Monday, December 22, 2014

Day 11 - Twelve Days of Christmas 2014 - Putting on the Glitz!

Are you rushed for time and still needing a great pair of earrings for the festive season?

Well, for Day 11 of the Twelve Days of Christmas I have a pair that are glam enough for your Christmas celebrations yet they are sleek and modern, making them perfect for ringing in the New Year. And the best thing? They are quick and easy to make!

Here's what you'll need to make your Putting on the Glitz! earrings:
  • 14 4mm Preciosa Aurum bicones
  • 20 4mm Preciosa AB Crystal bicones
  • 2 gold filigree 4-petal bead caps
  • white nylon tube mesh (search "nylon mesh tubing" on Google - I found this link on Artfire which is similar)
  • 2 gold foldover cord ends
  • 2 gold head pins
  • 2 gold earring wires
Tools: chain nose pliers, round nose pliers, flush cutters, scissors.

Tip: Nylon Mesh Tubing will fray and unravel a bit as you work with it so always allow a little more than you need for your project.
Cut an 11cm (4 ⅜") length of tube mesh and insert three Aurum bicones into the opening.

Hold the tube half way along with one hand and the bead end with the other. Push your hands together to compress the mesh and the beads will move down the tube.

Centre them in the mesh.

Insert two AB Crystal bicones and one Aurum bicone into the tube and move them along to the centre beads.

Repeat at the other end.

Add two more AB crystals and one more Aurum crystal to each end. Insert one AB crystal on each end.

Line up the two end crystals in the tube and trim the mesh to 10mm (⅜").

Lay the two ends into the cord end, side by side.

Fold the flap down and hold it in position with the chain nose pliers. Fold the two side flaps towards the centre.

Flatten the flaps with the chain nose pliers to make sure the mesh is secure.

Open the loop of the eye pin and hook on the cord end.

String on the bead cap. Grip the eye pin above the bead cap and bend it sideways above the pliers to create a neck.

Use the round nose pliers to create a loop and then wrap the tail around the neck two or three times. Trim the excess close to the neck.

Attach the loop to the earring wire and then make a second earring to match.

It's always great to have versatile jewellery in your collection and this pair is just that - not only will they make great Christmas and New Year earrings but they are dressy enough for a night out on the town or for a special occasion. Why not switch up the colours and create your own look!

There is just one more pair of earrings to go in this year's Twelve Days of Christmas Earrings Extravaganza. Make sure you check back on Christmas Eve to see what they are.

'Til then......

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Day 10 - Twelve Days of Christmas - Snowflake Earrings

It's the middle of summer in Australia and in my little corner of the world, it's on the rather hot side. But that doesn't stop me from dreaming about the romantic notion of experiencing a white Christmas one day. With that thought in mind, I was inspired to create snowflake earrings for Day 10's Twelve Days of Christmas earrings.

These earrings are lovely and lacey and even look a little bit like filigree when you're wearing them but they are a bit on the challenging side because of the detail. Making them is fiddly but if you've got a few hours up your sleeve and you have patience, then this is a challenge worth accepting.

Here's what you'll need:
  • 28g silver wire
  • 2 x 5mm clear crystal bicones
  • 24 x 4mm Preciosa Crystal AB bicones
  • 24 x 2.5mm Preciosa Crystal AB bicones
  • 2 x 8mm silver rings with internal diameter of 6mm (
  • 2 x 4mm silver jump rings
  • 12 links of 3x2mm silver oval cable chain
  • 2 silver earring wires 
Tools: chain nose pliers, round nose pliers, nylon jaw pliers, flush cutters, ruler.

Tip: Take care not to overtwist the wires in this project - 28g wire is easily broken if it's overworked. If it should happen to break, end the wire off by wrapping it around the ring a couple of times to secure it and then start with a new wire and anchor it the same way.

Cut 1m (39") wire. Leave a 75mm (3") tail  and wrap the wire around the ring twice to secure it. It should start and finish on top.

String the 5mm crystal and wrap it twice around the opposite side of the ring.

Bend the wire 1cm (3/8") from the ring and string a 4mm bicone. For a symmetrical snowflake, measure the length of this long stem on each of the six stems you create.

Push the bead up to the bend in the wire and bend it where it exits from the bead.

Bend the wires so that they follow the contour of the bead and then pinch them together. Whilst still pinching with one hand, twist with the other to start the twist.

After one or two twists, it will look something like this. Hold the two wires together on this "stem" where you want the twist to stop - I made it about 4mm (1/6") from the ring - and continue twisting it. This will tighten the twist.

It should look like this.

String a 2.5mm crystal and position it at the same height as the 4mm crystal. Bend the wire on both sides of it and then pinch them together as before. Hold the two wires together at the point where the  twisted wire of the first bead ends.

Twist the wires together.

String another 2.5mm bead as before and twist it into position.

Wrap the wire twice around the ring to anchor the first stem in place.

Add a 4mm crystal to the wire. Position it so that the hole sits at the point where the twist of the 2.5mm begins. Pinch and twist as before. Wrap the wire around the ring twice and continue adding beads in this pattern until you have added 6 long stems and 6 short stems.

 Tip: If you are finding it fiddly to pinch the wires, use chain nose pliers to grip them and then twist!

Make sure you have anchored the wire and then return the wire back to the start point but making sure it is on the opposite face of the ring.

Twist the two wires together .

Use chain nose pliers to create a neck.

Create a loop.......

and wrap the wire around the neck two or three times to secure. Trim away close to the neck - just take care not to cut the wrong wire!

Separate the chain into two 6-link lengths and set one aside for the other earring. Open the jump ring and hook on the wrapped loop and the chain.

Make a second earring to match.

These delicate earrings glisten and catch the light as you move - a very pretty, sparkly pair of Christmas earrings.

Join me again on Monday for Day 11's earrings - something that will take you from your Christmas festivities right through to your New Year's parties!

'Til then........

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 9 - O, Christmas Tree!

I've seen some magnificently decorated Christmas trees coming through my Facebook stream over the past few weeks - each one has it's own unique charm and personality. So today, I've created another version of Christmas tree earrings, called simply, O, Christmas Tree!

I think you'll agree that the three versions I've made each have a pesonality of their own too and they couldn't be more different from each other: leather trees, wire wrapped trees and now, filigree trees. Filled with glowing red beads and edged with sparkling gold crystals, these are statement earrings for those who dare to be bold - they measure a neck-tickling 7cm (2 ¾") from the top of the ear wire to the bottom of the basket!

Here's what you'll need to make these:
  • 2 x 35x82mm diamond-shaped filigree stamping in brass or gold (
  • 2 x 20x25mm copper eletroplated transparent red Christmas tree beads (similar item on etsy)
  • 2 x 9.5x10mm ruby table cut electroplated beads (Bead Gallery from Michael's)
  • 24 x 6mm Aurum Preciosa bicones
  • 2 x 10x8mm brass or gold filigree basket bead caps 
  • 2 x 6mm gold star beads
  • 2 x 4mm gold cube beads
  • 28 gauge gold wire
  • 2 x gold eye pins
  • 2 x gold head pins
  • 2 x brass or gold eye pins
  • 2 brass or gold ear wires
Tools: chain nose pliers; round nose pliers; bail making pliers; nylon jaw pliers, flush cutters
Other: drill with 1 or 2mm drill bit or metal punch; block of wood.

Place the filigree on the block of wood and drill a hole in the centre.

Place the narrow jaw of the bail making pliers in the centre of the filigree and bend both sides down. Try to keep the two halves aligned.

Finish the shaping with round nose pliers to make the base narrower.

It should look like this when finished.

Insert the brass (or gold) eye pin through the bottom of the filigree and string on the two red beads.

Centre them in the Christmas tree and then bend the tail of the eye pin over the top of the filigree.

Then bend it so that it sits flush against the filigree to keep it out of the way whilst you complete the next step.

Cut 50cm wire and insert the wire from the inside first, through the hole closest to the bend in the filigree. Wrap the wire three or four times around the edge.

String on a bicone and then insert the wire through the corresponding hole on the other side of the filigree, from the inside out. Take care not to kink the wire as you feed it through.

Feed the wire back through to the first side again (from the inside), taking care not to kink it or break it. All your wraps will be over the outside edge first, through the middle of the two filigrees and then outside through the corresponding hole (from the inside). Continue adding beads on every second pass until you have added 6 beads.

Straighten the wire by running it through the nylon jaw pliers from time to time.

After the 6th bead has been added, bend the tail of the eye pin back to 90° and wrap the wire around it two or three times to anchor the eye pin.

Turn a simple loop on the eye pin.

Continue wrapping the wire around the filigree, adding beads to every second pass. Once six beads have been added, wrap the wire around the last hole three or four times.

Trim both end wires close to the filigree.

String the bead cap and cube bead on the head pin. Bend the head pin as close to the cube as you can. Trim to 8mm (5/16").

Turn a small simple loop.

Open the eye pin at the bottom of the Christmas tree and attach the basket.

String the star bead on the gold eye pin and turn a simple loop.

Open the earring wire and attach the star. Make a second earring to match.

Although these Christmas trees are true statement earrings, the laciness of the filigree gives them an airy and ornate feeling without looking too heavy. But if you feel that these are too big for you, look for a smaller diamond filigree and adjust the size of the beads you use inside it - you'll still get the same effect, just on a smaller scale.

So, we have nine pairs down and just three to go in the 2014 Twelve Days of Christmas Earrings Extravaganza. Have I run out of ideas yet?

Nope! I've still got a few more up my sleeve. Join me again in a couple of days for Day 10.

'Til then....


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