Sunday, March 31, 2013

How to Make Basic Beaded Earrings

Beaded earrings are super easy and cheap to make. Here a simple way to make them.

You will need: 2 beads, 2 headpins, 2 earring hooks, jewellery pliers, 2 minutes.
For more information regarding jewellery hooks and pliers see my previous post.

Click image to enlarge

1. 2 basic headpins. These can be purchased at craft shops or on ebay.
2. Place bead on headpin.
3. Press the head pin back firmly against the bead till it reaches about a 90 degree angle.
4. Trim the head pin back to leave approximately 1cm of metal.
5. Grab the end of the head pin with jewellery pliers and begin forming a loop.
6. Keep moving the wire around the pliers, leaving a small gap for hook.
7. Put on hook.
8. Close the loop using inside of pliers.

This technique is really quick and easy but can take some practice to get refined results.

Headpins come in a range of sizes to fit different shaped beads, from a few centimetres on upwards. They also come in a range gauges. The smaller the number of gauge, the thicker the wire will be. Many of the cheaper ones won’t state a gauge. I don’t have much experience in using different gauges as I generally buy the cheaper ones! From what I’ve read I think a gauge of about 22 is about average – 24 on up is used for more delicate work. You can buy sterling silver or real gold headpins but I don’t see much point if you’re only making basic jewellery for yourself. Use good quality hooks if you have metal sensitivity though.  They aren’t expensive.
I buy headpins in bulk for ebay. My local craft store only sells small packets of them. I buy beads at the craft store and online. I also buy cheap, discounted or thrift shop jewellery to cut up for beads. Keep your eyes out for them.

For beads with larger holes you can purchase headpins with different sized/shaped endings. You can also use bead caps, which are available at craft stores. I prefer to simply just use sequins. They tend to be less noticeable than bead caps and you can coordinate their colours to suit your design.

I enjoy making more complicated designs but I think the simpler earrings look the best on. Some of my favourite earrings to wear are just round beads on a headpin. You can create more unique beads by painting them with craft paints or nail polish.

If you want to add more beads to your design you can stack them on the head pin –  try mixing them up with bead caps or sequins too.

You can also link other beads to your original bead. For this you’ll need an eyepin -  also available for craft stores - but I tend to just make mine own by creating a loop at the end of a headpin offcut.

Have fun!! I hope to work on a gallery of basic earrings designs to publish in the coming months.

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