Last week I posted about a wire link chain and pearl necklace I recently created. Well, my husband was out of town all last week for a work conference, which left me with a lot of spare time on my hands...so of course I decided to spend that time making some more wire-wrapped jewelry!
Here on the blog pretty much all of the jewelry pieces for which I've posted tutorials have been necklaces, but truly, my first jewelry love is earrings. And boy, do I love a big, dangly, ornate chandelier earring! And I really love making my own, especially using wire wrapping techniques. I've made Greek inspired earrings, wire 'filigree' earrings showcasing amethyst and London blue topaz, even a pair of lotus-inspired earrings for my sister:
But my favorite pair of all? These Indian-inspired citrine and carnelian mixed metal chandeliers:
I love, love, LOVE the ornate, almost ethnic flair of these earrings, and of course I'm partial to the colors (I have a minor love affair with orange, and citrine is my birthstone). But since these earrings showcase colored beads, I can't wear them with just anything. So a simple, silver bohemian-esque chandelier earring that I can wear with everything has been on my 'to create' list for quite awhile, and I decided this was the perfect time to whip something up. And here's what I came up with:
I love that these earrings are detailed, yet not overly fancy. They're just big enough to be a statement earring and pair well with dressy outfits, but they're not so decadent that they can't be worn with everyday casual clothing. And they were made with very simple techniques! I'm not going to post a picture tutorial here since there are already tons of wire wrapping tutorials out there on the internet, but I will share the steps I used to create them.
1. I knew the basic shape I wanted to use for the frames--a sort of "U" shape with scrolled ends. I created my frames using 16-gauge wire for extra strength. I cut two 6" pieces of 16-gauge wire and used my round nose pliers to create the small loops at each end. I then wrapped both wires around a small glass jar to create the overall rounded "U" shape, and then used my needle nose pliers again to roll back the top of each wire for a slightly more ornate look.
2. I then cut a length of 26-gauge wire about 4-5 feet long and began at one end of the frame, wrapping the thinner gauge wire tightly around the frame several times until I was far enough down the length of the frame to where I wanted to start adding small silver beads. Rebecca of My Girlish Whims has a lovely tutorial for wire wrapping beads onto a wire frame. I used the same basic method, although you can see that the frame I created is a little different than Rebecca's, and I also wrapped every other bead alternating between the top and bottom of the wire frame, instead of wrapping all of them to the same side.
3. Once I finished wrapping the beads to the frame, I finished off the top of the earring. Rather than closing up the top of the frame by wrapping one side around the other like in Rebecca's tutorial, I left mine open and instead used jump rings at the top on either side that I could use to connect the frames to the ear wires when I was ready to complete the earrings.
4. Before adding ear wires I created a large bead dangle (a bead strung on a head pin with a loop at the top to allow it to hang down from the jump rings at the top of the earring and dangle in the middle of the hoop) and a bead connector (a bead strung on wire with a loop on each end to act as a little decoration and used to connect the frame to the ear wire) for each earring. Attach your bead dangle and bead connector to the jump rings at the top of each earring.
5. Attach your ear wires to the top of the bead connector.
6. You're done! Now go marvel at your masterpiece.
I really like these earrings. They're simple yet decorative, a great size, and not too heavy. I've already worn them twice since I made them! Perfect for dressy:
Perfect for casual:
And the sky's the limit here...just change the shape of the frame (but use the same simple wrapping techniques), and you could have a totally different earring. Or maybe use colored beads. Or a different color of metal. Or mix your metals! Maybe copper wire for the frame, silver wire for the wrapping, and gold beads for the decoration. How gorgeous would those earrings be??
So if you're in the market for some unique earrings, why don't you try making your own? Once you get started with wire wrapping you'll quickly be hooked!
Have you ever made your own earrings? Are you a fan of big chandeliers, or do you prefer smaller stud earrings? I'd love to know!
Linking up with:
Take-A-Look Tuesday at Sugar Bee Crafts
All About You at Mama--And More
Your Whims Wednesday at My Girlish Whims
We Did It! Wednesday at Sew Much Ado
Show & Tell at Gingerly Made
Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest
Be.You.Tiful Link Party at Fry Sauce and Grits
The Party Bunch at Thirty Handmade Days
Link Party Palooza at Tatertots and Jello
Think Pink Sunday at Flamingo Toes
I Made This and Love It at Make It and Love It