Hello and welcome to our latest Project Sunday! Earlier, we spent some time creating Rosary loops, and by now, I hope you all have figured out which technique suits you best. So today, we are going to start off really small and easy, and just make two Rosary loops for a pair of earrings. As I mentioned, and you’ll see, making loops on empty wire is a little different from working with beaded wire. But I hope by the end of this little how-to, you will all be proudly wearing your own earrings, just like how Nirupama has her own square-knot necklace. Which I am deeply covetous of, by the way!
To make a pair of earrings, you will need:
- Two headpins, in the metal of your choice
- A selection of beads
- Two earring hooks, to match the metal of your headpins
- Round-nose pliers
- Chain-nose pliers
- Wire cutters
Making earrings is so easy, I’m a little embarrassed to be spending a whole Project Sunday on them. But we can work our way up to bracelets and the like once you get the hang of the loops. My only cavil with eyepin loops is that they aren’t the most secure hold. I prefer to use them only for earrings, where there isn’t too much handling of the piece, as compared to a necklace or bracelet, where there is far more interaction with you and the piece while you wear it.
Anyway, the first step is to lay out your beads in the order you want to string them. I just received a refill of my indigo Czech fire polish beads, and was dying to use them, and you know by now how much I love my Czech fire polish beads! So I decided to make rainbow earrings. I must confess, my orange is really cantaloupe/fuchsia, but it was the best I had. I really need to get some orange CFPs! Once you decide on the order of your beads, string them onto the headpins. I had been saving these really long sterling silver headpins for a while, and they came in really handy!
Then, leaving about 1cm for your loops, you need to cut off the excess wire on both headpins. This is always little tricky for me, because I never seem to get them the same length, and for earrings, you need them to match! So take your time here, and make sure the lengths are the same. I often have to trim a little bit here and there.
Now that your headpins are trimmed to the same length, you need to form your loops. I use Sharilyn Miller’s technique to make my Rosary loops, so I proceeded to form the loops without bending the wire first.
Once you’ve formed the loop, “break the neck”, and reform the loops. These are what my finished loops looked like. Make sure you have no neck between the loop and the beads – this will look unsightly when the earring is being worn.
Now comes the fun part – assembling all the parts! Since we just formed our Rosary loops, I won’t ask you to fiddle with them. Instead, we’ll use the earring loops. I use these simple earring hooks, but if your earring hooks are more complex, or don’t have an eyepin loop themselves, you’ll just have to do this with your newly formed Rosary loop. With your chain-nose pliers, hold the loop and gently bend out. Do not use round-nose pliers and undo the loop by rolling the wire out again! What we’re doing is a simple displacement, as it were. We’re separating the “join” by opening the loop up. If you’ve done it correctly, the wire will still hold the shape of the loop, and will look perfect, except for the fact that the two ends aren’t in the same plane any more.
Slip your headpin loop into your earring loop, and close by reversing the action you just performed. Hold the free end of the loop with chain-nose pliers, and push it back to meet the stem. If the loop has gotten a little work-battered, you can gently re-form it with your round-nose pliers. But ideally, the loop will be just fine.
Repeat the steps for both headpins to complete your pair, and wear with pride. I know I’m going to have a lot of fun with my own personal rainbows!
Use your imagination, and put unlikely things together. Buttons, pearls, glass, wood, ceramic – the best part about this entire process is that the final piece is exactly what you want! I look forward to seeing a lot of earrings in the next few weeks! Enjoy yourselves, and don’t forget to cut your wire carefully!