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Monday, December 26, 2011

Cluster Drops - A new way to make earrings

Jen commented in our currently running "Twelve Earrings of Christmas" - that she was relying pretty heavily on wire wrapping as a technique. Truthfully - there just aren't that many ways to make earrings - the constraint of size and weight is a significant restriction - and 99% of earring-making boils down to beads and head pins.

And while I really don't believe that there is anything "truly new" under the sun - I think you might find this technique to be fresh, extremely versatile, easy, quick, and very gratifying. I certainly don't seem to be able to stop making earrings with it!

In a nutshell, this calls for
  • some very fine wire, like a 28 gauge, 
  • a drop bead, (briolette, pear drop, whatever, something with an off centre hole, designed to hang) and
  • some accompanying beads (can be drops or not) and 
  • the earring finding of your choice 

Also, wire cutters and round nose or small bail making pliers - for wrapping the loop.

 (For these earrings, I am using drops from our Cubic Zirconia collection.)

Start with about 10 inches of wire - finer gauges are best - I did all of these with 28 gauge wire.

Thread your drop bead onto the wire, slide it to the centre, fold the wire in half, and twist the wire for a couple of rotations. Actually - it's easier to hold the wire and rotate the bead, but the end result is that the wire twists.

Separate the wires and thread your selected beads on the two wires. The two sides don't have to match, but it helps if they are more or less the same length ...
... which these actually are - once you pick it up and shake the beads down the wire.
 Now, bring the wires back together, and hold them together, and twist the wires together a couple of times.

 Next, with the two wires together, make a wrapped loop, using both wires, but treating them as a single wire. (So, just grab the two wires together, wrap (both at the same time) around the pliers to make the loop, and then wrap back down over itself and cut off.)
 Add to the earring finding of your choice.

All of these are made with the same basic technique.

Advanced stuff - You can vary it up to change the look!

One Swarovski drop, plus bicones. No twist at the drop. 

 Twist at top, and add a couple of twists to the part with the bicones, after.

The Ruby Fuchsia Cubic Zirconias.
 Thread to the center - ignore that tail of wire, I shot it laying on the earring finding.
 Plus two beads, one on each side
 More beads, two on each side.
 Twist again
 And finish with a wrapped loop.
 Purple + aqua CZs. Drop in center, twist, beads, twist, loop.

Stock up on fine gauge wire and drop beads, oh, and lots of earring findings! Have fun!


Genevieve said...

Wow! I am wire-challenged, but I think this is simple enough even for me. Thanks!

Gilly Bean said...

so easy and so pretty!

Gilly Bean said...

So ease and so PRETTY!!

Thanks for the tip, that would have made a number of recent presents so much easier. lol

smcmanus said...

Actually, I have made a variation of these. They are very popular and so easy to make. The others you show are wonderful ideas! Thank you.

Teresa said...

you are right, its know wonder someone hasn't thought of this before. I'm not a wire user but this I could do. beats using head pins ! T

Teresa said...

you are quite right, I'm surprised no one has put this to paper before. I'm not a wire user but this I can do, and it sure beats using head pins all the time. T

Jeanna Ellison said...

Great idea. This will be my next pair of earrings (the green ones). Jeanna

Anonymous said...

I am going to make some right now! How exciting and easy. Your the best.

fay ................................................... said...



I'm impressed with your visuals and teaching system.