I've had a very busy week at work—both my "real job" and my studio job have seemed endless! And so waking up Thursday morning suddenly realizing it was my turn to post on AJE this weekend and feeling my brain start spinning as I realized I didn't have a post idea, was an unsettling way to start the day to say the least! My first thought was to show you my new beads… but wait those new beads aren't finished! My second idea was a tutorial—but of what?! I started making a mental list of all the cool beads in my studio and possible ideas. And then I thought of stars and fireworks—could I make jewelry inspired by the Independence Day celebration? I don't mean red, white, and blue. That's nice and all, but not my thing—in my mind those colors are for the flag and not wearing—that's me though and I never dress for any holiday. I wanted something that could be worn any day, no matter the occasion… My mind wandered onto some tiny howlite stars… hmm… olive-golden beaded beads from awesome AJE team member, Kristen Stevens… purple peacock faceted beads maybe?… Sounds interesting, right?
Anyhoo… all this going through my brain before coffee was a bit of a mess so I put the idea out of my mind and got on with normal stuff. Hot horses wanted their food and fly spray (right now!) and I needed to say "hi" to kitty before he thought I had forgotten all about him, and oh yeah, drink coffee… and then check emails.
All that out of the way, a second cup of coffee in hand—and star earrings here I come!
And a tutorial for you! Take a look…
Supplies you'll need:
- 22 gauge bronze wire
- 2 beaded beads
- 2 10mm faceted czech glass beads
- 8 4mm howlite stars
- earwires (again, I left this very minor detail out of my photo!)
Tools you'll need:
- tape measure
- wire cutters
- round-nose pliers
- flat-nose pliers
- bent-nose pliers
- permanent marker
- 800 grit sandpaper
1. Cut 2 lengths of wire each 3 inches long and 2 lengths of wire each 2 1/2 inches long. Smooth the ends with sandpaper—or if you happen to have one of those fancy schmancy tools actually made for removing burrs, by all means use it and make it easier on yourself—I had only sandpaper on hand and it works great in a pinch!
2. Use round-nose pliers to form a tiny coil at the end of one wire, put two stars on the wire, and form a second coil. Repeat with the 3 remaining wires. I like to work both earrings simultaneously to keep them the same.
3. Next mark each wire slightly off center with a permanent marker—make sure both long wires and both short wires are marked so when bent they will be the same length. Grasp the marked point with the round-nose pliers…
4. …and bend the wire around, crossing the ends over…
5. …remove the pliers from the loop, grasp just below the loop and gently bend the stars down…
6. … so they look like this. Repeat with each wire to make your star charms.
7. Cut a 7 inch length of wire and take one of the longer star drops and one of the shorter ones and wrap tightly together. Repeat with the remaining star charms. Time to put the earrings together!
8. Cut an 8 inch length of wire and start to form a wrapped loop—don't wrap or trim yet!—slip a star charm onto the loop. Then add one of the beaded beads and glass bead.
9. Form a wrapped loop at the top of the glass bead… and finally wrap the loop at the base of the beaded bead. I did it this way because I didn't want a whole jumble of wire at the base—by having the wire already pulled tight after forming the wrapped loop at the top first, it was much easier to keep the wrap at the base flat and neat. Repeat for second earring and add your earwires… and go enjoy your new earrings!
Have a most wonderful and creative weekend!