How to Make Beaded Chain Earrings
A Free and Easy Beading Tutorial
Would you like to make your own earrings -- but can't manage those pesky head pins? Need a simple, handmade gift idea for a daughter, mother, or friend? Are you looking to get started with jewelry making, but not sure where to begin?
In these step-by-step instructions I'll show you how to craft unusual dangle earrings out of jump rings and beads. They're easy to make, and have a great "chain maille" look to them. Best of all, they're a quick and inexpensive beading project that anyone can do.
Beaded Chain Earring Materials
You will need:
- 12 8mm jump rings
- 24 6/0 (3mm) seed beads
- 2 earring wires or clip-on earring backs with a loop
- rubber backs for ear wires (optional)
- needle nose pliers
Opening and Closing Jump Rings
Open the jump rings before you start. Some people do this with two pairs of pliers, but I find it easier to use one pair and my fingers; choose whichever works for you.
[illustration: Sonja Marshall-Bone at WikiHow]
Hold the jump ring on either side, with the seam pointing upward. Pull one side toward you, and the other side away from you. This is the best technique to open a jump ring, as it doesn't distort or stretch the ring. Closing a jump ring works the same way; simply twist the two sides together until the ends meet.
Supplies: 8mm Jump Rings - Jump Rings and Tools for Earrings
Jump rings come in a variety of metal tones. You can buy jump rings at your local craft or bead store, or shop online.
Take the first open jump ring and thread two beads onto it. Then close the ring with the same motion that you used to open it, in reverse.
Hang your beaded ring onto another open ring. Now thread on two more beads, but this time make sure the first ring is between the beads. Close the second ring.
Continue adding jump rings to make a chain, threading two beads onto each ring as you link it up. Arrange them so that each ring hangs between the two beads on the ring above. Each earring uses six jump rings. In the diagram above, you can see several ideas for arranging the colors of your beads.
Supplies: 6/0 Glass Seed Beads - 6/0 Beads for Earrings
6/0 seed beads (also called E beads) are 3-4 mm wide, just big enough to fit on the jump rings. Metallic beads, opaque glass beads, transparent or translucent beads, or beads with an iridescent finish give different effects to your beaded earrings.
Add Earring Backs
Now it's time to finish your earrings. Using your pliers just as you did with the jump rings, open the small loop on the bottom of your earring finding. Hang your beaded chain on this loop, and close it again. Do the same with the other earring.
If using French wires (also called "fish hook" earrings), you may want to add small rubber plugs to keep the earrings secure.
Supplies: Earring Findings - Wires and clips for earrings
French wires are the easiest findings to use for making pierced earrings. If making clip-on earrings, be sure to use a finding that has a small loop at the bottom -- not the kind you glue things onto.
- You can try using bigger jump rings and beads to make bolder earrings, or smaller ones to make more delicate earrings.
- Make the chain shorter or longer, depending on how long you like your earrings.
- Use a large needle to poke holes in a handmade earring card to show off your earrings.
- Handmade earrings make great stocking stuffers, Easter gifts, or party favors.
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