Sunday, February 22, 2009

Jewellery Making: Basic hanging earrings

If you've never done it before, jewellery making can seem really intimidating. First, you have to go into the shop and choose some beads...and those stores are filled with beads! How can you choose??? Then you have to get some findings, and there are tons of those. Then do you want to make a bracelet, some earrings, a necklace? ARGH! Too many choices!

For me, I started by finding a pattern that gave me all the information I needed to take to the store so I knew I'd succeed at making something. Then I did a search on-line to find some tutorials on how to do what I had to do (for instance, making a ring), then I tried it. And I loved it!

So I'll show you what I did here to make my "Poison" simple drop earrings. (These are supposed to represent hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen for HCN or hydrogen cyanide.) You can choose the colours you want. (And yes, those are plastic shepherd hooks. My ears can't tolerate any kind of metal...even the expensive stuff!)

How to make a loop out of wire (from Rings & Things! Great resource, great store!)
Jump ring hints (and other great information from Rings & Things!)

6 - 8 mm round beads.
4 spacer beads
2 eye pins (these are 2 inches long)
2 shepherd hook earrings
2 - 4 or 6 mm jump rings

Wire cutters


Take your eye pin and thread your beads in whatever order you like. As you can see above, I did green, spacer, black, spacer, white.

Then follow the directions for making a loop out of wire to make the loop above. Now open your jump ring using your pliers. (Read this for jump ring hints!) Make sure you don't bend the jump ring too much when opening it up. Loop the jump ring through the top of your loop in the eye pin, then thread it through the hole in the earring. Close the jump ring.

Do the same to the other eye pin and create your second earring. You're done!

What's a bead cap? Look at the picture on the right. It's a little metal thingie that you can use to cover the ends of your beads. You'd put them on before putting the beads on the head pin. For a 6mm bead, I use 4mm caps. They aren't necessary, but they certainly make your piece look pretty!

Now you've learned some basic jewellery making techniques:
  • opening and closing a jump ring
  • using an eye pin and creating a loop (Monday: How to make a loop at the other end and projects relating to this!)
You'll want to practice these techniques for making bracelets - you can hang charms with this technique - and for all the jewellery making stuff that is coming up next!

TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL (projects you can do with these two techniques)
In Chilliwack: Bead shop on Yale Road (downtown) or Wal-Mart
In Abbotsford: Strung Out on Beads
In Surrey: Country Lane
On-line: Click on Rings & Things above (Spokane) or Fusion Beads (Seattle)

1 comment:

Dave Robertson said...

Hi Susan, thanks so much for recommending our online site/store! I love the chemistry inspiration for these earrings, they're a lot of fun. :) Give my best to Chilliwack, I was driving thru a few months ago trying to reach Skookumchuck. (Long story there...) :)

at Rings & Things