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Falling leaves earrings

Wrap and weave fine-gauge wire on leaf-shaped frames, and then embellish them to create fabulous fall earrings.


Pair of earrings 3 in. (76 mm)

  • Fine-silver wire
  • 10 in. (25.4 cm) 20-gauge (0.8 mm), round 
  • 90 in. (2.5 m) 26-gauge (0.4 mm), round 
  • 60 in. (1.5 m) 28-gauge (0.32 mm), round 
  • 13 in. (33 cm) 20-gauge (0.8 mm) 14k gold-filled wire, round 
  • 2 12 x 16 mm briolettes (yellow quartz)
  • 80 2 x 3 mm rondelles (tourmaline)
  • Chainnose or flatnose pliers
  • Roundnose pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Butane or MAAP gas torch
  • Cross-locking tweezers
  • Files
  • Dowel or mandrel
  • Steel bench block or anvil
  • Chasing hammer
  • Liver of sulfur
  • Polishing cloth
  • Tumbler with steel shot and dish soap


Falling leaves earrings a
Photo a
1. Cut two 5-in. (12.7 cm) pieces of 20-gauge fine-silver wire. Ball up one end of each wire (PHOTO A).
Falling leaves earrings b
Photo b
2. Using roundnose pliers, make a simple loop at the other end of each wire (PHOTO B).
Falling leaves earrings c
Photo c
3. With each wire: Measure about 1 1⁄2 in. (38 mm) from the loop, and make a 180° bend with chainnose or flatnose pliers. Make another 180° bend about 1 1⁄2 in. (38 mm) from the first bend (PHOTO C),
Falling leaves earrings d
Photo d
and shape the wire into a leaf by gently pulling on the sides (PHOTO D).
Falling leaves earrings e
Photo e
Grasp the balled end of the wire, and shape it to create a gently curved “vein” (PHOTO E). Set the leaf frames aside.
Falling leaves earrings f
Photo f
4. Cut two 4 1⁄4-in. (10.8 cm) pieces of 20-gauge gold-filled wire. With each wire, use roundnose pliers to create a curved “vine” of seven graduated loops, with the middle loop being the largest and the outer loops being the smallest (PHOTO F). 
Falling leaves earrings g
Photo g
Check that the looped vines fit within the curves of the leaf frames and that the shapes mirror each other (PHOTO G). Set the vines aside.
Falling leaves earrings h
Photo h
5. Cut 45 in. (1.1 m) of 26-gauge (wrapping) wire. Leaving a short tail, position the wrapping wire below the simple loop at the top of a leaf frame. Join the bottom of the loop to the adjacent bend just above the vein with a few wraps (PHOTO H). End the join by wrapping once around the outer edge of the frame.
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