Jul 072014
 

Here’s a different twist on wire wrapping beads to a frame. Instead of center drilled beads today I used top drilled teardrops and wrapped the wire around the tips between each wrap. The wire adds interest & texture and the spiky look of the beads sticking out from the frame is kinda cool.

Summer Skies Crystal Earrings

You don’t have to use all the same beads, either. How about graduating them in size from larger in the center to smaller on the sides? Or, you can place the bead ends pointing inside the wire ring, rather than outside.

This is a great design to use your imagination and come up with your own variations.

By the way, I’m trying something different in my videos, speeding up the action and doing a voice over. It makes the videos shorter, but perhaps the steps are more difficult to follow?

Let me know in the comments which way you prefer.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Materials:

  • 2 ear wires
  • 2 1 1/8-inch diameter wine glass charm hoops
  • 10 13mm x 6mm top drilled teardrop crystals
  • 2 20-inch pieces 24 gauge wire

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  1. Leaving a 1/2-inch tail, tightly wrap one piece of wire around a hoop four times, keeping the wraps close together.
  2. String on a crystal bead and hold the tip against the hoop. Wrap the wire one time around the hoop, then wrap four or five times around the hole area of the bead.
  3. Wrap wire four times around the hoop, again keeping the wraps close together.
  4. Repeat steps 2-3 four more times. Trim excess wire at both ends.
  5. Center beads on hoop if necessary.
  6. Bend down straight end of hoop approximately 1/8-inch and tuck into loop.
  7. Open loop of an ear wire and attach to loop of hoop. Close securely.
  8. Repeat all steps for second earring.
Jun 162014
 

teardrop dangle earrings still (1)

I know I keep saying it, but don’t you just love how with a little wire, a few tools and some know-how you can make your own custom findings for jewelry?

In today’s video I show you how to make the above ear wires with attached loops for dangling beads.

teardrop dangle earrings still (2)

Make as many or few small dangles as you like. A whole bunch will give a rich, full look, but just a couple will have a sleek, elegant feel.

You’ll also learn how to wire wrap top drilled drop beads. The blue focals in these earrings look like turquoise but are actually some kind of enameled ceramic.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!


Materials:

  • 2 – 17x10mm top drilled tear drop beads
  • 4 – 5mm top drilled tear drop beads
  • 12 – assorted 2-4mm beads
  • 12 – 3mm silver plated round beads
  • 12 headpins
  • 20 gauge sterling silver filled wire – half hard, 8 inches
  • 26 gauge sterling silver filled wire – dead soft, 30-34 inches

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • crimping pliers (optional)
  • bail making pliers with 7mm and 10mm jaws
  • nylon jaw pliers
  • cup burr or file
  • ruler

See the video for all the directions!

 

May 092014
 

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to have jewelry findings in any size shape, color and finish you want, and not be limited by what you can find at the store?

These earrings feature a very simple technique to make your own headpins. All you need is some wire and a hammer.

paddled headpin earrings still 1

Like I said, this is a very basic technique. Although I didn’t do it for these earrings, I could have made my own ear wires as well.  I learned how in the Craftsy class Make Your Own Wirework Findings.

We also learned how to make cool twisted jump rings, a wide variety of toggle clasps and lots of other fun stuff.

make-your-own-wirework-findings

Check it out, if you want to go beyond the basics.

paddled headpin earrings still 2

Or, just make a start by trying these paddled headpins. 🙂  If you like, continue on to the matching Crystal Dangles & Roses bracelet . Whatever you do, happy creating!

You can watch the Hammered Paddle Headpin Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 2 12mm ceramic beads
  • 4 4mm Swarovski crystal bicone beads
  • 4 3mm silver plated round beads
  • 2 silver plated ear wires
  • 8 inches 20 gauge silver filled wire

 Tools:

  • bench block
  • chasing hammer (round faced)
  • file
  • flush cut wire cutters
  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers

Instructions:

  1. Leaving wire on the spool,use flush cut wire cutters to make a straight cut across the end of the wire.
  2. Lay last 1/4-inch of wire over bench block and tap lightly with chasing hammer. Continue tapping until wire has spread out into a paddled shape of desired size. Use a file to refine the shape if necessary.
  3. Cut wire 4-inches from end of paddle. Repeat to make a matching paddle for other earring.
  4. Onto each headpin string a 3mm silver bead, 4mm Swarovski crystal bicone, 12mm ceramic bead, 4mm Swarovski crystal bicone and a 3mm silver bead.
  5. Make a wrapped loop with remaining wire of each headpin: Use 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. Close loop and hold with chain nose pliers. Use another pair of chain nose to wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim excess wire and use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.
  6. Use chain nose pliers to open loops of ear wires and insert a wrapped loop into each. Close ear wire loops securely.
Apr 212014
 

bead wrapped hammered wire earrings still

It is so utterly freeing to be able to make everything in your jewelry, rather than having to rely on components and findings you get in the stores.  It’s also great for those of us who are picky and want it to be just a little bigger/smaller/rounder/squarer or whatever-er.  🙂

bead wrapped hammered wire earrings pendant

Not only that, but hammering out wire is fun!  I love watching it transform from something boring that was inside electrical lines (hubby reclaimed this wire for me) into something interesting and beautiful.

Of course, these would be beautiful in silver or brass wire as well.  Whichever you choose, enjoy the video and happy creating!

Materials:

  • 10 – 12 inches 14 gauge copper wire
  • 25 – 30 inches 28 gauge copper wire
  • 20 – 30 3mm beads
  • 2 ear wires

Tools:

  • chasing hammer
  • bench block
  • file
  • 7mm bail pliers or 7mm round object
  • wire cutters
  • chain nose pliers
  • 26mm x 20mm oval mandrel (or similar shape object to wrap wire around)

Directions:

  1. Leaving wire on spool, wrap 14 gauge wire around 7mm mandrel or pliers to make a complete loop.  Place section of loop where wires cross each other at narrow end of oval mandrel and wrap wire around, making one complete wrap. Trim excess wires so you have a figure “8” shape, with one smaller round loop and one larger oval loop. Repeat to make second matching shape.
  2. Use your fingers to gently shape wire frames to your liking.
  3. Use chasing hammer and bench block to gently hammer frames to an even thickness all around. (Frames will change shape slightly and loops may open. You can fix this after hammering.)
  4. If desired, use round end of hammer to create a dimpled texture on both sides of both frames.
  5. Use the file to smooth out wire ends. Use chain nose pliers to close any open loops.
  6. Wrap end of 28 gauge wire around oval section of frame starting just below the round loop.  Wrap tightly 3-4 times, then trim excess shorter end of wire. Use chain nose pliers to crimp wire tightly to frame.
  7. Slide a bead onto the wire and hold to the outside of the frame. Wrap wire around the frame desired amount of times. (In the photos above I went around 3 times between each red bead and 4 times between each of the pearls.)  Repeat adding beads and wrapping wire around frame until you’ve gone around the entire oval section. End by wrapping tightly 3-4 times, trimming off excess wire and using chain nose pliers to tightly crimp wires to frame.
  8. To complete earrings, open a loop of an ear wire, slide in small loop of earring frame then close loop of ear wire.
Mar 072014
 

Today’s project is from a Craftsy class, Make Your Own Wirework Findings.  I’ve wanted to try it for a while, but didn’t have the heavy gauge wire necessary.

paddled copper headpin earrings

These headpins are 12 gauge copper wires with one end hammered into a paddle shape. You then slide on the beads (the green ones are lampwork beads I made a long time ago when I had a lampwork studio) and then roll over the loop.  Simple, but quite interesting.

make-your-own-wirework-findings

Watching Lisa demonstrate in the class I always had the feeling there was something tricky and mine would never come out shaped nicely, but her tips and tricks made them come out pretty good, imo. 🙂

The next step will be to make some matching ear wires, also taught in this class.

Check back on Monday for day 6 of Make It In March. In the meantime, happy creating!

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.
Feb 032014
 

Here are the earrings to match the necklace I posted last week.

wire-wrap-class-earrings

This is a super quick project.  What makes it special is you can use any beads that catch your fancy.  If you find a pair of larger ones that you love, use only two.  Got some smaller beads?  Use three.  Use spacers of any type: crystal, seed beads or metal.

wire-wrap-class-necklace-earrings

You’re only limited by your imagination. Oh, the possibilities…

Watch Wire Wrapping 101 – Simple Bead Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Happy creating! 🙂

Materials:

  • 2 matching pairs 10-15mm beads
  • 6 large glass seed beads, or other spacers of your choice
  • 2 fish hook ear wires
  • 2 – 2-inch head pins

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters

To make earrings:

  1. On a head pin arrange two of the 10-15mm beads alternating with 3 large seed beads.
  2. Make a wire wrapped loop to make a bead dangle:
    • Use 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.
    • Wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend.
    • Use wire cutters to trim excess wire.
    • Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end of wire.
  1. Use chain nose pliers to open loop of an ear wire and insert wrapped loop just made.
  2. Repeat to make matching earring.
Dec 292013
 

I have a rather different kind of project for you today.  It’s a jewelry video tutorial, as it often is, but these earrings have no wire work involved.

bone-stone-twine-earrings-3

Instead, they are held together with waxed linen twine.

A dear friend frequents estate sales and often brings me boxes of jewelry supplies.  (Isn’t she sweet?  Thanks, Joann!)  These wonderful stone lentil beads and painted bone doughnuts were treasures from the last box.

bone-stone-twine-earrings-1

I thought the rustic look of the twine worked perfectly with those beads without detracting from their beauty. Much jewelry is all about the wire work, but these are definitely about those gorgeous beads.

 

bone-stone-twine-earrings-2

If you’re looking for a quick gift to make, you could put together a pair of these in less than 15 minutes!

Watch Simple Bead & Twine Earrings video over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 2 – 3/4-inch diameter stone lentil beads
  • 2 – 1 1/4-inch diameter doughnut shaped beads
  • 8 – 1/4-inch disc beads
  • 2 pair ear wires
  • 2 – 15-inch pieces waxed linen twine
  • scissors
  • awl
  • chain nose pliers

Directions:

  1. Fold a piece of waxed linen twine in half.  Make a knot in the twine 1/8-inch from the fold, using awl to help position knot.
  2. Slide stone lentil bead onto one piece of twine.  Bring both pieces of twine together below bead and make a knot right where twine exits bead.
  3. Slide one piece of twine through center hole of doughnut bead from the front and slide the other piece of twine through from the back.   Bring both pieces of twine together below doughnut and make a knot.  Don’t pull the twine too tightly or earrings won’t hang nicely.
  4. Slide two disc beads onto one piece of twine.  Leave about 1/8-inch loose twine above beads and tie a knot below beads.
  5. Slide two disc beads onto remaining piece of twine.  Leave about 1/2-inch loose twine above beads and tie a knot below bead.
  6. Trim both pieces of twine about 1/4-inch from bottom of knots.
  7. Use chain nose pliers to open loop in ear wire and insert twine loop made in step one. Close ear wire loop.
  8. Repeat steps 1-7 to make second earring.  Remember to use the awl to help place each knot exactly where you want it.

Happy creating!

P.S.  To my regular readers:  I’ve cleared my schedule this week in order to make time for some deep organizing.  Fun stuff like sorting through my file cabinet, clearing out all the old magazines and getting into the backs of certain closets.  Sadly, this will probably not leave much time for blogging, but you can be sure I’ll try to get in some creative time.

I’ll see ya’ll next year. 🙂

Nov 292013
 

Dear readers, yesterday was our Thanksgiving celebration here in the U.S. and I took the day off to spend with family and friends. But I want to be sure to let you know that I am so very thankful for YOU.

You, my dear readers, whether I hear from you or not, are the reason for this blog. I write to inspire and encourage you.  Thank you all for your kind encouragement, comments and participation in this blog. 🙂

Now, doesn’t it seem like time to make some dangly and sparkly pretties for the holidays?

swarovski-heart-earrings

Not to ornament the tree, but to decorate us!

swarovski-heart-earrings-2

I had these Swarovski crystal hearts in my stash and thought they would be lovely dangling from lengths of silver chain.

swarovski-heart-earrings-3

Learn all the details of how to make them in the video over at YouTube.

Swarovski Crystal Heart Earrings Video Tutorial

Happy creating!

Materials:

  • 2 silver plated or sterling silver ear wires
  • 3 1/2  -4 inches silver plated chain, approximately 15 links per inch
  • 2 6mm Swarovski crystal bicone beads, Siam red
  • 4 4mm Swarovski crystal bicone beads, crystal clear
  • 6 10mm Swarovski crystal hearts, 2 in Siam red, 4 in clear
  • 18 inches 24 gauge sterling silver or sterling silver filled wire
  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • nylon jaw pliers, to straighten wire as necessary

Instructions:

1. Separate chain into two 1-inch lengths, two 1/2-inch lengths and two 1/4-inch lengths.

2. To wire wrap heart beads start with a 13 inch piece of wire.  This should be enough to do all six hearts.

Slide 24 gauge wire into hole of a Swarovski crystal heart, 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. Where wires cross bend ends of wire up, perpendicular to bead hole. Trim shorter wire to 1/8 inch from bend.

Bend longer remaining 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. Use pliers to slightly open loop and slide on end link of a piece of chain.

Hold loop in non-dominant hand with chain nose pliers and use dominant hand to wrap remaining wire around 1/8 inch of wire above heart bead.  Trim excess wire and use chain nose pliers to tuck in end, if necessary. Repeat for remaining Swarovski crystal hearts. Don’t forget to slide on chain before wrapping loops!

3. To wire wrap bicones cut a 5-inch piece of 24 gauge wire.

Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire 5/8-inch from end.  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.  Wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.

Slide on a 4mm Swarovski crystal bicone, a 6mm Swarovski crystal bicone and a 4mm Swarovski crystal bicone.

Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire right 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.  Position the wire farther up the pliers this time to make a slightly larger loop, this will be needed to accommodate all three chains. Reposition pliers to finish loop.

Slide on remaining ends of 1/2-inch length of chain, 1-inch length of chain and 1/4-inch length of chain. Hold loop with chain nose pliers and wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.

Repeat with remaining Swarovski crystal bicones and remaining lengths of chain.

4. Open out loop in each ear wire and slide on remaining loop with Swarovski crystal bicones.  Close loops to complete your earrings.

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!