Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Twelve Days of Christmas Earrings Volume 5..... PLUS - Modern Splendour - a Free Project!

By the time the end of November rolls around, you can feel the excitement and anticipation of Christmas building. With the countdown on 'til Christmas, there's no time to waste in getting your Christmas outfits organised. And that means planning your jewellery as well.

And that's where my latest collection of Christmas earrings can help - 12 fabulously festive earring designs presented in a downloadable ebook - Twelve Days of Christmas Earrings Volume 5.
Twelve Days of Christmas Earrings ebook - Vol 5 front cover
As with past collections, these designs are truly unique and absolutely charming - the perfect way to dress up a holiday outfit or to put some Christmas spirit into your everyday clothes. This year's designs use filigrees, wire wrapping and even leather, along with a variety of construction methods to satisfy both the beginner and more advanced jewellery maker. There are Christmas trees, snow flakes, ornaments and stars. There is even a snowglobe-style design in this year's collection - something for every celebration that you're likely to attend. The ebook is available for $6.

Free Christmas Earrings Project

As a bonus for my readers, I have an extra design to kick off your Christmas crafting. It's a quick and simple project you can be wearing in around 20 minutes.
Tall slender Christmas tree earrings

Here's what you'll need to make the Modern Splendour Christmas Tree Earrings:

String the beads on the head pin in the order shown.

Grip the head pin as close to the star bead as you can and turn a 90° angle above the pliers.

Wrap the wire around the top jaw of the round nose pliers as far as you can and then remove it and place it on the bottom jaw as show in the photo.

Continue bending the wire around the jaw until you have formed a complete loop. The tail end should cross over the front of the neck.

Grip the tail end with the chain nose pliers and wrap it neatly around the neck until all the slack has been taken up on the head pin.

Trim the wire as close to the neck as you can.

Slip the loop onto the earring wire.

To close it, press the ball against the earring wire, letting it go slightly off centre and past the wire.

Use pliers to pull it back into alignment with the earring wire and the gap will be fully closed.

Make a matching earring with the remaining components.

If you liked this charming design, then you'll love the 2016 Twelve Days of Christmas Earrings collection.
Edition 5 Twelve Days of Christmas Earrings ebook
Take a look at the 12 designs included in the book here. For just $6AUD (that's around $4-50USD at the current exchange rate) you'll get a pdf with clear photos and instructions for the 12 new designs. It can be downloaded and saved to your device or printed as a hard copy. Get your copy now!

Pin this Project!
Slender Christmas Tree earrings inspiration sheet

Slender Christmas Tree earrings project sheet

'Til next time.....

If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

How to Make Elfin Earring Wires Like a PRO

There are times when you want your handmade earrings to have a more sleek and modern look and using elfin earring wires (aka elven or almond earring wires) can do just that. It's easy to source shepherd hooks or french earring wires but finding elfin earring wires is a little more difficult so this tutorial will show you how to quickly and easily make your own. And the beauty is, you can make them in any colour or size to suit your design.

So, grab your jewellery making pliers and let's get started. Here's what you'll need:
  • Two 41mm eye pins
  • Flat nose pliers
  • A ring mandrel (or other round form to shape the earrings - a 3/4" diameter bottle works well)
  • Cup burr tool or a metal file
  • Permanent marker
  • Ruler
  • Baby wipe or methylated spirits (denatured alcohol, rubbing alcohol or similar)
Place the eye pin around the outside of the ring mandrel with the loop sitting perpendicular to the mandrel. You will need to press it firmly around the form so that it is evenly curved. Repeat with the second eye pin.
Jewellery wire being formed around a ring mandrel

Making both ear wires at the same time will help you make them the same shape.
Two cureved eye pins

Once you've curved both the eye pins, place them on the ruler and find the centre. Place a mark at this point.
Marking the bend line on the curved eye pin with a permanent marker

Grip the eye pin on the tail side of the mark....
Bending the curved eye pin at the marked position

.....and use your thumb to bend the loop side of the eye pin downwards to form the hook of the earring wire. Repeat this step with the second eye pin.
Curved eye pin after bending at the marked position

If the tail end of the earring wire is rough, file it smooth with the cup burr tool or file. You don't want the end to be sharp.

Wipe away the marker with the baby wipe and you're done!
Pair of handmade elfin earring wires

Experiment with longer and shorter eye pins and bend them at different points to make either a longer tail (photo 1) or a longer loop (photo 2). It totally changes the look of your earrings! 
Gold filigree and crystal rondelle elfin earrings
Teal-coloured enamel earrings on a handmade elfin shaped earring wire.

For yet another look, use a head pin instead of an eye pin and thread the beads on before you bend the wire around the mandrel. This is a really clean and classy look.
Cream pearl drops on an elfin earring wire.
Or try a combination of the two: thread a bead on an eye pin, curve it into an ear wire shape and then add a dangle to the bottom loop. 
Amber glass bead drop earrings on elfin earring wire.

You can even make them with 20 gauge wire instead of eye pins.  Just create your own eye pin by forming the loop at the end of the wire. Cut it to the desired length and create the almond earring wire in the same way as above. 
Gold and emerald earrings with green briolette drop.

And for a really eye-catching look, try using fun, bright coloured wire – it’s guaranteed to get your earrings noticed!

So, for a really up-to-the-minute look for your earrings, why not have a go at making your own elfin or almond-shaped earring wires - they'll add an architectural look to your designs whilst eliminating that pesky earring wire from poking into your neck.

See another project featuring elfin earring wires:
Ombré Blossom Cluster Earrings

Pin this Technique!
How to make elfin earring wires tutorial sheet.

'Til next time.....

If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs