Jewelry | How to make handcrafted Dangling Shell like Earrings
In this article I will go through the steps required to make these lovely dangling Shell like Earrings.
The Earring shown here are for pierced ears but with the right 'findings' can be adapted for non-pierced ears.
There is a complete materials list down lower with instructions how to assemble your Shell Like Earrings using very basic tools. It would be possible to make these Earrings in approximately one half hour.
If you have any questions on these Earrings or any other Jewelry matters feel free to leave a comment in the 'comment section' under this article!
If you are looking for a different type of Earring there is another example I have made pictured below or you may like to look at a tutorial on making Angel Wing or Butterfly Wing earrings!
Materials required for Earrings
Listed below you will find a list of materials and tools required to hand craft this set of lovely Shell like earrings:
- Wire (either Tiger Tail or Beading wire, as shown in the image) Pieces 2 x approx 85mm (3.5inches) Adjust length when the beads have been chosen.
- Hooks x 2 In this version I have used hooks with flower decorations but hooks simulating 'fish hooks' would be very effective.
- Beads Large x 4 . Selected simulated shell like for bottom beads of earring.
- Beads Medium x 4 selected beads slightly smaller than the above beads.
- Beads Small x approx 20 to be used to space out the larger beads (pearl or white is a nice color)
- Crimps x 6 Crimps are used to hold it all together. They are plated metal balls with holes so that when they are squeezed with flat nose pliers they lock onto the wire and prevent the earring from falling apart.
Close up of Shell shape
Tools for making earrings
There are no special tools required for making these Shell like earrings. The basic tools are:
- Wire Cutters ( often referred to as Diagonal or Angle Cutters)
- Round Nose pliers
- Flat nose pliers
This style of Earring lends itself to many different variations. I am only showing you one type in this demonstation.
There are many beads available to give you a countless number of effects limited only by your imagination.
I have shown here the Mother of Pearl (nacre) effect or you can choose the more traditional alternative! You could even try a stone. Hmmm Mental note to self! now there is a good idea
Lay out your components
I would always advise you to lay out the components, beads, findings, wire etc. before you get into the business of assembling your earrings. This way you are not caught short of needing just the right bead.
Components laid out for assembly
Now the fun bit starts. We have obtained all of the findings and beads for our Shell Earrings and laid them all out on a bead board or cloth. If you don't have a board I would suggest a piece of fine woven material or felt.
Pass one piece of the wire through the ring of the Fish hook Finding, leaving length on one side of 2 inches and the other side about 1.5 inches. Then feed both ends onto one 'crimp'. When you are satisfied that the unequal lengths are OK squeeze the 'crimp' with the flat nose pliers until it has clamped the two strands of wire.
This step is to feed the beads on the long side of the wire. Using your artistic values place a number of small beads followed by the Medium Bead then more small beads with the Large Bead next leaving enough wire to place a 'Crimp' to hold it all together!
When you are happy with this press (squash) the 'crimp' together with the flat nosed pliers to hold the first half together!
Trim the wire back to the squashed crimp.
After you have hand crafted the first half of one side repeat the exercise on the shorter half of the wire. You will need to again use your artistic judgement on how many spacer beads to use.
This is done to get the Medium and Larger beads to sit nicely against the long side. As an example I have only used one spacer bead on the short side as against four on the longer side.
This adds to the individuality to the Earrings.
Make the other side
Unless you only want one Earring the next step is to repeat steps 1 through to 3 to build the other side and give you a matching set of Shell like Earrings. If you would prefer you can, as I did build both sides (side by side) at the same time. I feel that you will get a better balanced pair of earrings if you build your hand crafted shell earrings in this manner!
Please remember that these and in fact any earrings should be sterilized before being placed through pierced ears.
These Shell Earrings would make a lovely gift
Shell Earrings as a Gift
I'm sure that someone you love would really appreciate receiving these Shell like Earrings (or similar) as a gift.
If you need some packaging I found these great little Gift Muslin Bags that have a drawstring.
They come in many different colors such as yellow, mauve, purple, blue and even black and they are a reasonable price.
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Variation on the Theme
Findings for Shell Earrings
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