- Arts and Design
Learn How To Make Your Own Earrings!
Do You Love To Play With Rocks?
I always have... I have a great love for semi-precious stones. Amethyst, turquoise, blue goldstone; moonstone, opals, pearls, emeralds, rubies... these are all available to the jewelry artist at very surprisingly low prices!
When I started this hobby several years ago, I totally taught myself from whatever info I could scrounge online! Never took a class, never bought a book... just did it. My early things were pretty horrendous, yet I still treasure them because they were FUN to make!
I can be stressed out to the max... let me "play in my rocks" for an hour, and the earth is once more a happy place. I don't even have to make anything... just play with the stones, arranging them in different combinations for future projects I might want to do.
If you love stones... you will probably love learning to showcase them in simple jewelry. And that's exactly what we are going to do here! So pop a notebook page up or get a real pencil, and let's get started making you a shopping list!
Here's What You'll Need
The first thing you may feel when you walk into the jewelrymaking supplies department at a Hobby Lobby, Michael's, etc., is OVERWHELM! There are so many beautiful things! So many beads and findings to choose from. And worst of all, you may not be sure exactly WHAT you need. Let's keep things very simple so you will be sure to have the supplies you need... you can always add more items you want, of course.
To make the very basic but pretty earrings we are going to learn here, you will need:
TWO pairs of round nose jewelry pliers (or one flat-nose and one round-nose works too)
One pair of SterlingLeverback OR French Wire findings (You can also use silver or gold plated, or copper findings too)
Small package of Sterling head pins, 1.25" size (or matching metal to your other findings)
Four Sterling beads, 4-6mm
Two Swarovski crystal or Czech glass beads, 8-12 mm
2 Sterling Open Single Jump Rings
Two focal beads - here I used some pretty enamel and gold plated cloisonn beads.
Where Do You Stand On Jewelry Making?
A Word About Gemstone Selection...
They use different sizes of drill bits resulting in different holes. If you're wanting to make this style of earring for example, you need to make sure the headpin you're using will fit through the hole of the gemstone. I always carry a headpin shopping to check.
Learn These Jewelry Skills On YouTube!
You'll Need Pliers & Bead Storage Boxes - Advice: Choose A Storage System Like The CraftMates Below
Let's Make An Earring! - First, stack up your beads on the headpin with the head side down.
The headpin's head serves as a stopper for the bottom of the earring. We are going to put the sterling bead on first because it will serve to blend in with and hide the headpin head. Next comes your first and largest bead (in mine, a white cloisonne bead). Next comes your next smaller bead (in mine, a crystal). Once you have stacked the earrings the way you want them, (and this is the part where you can play endlessly!) it's time to make it permanent. Take the round nose pliers, grasp the headpin just above the top bead. Holding the earring in your other hand, use the pliers to bend the headpin to the right at a 90 angle as shown in the photo. Then, (and I couldn't photograph this part!) you grasp the headpin a small ways from the main earring and bend it around the plier nose going in the direction of the earring. Your goal is to form a kind of lopsided circle. You will then use the pliers to get the free end of the headpin turned down and buried in the top of the top bead. Practice, practice, practice is the way to perfection doing this part. You'll get the hang of it!
Now We'll Do The Jump Ring!
Easier Than You Think!
Jump rings are so easy, once you understand you never ever pull the opening apart! Instead, you grasp each side with a pliers and use counterpressure to gently move them away from one another in an up-down direction. OR, you may wish to grasp the left side between your fingers and use pliers on the right side.
Once the jump ring is open, you will put it through the newly formed loop you just made on top of the earring AND the hole on the leverback finding. Now you'll reverse your direction with both pliers to gently close the jump ring. Go a tiny bit past center when you're doing this and the jump ring should spring back to exact center meeting.
Check this joining with a magnifying glass if needed, because if it isn't perfectly closed the earring will eventually come apart.
The Most Important Thing
Make absolutely sure your jump rings are closed flush. Use a magnifying glass if needed to check. If they are not, your earrings will be able to work their way out of them and be lost.