Monday, April 06, 2009

Dangly Earrings: Using up the Leftover

Some of the best stuff starts as a way to use up left-overs. Think jambalya, trifle, quilts. Well - these dramatic earrings started as a way to use up leftover ends of beading wire, and turned into earrings in their own right!

You'll need some smallish beads - crystals or what-have-you - leftovers are good here too, those left-over ends from when you cut off the Softflex or whatever beading wire you are using. We are going to be folding them in half - so 8 inch pieces will give us 4 inch earrings. If you want to make them shorter, you can trim, or use shorter pieces. And some crimps. Base metal crimps are ok here - you are just going to flatten, not roll them! (I did use sterling crimp tubes - 'cause that's what I had handy - but you could save some money with silvertone base metal crimps beads.) And a pair of earwires. And two sterling crimp tubes - as they are bigger than the base metal crimps.
  • So - pieces of beading wire - 3 per earring
  • 2 sterling crimp tubes (bigger)
  • more crimps
  • beads
  • pair earwires.

To get all these dangly wires attached to the ear wires in a tidy way - we are going to start with the longest scrap, fold it in half, and slide the earwire onto it and to the centre.

Next, poke both ends through a bead -

and slide the bead up to the earwire. This will be your loop.

Now - grab two more pieces of beading wire, fold them in half, and poke the ends through the bigger crimp - the sterling crimp tube.

And now take the two ends from the one you already threaded onto the earwire, and stuff them in there too - you should have a bundle of 3 pairs, 6 ends - sticking out of the crimp tube - and that's about all you can get in there!

Slide the crimp tube up towards the top, being careful not to pull the wires out of the crimp tube.

We're getting close here now.

I find that in order to prevent from pulling they wires out while doing the final lining up - it is prudent to put something through the loops temporarily to prevent them pulling out of the tube. I used the other earwire, as it was handy - a piece of wire or a needle works too.

Nice and neat! Slide out your aligning wire and ...

And crimp that baby!

Now you have 6 sassy wires to string some beads on!

Slide your beads on, I tend to go for random order ...

Leave a gap of an inch or so, add a crimp, and squash it. That's where the beads will be - they will sit on top of the crimp when the earring is being worn.

Two beads together look nice too.

When you get to the end of a strand, add a crimp, and a bead, ...

and double back up through the crimp.

Squash and trim. I do this because the ends of the wires are scratchy and irritate my neck - so I prefer a nice smooth loop instead.

Carry on and do the rest of the strands.

Stagger the clusters of beads - so they don't all wind up in the same places.

Voila! Now make another!

And there you have it. I, of course, make them ridiculously long - so you might want to make them a little shorter!

1 comment:

Beth Ann said...

I like it. Good project to get your creative juices flowing on this dismal "I can't believe it is snowing" day! LOL