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Swinging wire and crystal earrings

Wirework and crystals make large yet light earrings
Swinging wire and crystal earrings Figure 1
FIGURE 1

Build loops upon loops of monochromatic crystals and beads for flashy earrings. You can also try one as a pendant!

SUPPLIES

earrings 

  • bicone crystals
    • 2 8mm, color A
    • 2 6mm, color B
    • 32 4mm, color A
    • 24 4mm, color B
  • 3mm fire-polished beads
    • 46 color C (to match color A)
    • 22 color D (to match color B)
    • 34 color E (accent color)
  • size 11/0 seed or cylinder beads (all to match color A)
    • 5g color F, matte
    • 5g color G, metallic
    • 5g color H, transparent or silver-lined
  • 13 in. (33cm) 22-gauge sterling silver wire, half-hard
  • 4 yd. (3.7m) 28-gauge sterling silver wire, dead-soft
  • 2 2-in (5cm) sterling silver head pins
  • 2 4–6mm soldered jump rings
  • pair of earring findings
  • chainnose pliers
  • roundnose pliers
  • wire cutters

INSTRUCTIONS

When complete, these earrings have a distinct front and back. To help you identify the front while you’re working, bend the end loops of the U-shaped base so the openings face toward the back. This will also give the finished earrings a cleaner look.
Swinging wire and crystal earrings Photo A
PHOTO A
Swinging wire and crystal earrings Photo B
PHOTO B
OUTER ROUND

1. Cut two 6 1⁄2-in. (16.5cm) pieces of wire. Set one piece aside for the second earring. Use roundnose pliers to form a loop on each end of the wire. Gently bend the wire into a U, making sure that the loops both face the same direction (PHOTO A).

2. Cut a 1-yd. (.9m) piece of 28-gauge wire. Secure the wire by wrapping it tightly four or five times around the left side of the U-shaped base, next to the loop (FIGURE 1, point a).

3. Pick up a color G 11/0 seed bead, a color B 4mm bicone crystal, and a G. Holding the beads in a small loop next to the base wire, wrap the working wire tightly around the base twice (a–b and PHOTO B).

4. Pick up a color F 11/0, a color A 4mm bicone, and an F, and wrap the working wire around the base twice as before (b–c).

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have 23 beaded loops around the outside of the base and have reached the end loop on the right side. Wrap the wire tightly around the base four or five times to match the other end (c–d). Do not trim.

 


Swinging wire and crystal earrings Photo C
PHOTO C
INNER ROUND 1

1. Continuing with the 28-gauge wire, pick up a color H 11/0, a 3mm color C fire-polished bead, and an H. Wrap once around the base, aligning the loop of crystals with the corresponding loop on the outer round (d–e and PHOTO C).

2. Pick up a G, a C, and a G, and wrap the wire around the base as before (e–f).

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you have completed 23 inner loops that line up with the outer loops (f–g). Tightly wrap the wire around the base several times to secure it at point g, and trim.


Swinging wire and crystal earrings Photo D
PHOTO D
INNER ROUND 2

1. Cut 1 ft. (30cm) of 28-gauge wire. Secure the end with two or three wraps on the third inner loop, at point h.

2. Pick up an H, a color E fire-polished bead, and an H. With the working wire, go through the next loop of the first inner round, front to back, positioning the wire between the C and lower G. Squeeze the working wire at that point to establish the new loop (h–i and PHOTO D).

3. Repeat step 2 until you have 17 loops total (i–j). Wrap tightly at point j two or three times, and trim. 


INNER ROUND 3

1. Cut 1 ft. (30cm) of 28-gauge wire. Secure the end at point k with two or three wraps as before.

2. Pick up an F, a G, a color D fire-polished bead, a G, and an F. Secure the working wire to the previous round, as in step 2 of Inner Round 2 (k–l).

3. Repeat step 2 to form 11 loops in total (l–m). Wrap tightly at point m two or three times, and trim.


INNER RING 4

1. Cut 1 ft. (30cm) of 28-gauge wire. Secure the end at point n with two or three wraps.

2. Pick up an H, an A, and an H, and secure the working wire as before (n–o). Repeat three times for a total of four evenly spaced loops at the bottom center of the base (o–p). Secure the end at point p with two or three wraps, and trim.


Swinging wire and crystal earrings Photo E
PHOTO E
Swinging wire and crystal earrings Photo F
PHOTO F
ASSEMBLY

1. Using a head pin, pick up an F, an 8mm bicone, an E, a G, a 6mm bicone, a G, an E, an A, an E, and an H. Make the first half of a wrapped loop (PHOTO E). Attach the loop to a soldered jump ring, and finish the wraps.

2. Open one loop of the base, attach the soldered jump ring, and close the loop. Repeat with the other loop, making sure the dangle hangs in the middle (PHOTO F).

3. Open the loop of an earring finding, attach the earring, and close the loop. Make a second earring to match the first.

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