WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
- A couple quick notes: for this project, you will also need a spray matte sealant such as Mod Podge spray matte acrylic sealer. You can find such an item at most art stores. Also, this is not a super quick or easy project, please bear that in mind when beginning. It is very rewarding and you end up with a gorgeous pair of earrings, but it is time consuming and detailed.
- Remember to double these instructions to make your matched set of earrings.
- Using your fingers, rub Gilders Paste in african bronze over the entire front side of 7 gold leaves. Wipe your finger off with a paper towel. Next, using your finger, or a Q-tip as a more precise applicator. rub Gilders Paste in iris blue over the top two sections of your leaves. If your colors are too dark, rub them with a paper towel to remove excess. Let dry for 12 hours. Here is a video showing how to apply Gilders Paste
- I feel it is best to seal items which have been colored with Gilders Paste. I recommend a matte acrylic spray sealer and three light coats works best.
- Cut 2 inches of 24 gauge wire. About 3/4" along the wire, start what would be a wrapped wire loop (see video). Before wrapping, insert the hole at the top of the leaf into the loop. Now continue your wrapping. Right above that wrapping, create another wrapped wire loop and this time when you wrap, cover some of the wrapping from your previous loop holding the leaf. Use the entire length of your wire. This should look a bit messy, this is what we want for the overall esthetic of the earring. Repeat this step for all of your leaves.
- Cut 5 inches of 16 gauge wire. Find a cylindric object in your house which is approximately 1 inch in diameter and is solid (not squishy). I used the top of a craft paint bottle. Press the wire against the cylindric object at the half way point of your wire. Carefully wrap each end of the wire around the circumference until they cross. Remove your wire from the object. You should have a springy round shape to the wire now. Take your round nose pliers and insert one end of the wire into a thicker section of the pliers. Make a simple wire loop, twisting it in the opposite direction of your rounded shape. Keep bending it until the end tip of the wire touches the body of the wire. Do this with the other end of wire, try to make the loops as close to the same size as possible.
- Cut 5 feet of 26 gauge wire (yes, it's a lot!). See this video on how to wire wrap beads around a form. Start your wrapping tight up to the point where one of your end loops meets the main body wire (not inside the loop). Make 5 tight wraps of wire without any beads. When you are done with your 5 wraps, make sure to pull the wire as if you were going to go up and over the wire again. Next, add 1 Toho round 11/0 seed bead in luster black diamond/opaque yellow lined and use your fingers to position the bead along the edge of the wire (see photo). Continue wrapping around the wire until you come back to where the bead is. Make 2 full wraps without beads. Add another Toho, then make 2 wraps without. Continue this pattern until you have 15 Tohos securely wrapped along one side. Make sure to make your 2 last wraps.
- For the next step we will be adding our leaves. You want them to all look like they are in the middle section of your round shape. If your shape is slightly smaller or larger then what I made, feel free to adjust the number of wraps between leaves, this will cinch up or expand space. You will need to just eye-ball it at first.
- On the end of the wire which you did not begin on. Gently open the loop just a little. Slide one of your leaves onto the wire through its wrapped wire loop. Slide it to meet your beadwork. If the leaf is not facing the right direction, remove it and reinsert it on the wire facing the opposite direction or just carefully bend the wire to make it face forward. Make 4 wraps without any beads. Add another leaf, then make 4 more loops. Do this until you have 7 leaves on the wire form. Make two wraps.
- Following the same pattern you used to wrap the first side of wire with Tohos (1 Toho, 2 wraps), wrap the entire length of wire until you reach the end loop/ Make 4 or 5 tight wraps without beads.
- Now we are going to join our 16 gauge wire ends together to make an enclosed space. With your fingers, push both ends with loops together until their edges touch. Take your 26 gauge wire end which you just were using and wrap it tightly around the necks of the loops (it will look like you are wrapping under them). You do not want the loops to overlap each other, just touch their sides together. Wrap a good 8 - 10 times until you feel like the structure is secure. If you can, tuck the end of the wire into some of your wrappings along the back side and pull tight. Cut the wire with flush cutters leaving a tail of 1/4". Using chain nose or flat nose pliers, push that tail into your wire work and snip off any that can not be pushed in.
- Whew! The first and hardest part is done. Good job!
- The next 4 steps will be making the interior wire wrapped form of the earring.
- Cut a 3 inch length of 16 gauge wire. Find a thicker pen such as a sharpie or some other cylindric shape which is approximately 1/2" in diameter. Wrap your wire around this object until the wire ends cross. Using your round nose pliers, make the same size loop as you did for the larger wire round. On one end of the wire, make the loop so that it twists in the opposite direction of the circle (same process as before). For the other end of the wire, make the loop so that it curves in towards the circle, going in the same direction.
- Using your fingers, bend and maneuver the wires so that they cross each other. You want to make an enclosed circle and have the loop which was created in the opposite direction as the circle be up top (almost like a figure 8 between this loop and the large circle) and then have the other loop wrapped around its back and then pulled over to the front, creating an asymmetrical flourish. See the photo.
- Cut 2 feet of 26 gauge wire. Starting on the side which does not have the asymmetrical flourish, make 3 tight wraps. Add 1 Czech fire polished 2-toned 4mm round green/yellow bead. Position it so that it is in the interior of the circle. Make 10 tight wraps without an beads. Add another Czech 4mm 2-toned bead and make another 10 tight wraps. Add 1 Czech fire polished 3mm round bead in olivine, make 1 tight wrap, add another Czech 2-toned 4mm bead, make 1 wrap, add 1 Czech 3mm round olivine, make 2 tight wraps, add 1 3mm round, make 2 tight wraps, and add another 3mm olivine. For the rest of the circle, just make tight wraps until you reach the loops up top. If you find that you do not need to add the last couple beads because you are out of space, do not worry about it, this is an abstract section to the earring. Take your wire and wrap it 3-4 times around the wire necks just below the loops, fastening them together.
- Cut 1 foot of 26 gauge wire. Wrap it tightly 3 or 4 times around the area where the two loops meet. Position the wire so that the end is facing in the same direction as your original wrapping (so clockwise if you are right handed). String 3 Czech fire polished 3mm rounds. Pull your wire over and around your previous wrapping so that you are arching over the first Czech fire polished 2-toned 4mm round. Loop around the wire and then add 3 more 3mm beads and arch over the second 4mm 2-toned bead. Make 3 tight wraps directly over your previous wrapping and cut off any excess wire with flush cutters. Press the round wire end into the wrappings.
- We are now going to connect our two wire wrapped circles together with the smaller one positioned inside the larger one, facing in the same direction.
- Cut 2 feet of 24 gauge wire. See this video on how to make spiral head pins. Using that same principle, make a spiral with 3 or 4 rungs on one end of your wire. Position it over the asymmetrical loop on your smaller circle and then wrap the wire around the neck of the loop at the top of the figure 8 (remember you had two loops to start with towards the top of this smaller circle, an asymmetrical one off to the side and a "top" one that formed the top of a figure 8 to your main body circle shape). Wrap it 5 times. Place the small wire wrapped circle inside the large one. Make it so the top loop of the small one is touching the underside wire of the large circle. Pull your wire through the loop at top of the figure 8, around its side, and up and over one side of the large wire wrapped circle - up near the neck of the large circle's loops. Wrap it several times around, connecting the two wire wrapped circles. Next, take that same wire, pull it back through the figure 8 loop of the small circle and over to the other side of the large wire wrapped circle, again near the wire neck of the loops. Wrap it up and over and around this area several times, securing and centering the small circle within the large. Take the remaining wire and wrap it around the two top loops of the large circle. Cut off any excess wire with flush cutters and tuck the wire end into the bead work.
- Cut 3 pieces of 24 gauge wire, 3 inches long each. Make a spiral (the same way as before) on each end of the wire. Make the spirals as large or as small as you wish. Positions one spiral on the front side of your earring to cover any bulky looking wire. Wrap the non-spiraled part of the wire around the earring top and then come around the front to artfully position the other spiral. For the second piece of wire, make a wrapped wire loop at one end. Place this wrapped wire loop in the center crevice between the two loops on your large circle (this is going to be how we attach the earring hook). Holding it in place, wrap the wire in and out of the loops and anywhere you can to secure it. With the last bit of wire left after doing this, make a spiral and artfully position it to cover anything you don't want seen.
- For the 3rd and final piece of wire, make a spiral on one end and position it in a pleasing manner on the earring, covering any unsightly bulky wrappings. Secure this by weaving in and around the top area, loops etc, and then make a spiral at the end and press this someplace that looks nice.
- To attach the earring hook, open the loop at the bottom of the hook, the same way you would open a jump ring, and link it to the wrapped wire loop at the top of your earring. Close up the loop.
- All Done! Enjoy your lovely new earrings!
(scroll down for purchase options)
- JSK-0084 - Toho Round Seed Beads 11/0 246 'Luster Black Diamond/Opaque Yellow Lined' 8 Gram Tube
Project uses 1 tube. You will need 1 package.
- BCP-33101 - Czech Fire Polished Glass Beads 3mm Round Olivine Copper Lined (50)
Project uses 20 pieces. You will need 1 package.
- BCP-34101 - Czech Fire Polished Glass Two Toned Beads 4mm Round Green Yellow (50)
Project uses 6 pieces. You will need 1 package.
- WNT-1633 - Beadsmith Tarnish Resistant Gold Color Copper Wire Heavy 16 Gauge 8 Yards (7.3 Meters)
Project uses 2 inches. You will need 1 package.
- WNT-2433 - Beadsmith Tarnish Resistant Gold Color Copper Wire 24 Gauge 30 Yards (27.4 Meters)
Project uses 5 inches. You will need 1 package.
- WNT-2633 - Beadsmith Tarnish Resistant Gold Color Copper Wire 26 Gauge 34 Yards (31 Meters)
Project uses 5 inches. You will need 1 package.
- FEA-02060 - Earring Hooks, French Wire with Coil 19mm Long, 4 Pieces, 14K Gold Filled
Project uses 2 pieces. You will need 1 package.
- PND-3456 - 22K Gold Plated Stamping Textured Long Leaf Charms 28mm (20)
Project uses 14 pieces. You will need 1 package.
- XTL-1101 - Baroque Art Gilders Paste - Highlight Metal, Wood and More! 'African Bronze' 1 oz
Project uses 1 piece. You will need 1 package.
- XTL-1106 - Baroque Art Gilders Paste - Highlight Metal, Wood and More! Iris Blue 1 oz
Project uses 1 piece. You will need 1 package.
- XTL-5514 - Beadsmith Jewelry Fine Round Nose Micro Pliers
- XTL-5511 - Beadsmith Jeweller's Micro Pliers Chain Nose Flat Nose
- XTL-5600 - Xuron Sharp Flush Cutter Pliers - Wire/Soft Flex