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Tempting treasures earrings

Shape wire frame earrings for pearls and gemstones
TemptingtreasuresHero
Shape simple wire frames, and fill them with pearls and gemstone beads to make earrings that overflow with rich abundance.

SUPPLIES

pair of earrings 2 1⁄2 x 1⁄2 in. (6.4 x 1.3 cm)

  • 12 in. (30 cm) 18-gauge wire
  • 4 in. (10 cm) 22-gauge wire
  • 6 ft. (1.8 m) 26-gauge wire
  • assorted beads, such as:
    • 2 x 3 mm gemstone rondelles
    • 3 mm pearls
    • 4 x 6 mm pillows/rectangles
  • chainnose pliers
  • roundnose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • bench block
  • hammer
  • file or cup burr
  • marker

INSTRUCTIONS

Frames

TemptingtreasuresA
PHOTO A
TemptingtreasuresB
Photo B

1. Flush cut 6 in. (15 cm) of 18-gauge wire. With a marker, make marks 3⁄4 in. (1.9 cm), 2 3⁄4 in. (7 cm), 3 1⁄4 in (8.3 cm), and 5 1⁄4 in. (13.3 cm) from one end (PHOTO A).

2. Using roundnose pliers, make a loop on each end, making sure they face the same way (PHOTO B).

TemptingtreasuresCside
PHOTO C
TemptingtreasuresD
PHOTO D
3. Using chainnose or flatnose pliers, make a right-angle bend at each mark to form a rectangular shape, making sure the loops are on the outside. If the loops don’t overlap, trim and re-shape them as needed (PHOTO C).

4.
Place the frame on the bench block, and hammer it to slightly flatten and texture the wire (PHOTO D). Don’t hammer the loops when they are overlapped. Instead, separate them, hammer them individually, and squeeze them back together.

5. Repeat steps 1–4 to make another frame.

Embellishment
TemptingtreasuresE
PHOTO E
TemptingtreasuresF
PHOTO F
1. Cut 3 ft. (.9 m) of 26-gauge wire, and wrap it several times around the top-left edge of a frame (PHOTO E).

2.
String enough gemstone rondelles to reach the other side of the frame, and make several wraps (PHOTO F). Repeat this step with the desired beads, altering the number of wraps as needed to match the height of each row of beads.
TemptingtreasuresG
PHOTO G
3. At the bottom, if you wish to add a couple of vertical beads (as in the sample earrings), first make a spot for them: Stop adding rows when the space remaining is the same height as the beads you want to add. Attach a 3 mm pearl to the side of the frame by stringing a pearl on the wire, and wrapping it once or twice around the frame. Repeat to add another pearl in the corner, but wrap the wire around the bottom edge of the frame several times. Next, string the bead that you want to position vertically, and wrap the wire between two adjacent beads in the previous row (PHOTO G). String another vertical bead, being sure to position it correctly in the remaining space (bend the 26-gauge wire horizontally to position the bead properly), and then wrap the wire around the bottom of the frame.

4. Trim and tuck the wire tail, pressing it in close to the frame.

5. Repeat steps 1–4 to embellish the other frame, making it a mirror image of the first.

Ear wires and assembly
TemptingtreasuresTEMPLATEside
TEMPLATE
1. Cut 2 in. (5 cm) of 22-gauge wire, and make a tiny loop at one end. Use roundnose pliers to bend the wire to match the template. Place the ear wire on the bench block, and use a hammer to slightly flatten and texture the wire. Use a file or cup burr to smooth the end of the wire. Repeat to make another ear wire.

2. Open the loop of an earwire, pass it through the two loops at the top of an earring frame, and close the loop.

3. Repeat steps 1–2 to complete the other earring.

Go Wild!
TemptingtreasuresOption2
TemptingtreasuresOption
You don’t have to restrict yourself to rectangles and straight lines. Flex your creativity to make freeform earrings, keeping these guidelines in mind:
TemptingtreasuresH
PHOTO H
TemptingtreasuresI
PHOTO I
  • Draw a shape with one continuous line to represent your wire, and then bend your wire to match the shape (PHOTO H).
  • Fill your shapes completely or partially. Begin filling by wrapping 26-gauge wire along one side or the bottom of the shape. String one or more beads, slide the bead(s) up to the previous wraps, and make two wraps around the frame (PHOTO I). Repeat along the inner edge of the frame, picking up one or more beads each time.
TemptingtreasuresJ
PHOTO J
TemptingtreasuresK
PHOTO K
  • Once the first “row” is established, work the next row in the same manner but wrap the 26-gauge wire around a wire in the previous row (PHOTO J).
  • To add a drop bead or other top-drilled bead where desired, string the bead, slide it up to the previous wraps, and make a wrap around the frame or other internal wire. Now make several wraps around the bottom of the bead (PHOTO K), ending with one or two additional wraps around the frame or internal wire. It’s okay if these wraps look somewhat “organic” compared to the more regular wraps made around the frame.

Have a question or comment? Please contact us at editor@FacetJewelry.com.

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