Friday, December 11, 2009

TUTORIAL: SQUIGGLY WIGGLY EARRINGS

It’s December. The kids are still in school, with the holiday break still weeks away. Inside the house is breathing in, outside the chilly winds and bleak skies can make staying in a very attractive option. The silence can practically ring in your ears, can’t it?

Ringing…ears? Oooh. Let’s turn it around and make earrings! And since the squiggly-squirmy folk are elsewhere, why don’t we remind ourselves of them with a style I call “Squiggly-Wiggly?

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 22 or 24 gauge wire
  • Two teal beads 7mm-8mm
  • Two matte Capri blue beads 10mm-12mm
  • Seed beads in matching or coordinating colors
  • One pair earring wires
  • Your tools

First cut a length of wire about 3” long. On one end, bend a very small spiral of about 1 ½ to 2 rounds. Use protected tips on your round nose pliers to prevent little gouges. I personally let the gouges happen, to add an interesting textured look.

Now is a good time to play with the color sequence a bit. You might like to put the blue seed beads next to the Capri blue bead, and the teal seed beads next to the teal bead, or the other way ‘round might appeal to you more. Just string the beads onto your 3” wire and take a look. When you’ve decided, take the beads off the wire, and you’re ready to start.

I opted to match the seed beads to the beads, so I’ll give the directions that way.

The next thing you’re going to do is string on a blue seed bead, the Capri blue bead, and another blue seed bead. Make a wire-wrapped loop at the top, ending with a sharp bend up and then a gentler bend down.

Now bend the wire straight out, away from your bead:

At about the ½” point, bend the wire back in, then back out again, and then back toward the bead another time, decreasing the length of your “squiggle” as you go.

Cut the wire off to the point at about ¼” beyond the last outer loop. You want to have enough left to make a round loop at the bottom. Play with this; yours do not have to look exactly like mine. Use your fingers to mash things this way and that to get the look you want.

Okay! Time for the next part!

With about 3 ½” of wire, begin a wire-wrapped loop, but before you complete it, thread it through the top loop on the Capri blue bead assembly:

Finish the wrap, then string on the teal seed bead, teal round bead, and teal seed bead. Make a wire-wrapped loop at the top, then “squiggle” the wire down the side of the bead. Your bends are going to be much gentler this time. I’ll let the photo speak for itself:

Now repeat what you just did, all those steps above, unless you want only one earring. (Just kidding—I know you know!)

Open the bottom loop of your earring wires, and hang your bead assemblies on them. Be sure to hang them “facing” opposite directions, to make a left and a right.

Finished set:

To show what a difference another choice of beads might make, here’s another set (I did make a whole pair, but couldn’t get the two of them to play nicely together for their portrait):

You’ll notice I finished off the top bead differently, too, by using a tad more wire and wrapping it completely around the bead, to end in a tiny loop against the glass. Use your imagination, and may the Force be with you!

Are the kids home yet?

4 comments:

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

Those are so cute! Thanks for the tutorial!!!

majeral said...

dang.. I used to make those and people laughed EVEN IN SAN FRANCISCO LOL no really those are cool ,I have lots of left over goodies I will try a pair or one , lol sometimes one is best for me to stop at. I just noticed Ari.. he.she.it is cool...
al the best to you and yours

storybeader said...

those are great looking earrings!

Maggie said...

Hello,
I just wanted to let you know that I'm launching a new site that's a collection of different jewelry projects, www.AllFreeBeadedJewelry.com, and that I linked to this project:
http://www.allfreebeadedjewelry.com/Wire-Earrings/Whimsical-Wiggle-Earrings

I would like to know if I can link like this to you, including a photo, in the future. Or if you would be willing to allow me to post projects in full on the site - full credit will always be given to you, of course. It would be yet another source of traffic to your blog.

Please let me know, I would love to work with you further.
Thanks!
Maggie Kmiecik
mkmiecik@primecp.com

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