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Captured heart earrings

If you don’t fall for the sweet, subtle shape of these earrings, you’ll certainly be taken by their perfect balance of wire loops (so similar to netting!) and beautiful beads. 

Captured heart earrings diagram

Supplies

brass earrings 2–2 1⁄4 in. (5–5.7 cm)

  • 2 4 mm glass pearls (Czech, vanilla)
  • 10 3 mm fire-polished beads (Czech, matte purple iris)
  • 34 2.5 x 5 mm SuperDuo beads (Czech, opaque green luster)
  • 110 seed beads
    • 40 color A (Miyuki 458, metallic brown iris)
    • 8 color B (Toho 1206, marbled opaque turquoise/amethyst)
  • 150 seed beads
    • 76 color C (Toho 206, gold-lustered lavender)
    • 28 color D (Toho 566, matte pewter)
    • 16 color E (Miyuki 458, metallic brown iris)
  • 10 in. (25 cm) 20-gauge wire (Parawire, vintage bronze)
  • 7 ft. (2.1 m) 28-gauge wire (Parawire, vintage bronze)
  • pair of earring findings (vintage brass)
  • 5⁄8-in. (1.6 cm) dowel or mandrel, such as the Fiskars Right Angle Mandrel (optional)
  • flatnose pliers
  • roundnose pliers
  • wire cutters

silver earrings (p. 26) colors:

  • 4 mm crystal pearls (Swarovski, Provence lavender)
  • 3 mm bicone crystals, in place of the 3 mm fire-polished beads (Swarovski, ruby)
  • 2.5 x 5 mm SuperDuo beads (Czech, silver)
  • 110 seed beads
  • color A (Toho PF558, permanent finish galvanized aluminum)
  • color B (Toho, marbled opaque light blue/amethyst)
  • 150 seed beads
  • color C (Toho 166DF, matte transparent light tanzanite AB)
  • color D (Toho 504, higher metallic violet iris)
  • color E (Miyuki 1, silver-lined crystal)
  • 20-gauge wire (Parawire, nontarnish silver)
  • 28-gauge wire (Parawire, nontarnish silver)

Instructions

Captured heart earrings_1
Step a
Captured heart earrings 2
Step b
If you don’t fall for the sweet, subtle shape of these earrings, you’ll certainly be taken by their perfect balance of wire loops (so similar to netting!) and beautiful beads.

This is an intermediate-to-advanced wirework project due to the ultra-fine 28-gauge wire, which can kink and break. To avoid this, try not to pull the wire through the indicated beads and loops. Instead, use your fingers to push the wire through. In tight spots, use the tips of your roundnose pliers to push the wire. When you’ve pushed the wire as far as it will go, you can then pull gently from the other side.

Earring frame
1. Cut a 5-in. (13 cm) piece of 20-gauge wire. Using flatnose pliers, grasp the wire so that one edge of the jaws of the pliers is at the center point of the wire. Bend the wire at the center point so that both sides are parallel and even (photo a).

2. Gently pull the sides of the wire to form a V shape. Place your finger, dowel, or mandrel in the V, and bend the wire around it to form a teardrop shape (photo b). The teardrop should measure about 5⁄8 in. (1.6 cm) across and 3⁄4 in. (1.9 cm) tall, and the wire should cross itself directly above the tip of the teardrop.
Captured heart earrings fig 1
Figure 1
Captured heart earrings fig 2
Figure 2
Round 1
1. Cut a 14-in. (36 cm) piece of 28-gauge wire. Leaving a short tail, wrap the wire three times around one side of the earring frame close to where the wire crosses itself.
2. String a color A 110 seed bead, four color C 150 seed beads, a 2.5 x 5 mm SuperDuo bead, and an A. Form the beads into a U-shaped loop, and wrap three times around the earring frame (figure 1, a–b).
3. String an A, and go through the remaining hole of the SuperDuo. String another SuperDuo and two Cs, and go through the remaining hole of the new SuperDuo. String another SuperDuo and an A. Form the beads into a loop, making sure the SuperDuos are nestled together without too much wire showing between them, and wrap three times around the earring frame (b–c).
4. Repeat step 3 twice more (c–d).
5. String an A, and go through the remaining hole of the last SuperDuo. String two Cs, a 4 mm pearl, two Cs, a SuperDuo, and an A. Form the beads into a loop around the bottom of the earring frame, and wrap three times around the frame directly across from the last wraps (d–e).
6. Repeat step 3 three times (e–f).
7. String an A, and go through the remaining hole of the last SuperDuo. String four Cs and an A. Form the beads into a loop, and wrap three times around the earring frame (f–g). Trim both ends of the 28-gauge wire, and press them close to the earring frame. 

Round 2
1. Cut a 10-in. (25 cm) piece of 28-gauge wire. Leaving a short tail, wrap the wire three times around the first loop in “Round 1” between the four Cs and the SuperDuo.
2. Form an unbeaded loop, and wrap twice around the next loop in “Round 1” between the two Cs (figure 2, a–b). 
3. Pick up a color D 150 seed bead, a C, a 3 mm fire-polished bead, a C, and a D. Form the beads into a loop, and wrap twice around the next loop between the two Cs (b–c).
4. Repeat step 2, and then repeat step 3, but wrap twice around the center loop between the first two Cs (c–d).
5. Pick up a SuperDuo, an A, a SuperDuo, an A, and a SuperDuo. Form the beads into a loop around the bottom of the earring, and wrap twice around the center loop between the last two Cs (d–e).
6. Work the second half of this round as a mirror image of the first half (e–f). Trim both ends of the 28-gauge wire.
Captured heart earrings fig 3
Figure 3
Captured heart earrings fig 4
Figure 4

Round 3
1. Cut a 10-in. (25 cm) piece of 28-gauge wire. Leaving a short tail, wrap the wire three times around the second loop in “Round 2” between the last C and D.
2. Form an unbeaded loop, and wrap twice around the next unbeaded loop in “Round 2” (figure 3, a–b).
3. Form an unbeaded loop, and wrap twice around the next loop between the first D and C (b–c). Form another unbeaded loop, and wrap twice around the same loop between the last C and D (c–d).
4. Go through the remaining hole of the nearest SuperDuo. Pick up a C, a color E 150 seed bead, a color B 110 seed bead, an E, and a C. Go through the remaining hole of the next SuperDuo (d–e).
5. Pick up a D, a C, a 3 mm, a C, and a D, and go through the same hole of the same SuperDuo (e–f).
6. Work the second half of this round as a mirror image of the first half (f–g). Trim both ends of the 28-gauge wire.

Round 4
1. Cut an 8-in. (20 cm) piece of 28-gauge wire. Leaving a short tail, wrap the wire three times around the center of the first loop in “Round 3.”
2. Pick up a D, an E, a B, an E, and a D. Form the beads into a loop, and wrap twice around the next unbeaded loop in “Round 3” (figure 4, a–b).
3. Form an unbeaded loop, and wrap twice around the next unbeaded loop (b–c).
4. Form an unbeaded loop, and wrap twice around the next loop between the first SuperDuo and C (c–d). Form another unbeaded loop, and wrap twice around the same loop between the last E and C (d–e).
5. Form an unbeaded loop around the bottom of the earring, and wrap twice around the next loop between the first C and E (e–f).
6. Work the second half of this round as a mirror image of the first half (f–g). Trim both ends of the 28-gauge wire.

Captured heart earrings 3
Step c
Captured heart earrings 4
Step d

Finishing
1. With the tip of your roundnose pliers, make a small loop at one end of the earring frame. Grasp the loop with flatnose pliers, and rotate it to form a spiral (photo c).
2. With your fingers, bend the other end of the earring frame around the spiral. Spiral this end of the wire, and position it above the first spiral (photo d).
3. Open the loop of an earring finding, and attach the top spiral.
4. Make a second earring.

Tip!
If any of the unbeaded loops are too small or become misshapen as you work, use roundnose pliers to re-form them. This also tightens the wraps on either side of the loop.
FIND MORE: wirework , beads , holiday

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