Hello and welcome to my first tutorial! Yay!!!
To kick off this section of my blog, I’d like to show you how to make a pair of very simple but elegant earring and necklace set. I started out wanting to make a pair of earrings but had so much fun that I ended up with a necklace too.
The cost of creating this pair are minimal in terms of cash, tools and time.
For this project, you will need:
18 gauge (1mm) copper wire – 15 cm length
A pair of a matching set of beads (I used a 10mm, 8mm and 5mm bead for each earring)
Round nose pliers
Flat nose pliers
Nylon jaw pliers
2 jump rings
Chain – optional (I used 16 inch gold-plated)
Earring fish hooks
Hammering block or hard durable surface
Metal file (An emery board will do too)
1. Use your Nylon jaw pliers to straighten a length of wire, if required. Cut a 5cm length and make a mark 5mm from one end of the wire. Use your hammer to create a paddle by hammering the end (avoid hammering above the mark) on the hammering block. File off any burrs (sharp bits) with the file. Repeat two more times.
Tip: Adjust the length and size of the wire to match the overall size of and hole in your bead, for a secure fit. Check the size of the paddles for approximate uniformity. Fix any differences by hammering to widen or filing off excess
2. Slide the beads unto the wire (biggest first, then medium, then small) until they are automatically stopped by the paddle. Make a mark 6mm from the unfinished end of the wire. Hold the wire so that the paddle is adjacent to your finger and create and another paddle by hammering below the mark. Finish the paddle by filing down any excesses or sharp bits.
Tip: After this step, check both paddles for uniformity. Failing to hold the wire the right way will result in mismatched paddles. You could always turn that into a design feature though!
3. Holding the wire upright with the paddle facing you, and place your round-nose pliers 2mm above the smallest (top) bead. Bend the wire backwards, away from you. Bend the wire again, around the top jaw and towards you, until the paddle lies flush against the top bead, creating a loop. Tug on the pliers gently to straighten the loop.
Tip: Avoid gripping the wire too hard with the pliers as even round nose pliers can leave a mark on the metal.
4. Place a jump ring between the jaws of the flat nose pliers and use the round nose pliers to open it by pulling sideways. Add the beaded shank and fish-hook wires, taking care to ensure they are facing the right way. Close up the jump ring.
Warning: Opening the jump ring by pulling the ends apart is more likely to distort its shape and/or break the wire.
5. For the necklace, ignore step four and simply pass the chain through the loop and fix the clasp.
Voila!! Your first (or not) handmade set!!
Ps: Don’t be afraid to try variations of beads and finding for a more individualised look.
Have fun!! 🙂
I’d love to see your creations based on this tutorial so please share your successes and failures so we can all learn and be inspired. Comments and suggestions on this and future posts welcome too 🙂