Thursday, January 15, 2009


Once I made the first pair of shank button earrings, all I wanted to do was make more. So I did.

This little tutorial builds on yesterday's, so if there's something you don't understand, you might want to look at it. The thing I think about when I'm working with shank buttons is the space between the shank and the edges of the button. With a bead, whatever you're stringing with--wire, thread, etc.--won't show, but with a button there's that span to cover.

I use extra beads to do that. Sometimes they don't show at all. Other times, they become part of the design. In yesterday's pair, the beads were very much part of the design; with this one, not so much so, although there's just a tiny bit of color showing above and below, almost like a seed bead.

So again, you start with a wrapped loop at the bottom, then string on a bead, in this case a blue bugle, then the button, and then another bugle bead. There should be just a little of the beads showing from the front.

At the top of the bugle bead, begin a wrapped loop, but instead of clipping the wire, bring it down the back of the button, and around the shank, and then back up to the top of the bugle bead. Are you following me so far? Here's a picture, and below it I'll continue with the rest:

Loop it around where you've begun the wrap, and then bring it back down to the back, ending with a tiny coil. The wire will cross the front of the bugle bead on the diagonal.

There's a reason for all that looping around in back: It keeps the button from spinning on the wire, so that the pretty side of the button will face forward all the time when you wear your earrings. You could accomplish the same thing with a dot of glue, probably, but I like the simplicity of this, and the interesting appearance it gives the back. That's probably not very important--I mean, who looks at the backs of their jewelry? But I like it anyway.

Here's another shot of the back from a different angle:

And the finished pair:



zJayne said...

Coffee Pot People!
I love your shop!
I gave my guy one of your cards LAST Valentine's Day!

Oh my gosh... a blog! What a wonderful sharing of these earrings too.

Bookmarking you!

Did I mention I love your coffee pot people!

Jane aka zJayne

Shadows of the goddess designs said...

i have some shank buttons i have saved. This helps me alot in how to use them. love your blog!!!

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