Yesterday I realized I don’t have much in the way of patriotic jewelry, so I got out my supplies and came up with this fun pair of earrings. I know it’s a little late, but I thought I’d share the tutorial with you in case you need a last-minute accessory for your 4th of July event!
A couple of notes before we get started:
- I did this in a hurry, so I apologize if the photos are a little blurry/not great.
- I had just painted my nails. I can’t seem to manage to do that without painting half my finger, and I hadn’t taken the time to clean them up, so please excuse my messy bright blue fingers. :)
Now, here are the supplies you’ll need:
- Red, white, and blue beads. I used red coral chips, blue stone cylinders, and white seed beads.
- Wire. If you’re going to use tiny beads, you can use a smaller gauge. I went with 22-gauge since I was using heavier beads.
- Spool of thread or something circular of similar size to form your wire into a hoop.
- Jewelry tools: needle-nose pliers, round-nose pliers, wire cutters.
- Earwires: not pictured, but kind of important for this project.
- Coffee: optional. Bonus points if you have a Beatles mug.
Start by wrapping your wire around the spool and cut it so there are a couple of inches extra at either end. I used a spare piece of wire that I had already cut, and it ended up being too short, as you’ll see later.
Use your needle-nose pliers to bend one end of the wire at a 90-degree angle. This will help stop the beads from flying off as you’re stringing them on.
Decide on a pattern and string your beads onto the wire. Remember to leave that extra part of the wire bead-free. If you don’t know where to stop beading, you can bend a notch in the wire at the same time that you bend the other side (they should meet when you wrap the wire around the spool). Just make sure that the notch isn’t so big that you can’t put your beads on. Also, it’s a good idea to use small beads at the top of the hoop; it will make it easier to close up the hoop and do the wire wrapping.
Once all your beads are on, bend the wire 90 degrees on the other side (the side with the notch).
Now it’s time to make a wrapped loop. Take your round-nose pliers and make another 90-degree bend in the wire about 1/4 inch up from the beads.
Next, wrap the wire around the pliers. Just the top one. What do they call just that one part of the pliers? The prong? Arm? I don’t know…just look at the picture below and you’ll see what I mean.
Now switch the loop from the top thingy (that’s what I’m calling it), to the bottom thingy, and wrap the extra wire around the base of the loop. This is where it would have been nice to have more wire; I wasn’t able to wrap it as many times as I would have liked and it looked kind of sloppy. If you have too much wire, wrap it three or four times, then cut it with your wire cutters. Then use your needle-nose pliers to gently smoosh down the end (another technical term).
See how that doesn’t look very nice? Do it better than me.
Now take the other end of the wire and wrap it around the base of the wrapped loop, starting as close to the beads as you can so the hoop looks like one continuous circle. Again, I wish I had more wire, so the same rule applies here as for the wrapped loop.
Once the wire is secure, you can reshape your hoop, which will have undoubtedly gotten a little bent up in the process.
Finally, add your earwire! Twist open the loop at the bottom with your pliers and slide it onto your wrapped loop.
Now do it all over again so you have two, and you’re all done! You have a nice new pair of earrings to wear while you’re watching fireworks! I ended up redoing mine so the wire wrapped part looked a little better.
Happy 4th of July, everyone! And if you’re not in the US, happy Friday!