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Sometimes the prettiest part of the project is when the beads are all scattered in piles on the table – waiting to for you to dive in and create. They combine in random and exciting ways – suggesting new possibilities. Their colors feed, enhance and change each other. This is the point at which I easily get sidetracked from the original project – sometimes I abandon it entirely and try to come up a way to capture the beauty of those piles of beads!
These earrings are one such attempt!
You will need:
Start with one earring wire. Ensure that the loop for hanging the earring from is closed tightly. Close it up with your round nose pliers if necessary.
Cut 10-12 inches of 34 gauge wire. 34 gauge wire is fine enough to cut with scissors – but don’t use scissors you care about. Alternately, you can use thread or a light, very flexible necklace stringing product. (I like wire for this project as it is quick, easy, doesn’t require a needle, and fastens easily and neatly.)
Loop the wire through the earring hanging loops, and twist the wire a few times.
To strengthen this loop, you can thread the tail end of the wire back up through the earring loop again, and twist the wire back down around itself again.
10 x 4 mm beads on the wire. Take care to ensure that the loose end of the wire is also threaded down into the beads to hide it.
Add 1 x 6mm bead
Add a 2 mm sterling bead or a small seedbead.
Go back up through the 6 mm bead.
Add 2 x 4mm beads, and skipping the first bead above the 6 mm bead, thread back through the 2nd to last 4 mm bead.
Continue to thread through the original, skipping one, adding 2, until you get back to the top of the earring.
Go through the earring loop once more, back down, and twist the wire back around the main stem several times.
Tuck the end of the wire through the first couple of beads, and finish off by cutting off the wire ends.
That is the first earring, then make the second one to match.
Varying the beads will create different looks. Ensuring that the added beads as you work your way back up the earring lay on one side, or alternate around the core will also change the look of the earring.
If you are using drop beads, you will need to use more, as these fit together better than round beads, and take up less space.
Experiment and Have Fun!
Left to right. Dark and light sapphire 4mm machine-cut crystal, 8mm Swarovski crystal, strung on PowerPro. | 4mm Czech firepolished beads in Crystal Labrador, matching 6 mm bead. Strung on wire. These curved because all the "return path" bead were kept on one side. The shape of these beads made this easier than the other shapes. | 4mm round beads in Peridot Lustre, with matching 6 mm bead. Strung on wire. | Same as #1, but strung on wire. | Alexandrite 4x6 mm drops, 5x10 mm Alexandrite Matt AB bead. On wire. Note, when using an horizontally drilled drop bead, you do not need the 2 mm "stopper" bead. | Light Sapphire 5 x 10 mm drop beads with 4x6 mm clear drops, 8 mm Crystal AB bead at the bottom. On wire.
Copyright 2003 Dwyn Tomlinson, All Rights Reserved. Used with permission by the Beading Times.
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* Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to submit a beading project for publication in The Beading Times. Dwyn Tomlinson is a freelance bead kit designer who has worked on an international level. Contact her directly if you wish to have bead kits designed for your own business. Want to make your own kits but don't know how to write the instructions? Once again, Dwyn can help you!