June 26, 2010

Making Simple Earrings in 30 Minutes

Today I decided to make a project I've been thinking about for a while - simple, easy earrings. I haven't had much time lately to make new jewelry, but these earrings are so easy, I can make them in a few minutes. (These photos aren't awesome, none of my cameras would cooperate with me.)

Supplies (for 1 pair of earrings):

- 3 inches of 20 gauge hard wire (I used Sterling and 14K Gold Fill)

- 4-6 inches of 26 gauge soft wire (sometimes I use 24g and sometimes 28g, depending on the size of the hole drilled into the bead/gem)

- 2 matching gems/beads (I used AAA micro-faceted pink amethyst, AAA micro-faceted crystal quartz, AAA micro-faceted turquoise, and AAA micro-faceted smoky quartz)


Round nose pliers (for forming loops)
Chain nose pliers (for squeezing and holding)
Sidecutter pliers (for cutting wire)
Small cup bur (for rounding the cut edge of the wire)

Step 1
I selected my gems and cut my pieces of wire to make 4 pair of earrings.

Step 2
I cut my 3 inch piece of 20 gauge wire in half, so I have two 1.5 in pieces. I used the round nose pliers to curl up the ends and I used the bur tool to soften the sharp edges of the wire that will go into the ear.

Step 3
I curved the wire over a thin pen, to form the loops that go into the ear, and I used the chain nose pliers to bend the wire back at the ends.

Step 4
I used the chain nose pliers to bend a tiny piece of the 26 gauge wire over itself, to form a "stop" so the gemstone won't slide off (a hand-made headpin).

Step 5
I formed a typical wrapped looped, as shown in this tutorial.

Step 6
I opened the loops on the earrings hooks using chain nose pliers, inserted the gemstones, and closed the loops.

After, I did the same exact method with the AAA crystal quartz gems.

Next, I made more earrings hooks (using the same method as above) and did a briolette wrap (this tutorial, except I did a wrapped loop at the top of the briolette instead of a simple loop) with the AAA turquoise and AAA smoky quartz.

And there ya go, I have 4 pair of earrings in barely 3o minutes!

Now, this whole process would take about 10-15 minutes if I used pre-made headpins and earrings hooks, but I like to make those components myself, and it ends up being cheaper for me to produce, as well. Note, these are all AAA quality gemstones with amazing clarity, color, cut and sparkle; this is NOT the stuff you usually find at a local bead store. I searched for quite a while to find gemstones that met my standards at an affordable price. Even though the designs are simple, I think the quality of the gemstones is what sets my hand-made jewelry apart from many of the others I have seen.


Kelly at I Dream of Decor said...

beautiful, I agree those gemstones are great quality, and love the simple drop earrings..They go with everything!

The Flying Genealogist said...

Hi! Thanks for posting these instructions. I am new to jewelry making and needed a simple earring to match a bold necklace. This did the trick.