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Eclecticisms: Earrings 101

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Earrings 101

Finally, I am writing a jewelry blog! My camera, as usual, didn't quite catch the images I hoped it would, as it's not good at all for close-ups. I am starting with a quick "Earrings 101", and hope this will be the first of many jewelry how-to blogs. (I'm starting to sound like a broken record when it comes to my camera. Sorry!)

First thing's first... what do you need?

I tried to label this next image with numbers, but for some reason it wouldn't upload. So, you will have to follow along and let me know if I lose you.

Starting from bottom left, going clockwise... (these are all good staple tools to invest in if you plan to start making jewelry.)

Nylon Jaw pliers- Similar to flat nose pliers, but the will not marr or scratch the finish off off your wire or metals. 2)Flat nose pliers- Good for bending and grasping wire. 3)Round Nose pliers AKA Needle Nose pliers- Use to make loops and other curves for eye pins (see below), ear wire, spirals, etc. 4) Ear Wires- Pretty self explanatory... you see them on earrings all over the place. 5) Head Pins (under ear wires in picture)- use when you need wire that will hold the bead on. 6) Eye pins (to the right of head pins)- use when you want the head pin effect but want to attach it to something else. 7) Nipper Tools/Wire Cutters- Again, pretty self explanatory. Get a good and sharp pair... you won't regret it! 8) Beads- Play around with the design until you are comfortable with what you see. Go outside of your comfort zone and use colors you normally wouldn't. You will be pleasantly surprised with the variety you add to your wardrobe! 9) Spacers- Both plain and daisy spacers are pictured (bottom).  Spacers can be used between beads to create a gap, which also may help with more fragile beads that may chip or break if rubbed together too much.  Here, the daisy spacers are used at the bottm for aesthetic, and because the bead hole was too large, and the headpin slipped right though.

I think that covers materials...

First, Put your bead(s) (and spacer, if applicable) onto the head pin.

Now, use your flat nose pliers (or needle nose, whichever you prefer) to create a bend in the wire at the top of the beads.

Next, use the needle nose pliers to create a loop. Put one side of the pliers into the bend, and wrap the wire up and around the pliers.
Shift pliers so they are not in the way. Complete the loop by wrapping the wire all the way around. If you have enough left, you may wrap it around the main wire to create a wrapped look.
Now you will open the eye of the eye pin and attach it to the loop you just created. There is a correct way to do this, which I will demostrate on a larger jump ring, which is easier to see.

Correct way: Pull one side of the ring towards you. Push it away to close.

INCORRECT way: Pull sides of the ring away from each other. Not only will this not go back together smoothly, but it will weaken the wire. Many thinner wires will break if you try to do this.
String remaining beads onto the eye pin you've just attached.

Repeat steps to create a loop and attach to ear wire.

Repeat entire process for 2nd earring and...'re done!

Congrats, you are a beader!



At April 7, 2010 at 4:12 AM , Blogger Leslie said...

Those earrings are really pretty - but are they heavy? I usually worry about that with bead earrings.

At April 7, 2010 at 5:42 AM , Blogger PaintinByFaith said...

I really like these earrings! I am Leslie's sister - I too make jewelry & I too have a very hard time with my pics - they never seem to do the piece justice. I even bought a new camera - but still I struggle. I have decided I need a really expensive camera - the kind I can't afford right now - lol. I looked at your website also - your work is very nice!

At April 7, 2010 at 6:25 AM , Blogger BEadECLECTIC said...

Oh, thanks so much! I got "super jazzed" (as Leslie would say!) this AM when I saw that I got a new person looking at my blog and my site. My camera is good for outdoor pictures, but not artificial light or close ups. I guess we'll both just have to keep making due for now. Unless Leslie wants to get us some sweet cameras... :)

The earrings aren't heavy at all. The focal bead is bone, which is light weight. I have to be careful the kind of wire I use though, as cheap stuff makes my ears very irritated and unable to handle earrings for several days. Ugh.

At April 7, 2010 at 6:40 AM , Blogger PaintinByFaith said...

I get 'super jazzed' also - lol - I look every morning at my fan page on fb, my etsy etc - if I see a new looker - I'm like WAAHOOO!! LoL

I find my pics are better if I take them outside. It just isn't always something that can be done!

Have you ever played with the metal side of jewelry making? I love it! So many things you can do with it. I have not been huge on beads until just recently - mixing them with the metal. I like unique beads - so much fun!


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