm x 7mm Swarovski crystal teardrops, amethyst
  • 2 6mm Swarovski crystal bicones, crystal clear
  • 2 4mm Swarovski crystal bicones, crystal clear
  • 2 20mm square fused links, gold plated
  • 2 10mm round fused rings, gold plated
  • 2 2-inch pieces 26 gauge gold filled wire
  • 2 7mm jump rings
  • 2 decorative head pins
  • 2 plain head pins
  • 2 ear wires

Tools:

  • two pair chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  1. Slide an amethyst teardrop and a 6mm crystal onto a decorative headpin.
  2. Make a wrapped loop by using chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits last bead.  Bend wire at 90° angle.  Grasp bend with round nose pliers and wrap wire around pliers as far as possible to start to make a loop.  Reposition pliers to finish loop.
  3. Twist slightly to the side to open loop and insert square link. Close loop and hold with chain nose pliers.
  4.  Use second pair of chain nose pliers to wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.
  5. Wire wrap heart crystal by sliding piece of 26 gauge gold filled wire into hole of bead, leaving 1/4 inch sticking out on one side. Bend both wire ends up at 90-degree angle to hole of bead. Bend wires over top of bead, making a triangle shape. Where wires cross bend remaining ends of wire up, perpendicular to bead hole.
  6. Grasp both wires with chain nose pliers and bend longer remaining wire at 90° angle. Use round nose pliers to make a loop with longer wire. Hold loop with chain nose pliers and use second pair of chain nose pliers to wrap remaining wire around wires below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.
  7. Open a jump ring and slide on: loop of wire wrapped crystal heart, square link and 10mm round ring. Close jump ring securely.
  8. Slide a 4mm crystal bicone onto a plain head pin and repeat steps 2 and 4 to make a wrapped loop dangle.
  9. Open the loop and an ear wire and insert 10mm ring and loop of 4mm bicone unit.
  10. Repeat to make second earring.
Oct 222013
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday!

2013-10-23-woyww-bead-cluster-earring

Today’s desk shows me working on another project from  Wire-Wrapped Stones Crystals and Clusters, a Craftsy class I bought a while back.

There’s the latest issue of Polymer Cafe.  I’m not really into Santa, and I think this one is especially creepy, but she does show a fantastic method for making polymer clay eyes that look like glass.  It’s on my list of things to try.

Those flower dies having been hanging around for a while, I’m sure I’ll get to using them at some point.

bead cluster earrings

These are the earrings, all done.

If you decide to take this class and make these earrings, here’s  a tip for you.  Each earring contains 63 small stones that are strung onto a wire before being wrapped on the hoop.  Aga (the instructor) suggests you lay out your two rows of stones on a bead mat so the pattern will be the same on both earrings.

This is an excellent suggestion if you are NOT an uncoordinated person.  If you can be certain your fingers will NOT catch the bead mat (TWICE!) and send all your neatly arranged beads flying, then, by all means, do it this way.

If, however, you’d like to avoid that sort of pain, aggravation (and near cussing) I’d suggest you do it a different way.  Instead, just string both your wires at the same time.  Have all your beads in a pile, pull out a few matching pairs at a time and string them so each wire has the same pattern.

After finishing these though, I had to wonder, does it really matter if they match?  Maybe if you were doing fewer, larger beads, yes, but not with these teeny tiny ones.

bead cluster earrings

Anyhow,  they’re done and I LOVE the colors.  There’s only one more project in this class I need to do.  Then I guess I’ll just have to take another one.  🙂

Btw, Craftsy just let me know they are having a flash sale this Friday, October 25th, so if there was a class you were thinking about taking, that would be a good time to sign up.

craftsy-free-classes-wigets

Don’t forget that they always have lots of free classes as well.  I’ve taken several and enjoyed them all.

So, that’s what’s on my desk this Wednesday.  Interested in what other creative people are up to?  Check out the link party over at Julia’s. It’s always fun and inspiring.

Happy creating!

Dec 172012
 

Yup, I’ve been having fun again, smacking things around on a Mini Anvil with a Craft Hammer.

hammered-spiral-and-crystal-bead-earrings-006

Doncha just love the sparkly look of flattened, hammered wire?

hammered-spiral-and-crystal-bead-earrings-004

The first time you try it you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to do.

Happy creating!

Materials:

  • two ear wires
  • two head pins
  • two crystal beads
  • two 7-inch pieces 22-gauge craft wire
  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • bench block or jeweler’s anvil
  • hammer

Instructions:

  1. To make bead dangle, slide a crystal bead onto a head pin. Grasp wire with chain nose pliers where it exits bead; bend wire into 90-degree angle. Grasp angle with round nose pliers and start to form a loop. Reposition round nose pliers and complete loop.  Use wire cutters to cut off excess wire where wires cross. Repeat to make second bead dangle.
  2. Use round nose pliers to start a small loop in one piece of the wire. Continue coiling wire around loop to make a spiral. Stop when 1 ½ -inches of wire remain uncoiled.
  3. Use round nose pliers to make a small loop with remaining end of the wire, facing loop in opposite direction so you have an “S” shape.
  4. Use flat part of hammer to gently pound spiral on bench block or anvil until wire is flattened. If desired, pound on both sides with rounded part of hammer to give texture. Repeat with other 7-inch piece of wire.
  5. Attach a bead dangle to outer loop of each larger spiral. Attach ear wires to outer loop of each smaller spiral.

 

Oct 122012
 

These earrings are only for those who like them seriously dangly and jangly, which means I totally love ’em! They are actually a copy of a pair I already have.  The originals need to be cleaned up and redone, I’ll show you that process sometime soon.

seed-bead-dangle-hoop-earrings-still

Would you believe this collection of seed beads is from a necklace  one of my boys found on the street years and years ago?  I’ve always felt a little sorry for the person who lost their lovely bauble, but I sure have gotten a lot of mileage from that multi-strand seed bead necklace.

Anyhow, Happy Friday and Happy Creating!

Materials:

  • two 4-inch pieces of 22-gauge wire
  • 14 head pins
  • glass seed beads in color(s) of your choice
  • 16 small clear glass beads
  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • 1-inch dowel
  • jewelry hammer
  • metal file

Instructions:

  1. Use chain nose and round nose pliers to make a loop at one end of a 4-inch piece of wire. Shape wire into a hoop around 1-inch dowel. Repeat with second piece of wire. Pound hoops lightly with jewelry hammer to work harden. Use file to remove any burrs, and smooth cut ends flat.
  2. Slide 1 inch of seed beads onto a head pin. Use chain nose and round nose pliers to make a loop with remaining wire. Trim excess wire with wire cutters. Repeat to make one more 1-inch seed bead dangle. Then make four dangles each with 3/4 inches, 5/8 inches, and 1/2 inches of seed beads.
  3. Onto each wire hoop, slide the following: small clear bead > 1/2-inch dangle > small clear bead > 5/8-inch dangle > small clear bead> 3/4-inch dangle > small clear bead > 1-inch dangle > small clear bead > 3/4-inch dangle > small clear bead > 5/8-inch dangle > small clear bead> 1/2-inch dangle > small clear bead.
  4. Use chain nose pliers to slightly bend last 3/8-inch or so of hoop. This end goes through the ear and then hooks onto the loop made in step one.

 

Sep 152012
 

These earrings match the necklace/bracelet I showed earlier this week.  Unlike that project, this one is super quick.  You’ll be amazed at how easy wire wrapping can be (I was!)

wire-wrapped-pearl-earrings

If you like things a little funky, but not so long and dangly, these are perfect for you.

wire-wrapped-pearl-earrings-hanging

And if you want to make earrings that are even less funky, just make the wraps more neatly.  Cool and elegant it is.

Materials:

  • two top-drilled pearls
  • two 8-inch pieces 22-gauge wire
  • two ear wires
  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters

Instructions:

  1. Slide a piece of wire into hole of a pearl, leaving ½ inch sticking out on one side. Bend both wire ends up at 90-degree angle to hole of bead. Bend wires over top of bead, making a triangle shape. Bend remaining ends of wire up, perpendicular to bead hole. Trim shorter wire to 1/8 inch from bend.
  2. Bend longer remaining wire at 90-degree angle. Use round nose pliers to make a loop. Wrap remaining wire around bends and down to cover bead hole. This can be done with neat, tight wraps or in “messy wraps.”
  3. Open an ear wire; slide loop you just made on and close ear wire. Repeat for second earring.

 

Happy creating!

Aug 272012
 

I kinda love the look of the chain tassels in these earrings.

chain-tassel-earrings

Don’t they dress up the beads wonderfully?

The key, as I mention in the video, is to make the wire loops large enough to accommodate all the chains.

I can totally see these in just about any color, but I’m liking the white and gold look.

Happy creating!

Materials:

  • two ear wires
  • two eye pins
  • two glass beads
  • two small spacer beads
  • ten 1-inch pieces of chain (12-13 links per inch)
  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers
  • wire cutters

Instructions:

  1. Slide spacer bead onto eye pin; then slide on glass bead. Use round nose and chain nose pliers to make the beginning of a loop. (Make loop slightly larger than normal, about 3/8-inch from tips of round nose pliers.)
  2. Slide end link of each of five 1-inch lengths of chain onto loop. Close loop and make one or two wraps. Cut off excess wire, tucking in end with pliers as necessary.
  3. Open eye of ear wire and slide on top loop of eye pin. Close ear wire. Repeat for second earring.