I happen to have several strands of gemstone chips that I have received as gifts over the years. I have been trying to come up with a way use the chips in relatively inexpensive projects that I can sell for less in my various shops.
As it turns out, I think that I have accomplished my goal. Not only can I sell these lovely earrings for a decent price to generate some much needed income, but they are also very gift-worthy for the lovely ladies on our Christmas lists this year.
Let’s start by taking a look at the materials used in this project.
Tools and Materials
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Throughout the tutorial, you will see the instructions to flush cut the wire.
For most cutters, this is achieved by positioning the back side of the cutter against the portion of wire on the project.
Wire Wrapping Beads
For each earring, you will need about 4-5 inches of wire to be safe. Flush cut both ends of each wire.
When wire wrapping, it is especially helpful to use the natural curve of the weaving wire to your advantage.
Thinner gauge, dead soft wire can usually be straightened and manipulated with your fingers.
Before you begin, straighten the wire slightly, so that you have a nice smooth look and a gentle curve.
Leaving a few inches of wire to wrap with, position the wire over the frame and wrap 3-4 coils around the base.
I chose to wrap my coils downward. Use your chain nose pliers to position the coils tightly together.
Cut off the tail with the flush side of your cutters and tuck the tip flat against the frame until you can not feel any sharp edges.
Notice that my weaving wire is coming across the top on the frame.
Now we are ready to thread on the gemstone chips. The tanzanite chips I am using are fairly easy to break so I make sure not to pack them too tightly on my wire.
Load up the wire with the tiny chip beads, checking often to determine how many you need to reach the point where your weaving wire crosses the frame.
Determine the position you prefer, but keep in mind that we will be adding a second wire for the pearls, so you need space for the coils of both wires.
Bend the wire around to the back of the frame. Wrap the wire upwards toward the eye loop 3-4 coils. Use the chain nose pliers to tighten your coils.
To make things easier, I cut the remaining wire down to a few inches before wrapping.
Note how I use my thumb and forefinger to keep the beaded section of wire firmly in place and I use the chain nose pliers to pull my coils nice and tight.
Squeeze the coils together. Flush cut and tuck the end as before.
For the next step, begin by smoothing out the second piece of wire as before leaving a slight curve or arc.
Using the curve to your advantage, position the wire on the top of the frame, again leaving a few inches of tail to wrap with.
This time, wrap your coils upwards towards the ones already on the base. Use your chain nose pliers to make the coils nice and tight.
Cut off the remaining wire using the flush side of your cutters and tuck the end.
Use your chain nose pliers to tighten your coils if needed and to push both sets of coils together on the base.
Thread on 4-5 pearls as shown. The idea here is to not let the pearls push your gemstones out of shape.
The gap of wire at the top adds a nice design element to the overall look of the earrings.
Position the wire next to the last coil as shown and bend over the back of the frame.
You can trim your wire down to a few inches before wrapping again if you prefer.
Wrap 3-4 coils upwards towards the eye loop. Flush cut and tuck the end.
Snug both sets of coils together.
Use the first earring as a guide for the second earring.
You can create the mirror image by holding the first one upside down to ensure your wires are positioned identically on the second one.
In this way, both earrings will have the wraps going over the frame when adding the ear wires.
You can also make the earring exactly as the first and then flip it over when adding the ear wire.
If you choose the second option, the coils will wrap over on one earring and under the frame on the other.
Since I have made my own components, I prefer to make my own ear wires for this project.
Check out my Video for making Perfectly Matching Earrings Findings.