Dangle earrings

All posts in the Dangle earrings category

5. How to Make a Wrapped Loop

Published April 7, 2012 by Jewelie Dee

In Post 3, you learned how to make a simple loop. When I first learned to make a simple loop, I couldn’t wait to make a charm bracelet. I made all the dangles out of head pins and added them to a chain. It was not too long before the dangles started falling off. I had used a fairly thin headpin, and the wire just could not stand up to the wear and tear.

Wrapped loop

SOLUTION: Use wrapped loops instead of simple loops for constructions that are going to take a significant amount of wear and tear, or if you are going to be using wire thinner than 20 gauge (see the Tips page at the top of this blog for wire gauges).

Wrapped loops are much more secure, even though they are more tedious to create. After you have made a number of them, they become second nature and can be executed fairly quickly. The most difficult part is learning how to hold the wire as you wrap it. Practice, practice, practice (and use cheap wire for your practice).

TIP: The second most difficult part is deciding how much wire to use.  As you practice, measure the wire before creating the wrap and then keep track of the lengths of wire that are most successful for a particular use.

Here is a link for how to make a wrapped loop, courtesy of ArtBeads.com. The tutorial includes both a video and photos.

WARNING: When connecting the wrapped loop to another component (such as a charm bracelet), do not forget to attach the loop to the component before wrapping the wire. Otherwise, you will have to use a jump ring to attach your wrapped loop! The photos at the ArtBeads link have a section called Attaching a Wrapped Loop, which explains this process.

Here is another tutorial for making a wrapped loop, from TheBeadsKnees.com.uk.

Have fun, and as always, if you have any questions, feel free to post them in the Comments.


4. Make Your Own Simple Ear Wires

Published April 3, 2012 by Jewelie Dee

Next to jewelry making, saving money is my favorite hobby! Although ready-made jewelry components like ear wires are easy to find, you will want to purchase wire and make your own if you need a quantity. By doing this, you will save about half the cost.

I hope one day to learn the skill of making leverbacks (see photo), but for now creating a variety of French hooks and kidney wires satisfies me. This week, I am going to point you to a tutorial for making your own simple French hook ear wires.  For those who love gadgets, I am also recommending a great tool to make mass production easier.

TUTORIAL. Barb Macy’s excellent tutorial for making the simplest of ear wires uses a pencil as a mandrel. I really like these because they are so streamlined that they do not detract from the design of my earrings. See Barb’s tutorial here.

Easy Ear Wire™ by MP Products

GADGET. If you are a Tool Girl (or Guy) like me, you’ll love the Easy Ear Wire Maker. This gadget is fun to use and easy on your hands, especially if you plan to make a large number of ear wires. YouTube has a great video on how to use the Easy Ear Wire Maker here.

This gadget is easy to find on the internet but the price varies widely across suppliers. Try not to pay more than $20.00. Type “Easy Ear Wire Maker” in the search field of your browser and comparison shop before you buy.

TIP:  Some people (like me) lose a lot of earrings when they wear French hooks. To prevent this heartbreak, buy rubber ear nuts (also called earring stoppers) and use them every time you wear your French hook earrings. They work great, and they are available at almost all jewelry suppliers. 

3. How to Make a Simple Loop

Published March 24, 2012 by Jewelie Dee

Nothing seems to befuddle beginning jewelry makers more than making a well-executed simple loop. These loops are essential to earring design. This first photo show’s what I mean by a simple loop:

This loop is not quite complete, however, because it is not completely closed. Look at the diagram below. It shows how a simple loop creates a dangle for an earring. Notice how round the loop is, how it is centered above the bead (and centered on the straight part of the head pin), and how snugly closed the loop is. This is a well-executed simple loop.

There are many videos on the internet about making simple loops! An easy to understand technique is at this link, listed as Techniques 3 and 4. Look at the video and then look at the techniques. Then grab your round-nosed pliers and a head pin or a straight piece of wire, and try it yourself.

TIP: Once you have made a loop of the size you like, use a permanent marker to mark your pliers head at the point at which you made the loop. Then all of your future loops will be the same size!

2. Make a Simple Pair of Earrings

Published March 17, 2012 by Jewelie Dee

Since I do not have my new camera yet, I thought I’d give you a couple of links to very good videos for making your first set of earrings. Studio Baboo created the first video. See it here.

Here is a link to another video showing the same type of simple earring. This one is by Amy Surman of Oxford Bead Shop.

To access the videos, be sure to click on the links above and not on the screen shots below. They look like videos, but they are just photos so you can see what the earrings will look like. Have fun!