Monday, January 12, 2009

SHANK BUTTON EARRINGS--A SMALL TUTORIAL

Do you ever get the urge to just make something? Maybe you don't have a lot of time, but there's that need. It was that sort of a day for me. When time is limited, earrings can feed the creative hunger I feel, and anyway, the beads and buttons were already out, because I'd finished a bracelet just before going to bed last night. Since I'd been working with green, I just dug around in the green button baggie until I found a pair of buttons I liked.

Then I turned my fifteen minute project into two that took considerably longer by deciding to do this tutorial. Well, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

You'll need the usual array of beading tools--round-nose pliers, flat-nose pliers, and wire nips. And also

Fine gauge wire (I used 24 gauge)
2 matching shank buttons
4 matching flat, square beads (other shapes would also work--they just need to be flat)
2 seed beads

I'm going to assume basic wirewrapping technique, just enough to make a wrapped loop, to keep this brief, and also because I know others have already put tutorials for that up, and mine wouldn't be as good.

So start by cutting a length of the wire roughly a foot long. You want to give yourself enough to work with. Make a wrapped loop on one end, and the thread on a flat bead, a button, and another flat bead:
I noticed when I was working with my beads that the hole ran at a bit of a slant. If yours are similarly drilled, put the off-center hole against the shank of the button. Also, check to see whether one side of each bead is prettier or more evenly colored, and be sure to put the nicest side facing out.

This is where it gets just a bit more complicated. At the top of beads you've just strung, make another wrapped loop, but instead of cutting the wire, bring it down the front of the top flat bead, and under the button.

Now wind the wire once around the shank of the button, pulling it tight. Bring the wire down the lower bead, crossing it diagonally, and loop it around the wire-wrapping at the bottom, then back up the front of the bead, and under the button. Pull the wire in against the button shank, cross the upper bead on the diagonal, and wind it around the top loop a time or two, and clip.

That's a lot of words for something that really happens almost intuitively, so study the picture below and go with your instincts.

The last step is to wire wrap a seed bead, and hang it from the bottom loop.



I think they turned out rather well.
savesave

3 comments:

Debbie said...

now those are so pretty. Thanks for the tutorial

Shadows of the goddess designs said...

i understand what you mean by you just HAVE to make stuff..i am same way... You are also one of the winners in my blog giveaway...please email me at witchycime@man.com with your mailing addy and i will get your prize out to you :)

HJC Editor said...

Hi! Great tute! I will be linking at http://www.handmade-jewelry-club.com/ in future post.

Thanks!
Jane
http://diylessons.org/
http://www.handmade-jewelry-club.com/

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