Earrings may seem like a more complicated jewelry-making project than a string of beads for a bracelet or necklace, but with the right tools and findings, they are quick to make and design. Beginners in the art of jewelry making will find easy drop and stud earring creations are well within their ability.
Things You'll Need
- Round-tipped needle nose pliers
- Beading headpins, or regular straight pins
- French hook findings
- Desired beads
- Metal spacer beads
- Jewelry wire cutters, if needed
- Earring posts
- Jeweler's epoxy glue
- Desired beads or stones
- Wire, if desired
Easy Drop Earrings
Plan your earring. Choose a headpin that is long enough and thick enough to hold your beads securely in place. Generally, earring headpins have a flat pinhead, but round-headed pins can be used if the head goes well with your earring design. Choose a few beads to create your drop earrings with.
Put beads on the headpin. This forms the decorative part of the earring, so choose whatever combination of beads and spacers you like. Some designers put a metal spacer bead on the bottom of the headpin to let the main colored bead sit away from the flat pinhead. Others prefer not to use spacers at all. Leave a fair amount of free pin at the top of the beads.
Use the tip of the pliers to bend the empty part of the pin halfway over, so it makes a right angle.
Select your French hook and slip the right-angled part of the pin through the small ring at the finding's base, as if it were another bead. Don't let it slide down to meet the beads, however.
Use pliers to bend the right-angled part around the finding, finishing the loop and securing the hook in place. Any excess pin can be bent around the shaft of the earring once more for more security or can be cut off with jewelry wire cutters if desired.
Easy Stud Earrings
Choose your beads or stones. These stud earrings are easily made with flat-backed beads or stones, but round or oval pieces work also with a little care. Find two that match exactly so your earrings are identical.
Match findings to beads or stones. An earring post with a large mounting area works best with flat-backed stones, while round beads or stones should be mounted on a smaller cuplike post.
Add a dab of strong stone-setting epoxy glue, such as Japanese cement or E6000 jeweler's cement, to the post. Use just enough to cover the mounting area. (Or, if you wish to end the process here, use Snap-Tite earring posts and press in the stones or beads on a soft surface. See References.)
Glue on the bead or stone. Press it firmly to the glue and either hold with even pressure or clamp for a longer period of time, according to the specific directions on your epoxy glue.
Let it dry. Some glues set quickly but take a day to dry completely. Others set and dry within hours. Check the directions on the back of your glue and do not move or touch the earring until the specified time is up.
Tips & Warnings
- When making drop earrings, you can use an eye pin, or a pin with a looped bottom, in place of the headpin. The eye provides a spot to add on a dangling charm for longer earrings or other eye pins or headpins to create tiered chandelier earrings if you like.
- After drying, stud earrings can be accented with a piece of silver or gold wire by wrapping the wire around the bead or stone to form a circle, spiral or geometric shape, as desired. Secure it by forming one end into a small hook and hooking the wire to itself.
- Sharp tools, strong glues and small objects like beads should be kept away from small children, and older children should be supervised in their use.