How to make a beaded chandelier earring

Chandelier earrings are beautiful and often look like they are quite expensive. However, the truth is that they can be hand-made by anyone. These earrings can be hand-made by people with a skill level of beginner through intermediate and take between half an hour to an hour to complete.

The tools and materials that needed for this project include wire, beads, a jig, flatnose or chainnose pliers, roundnose pliers, an anvil and a mallet.

The wire should be 20 or 21-gauge for the ear wire and chandelier frames and 24-gauge to attach the dangles if wrapped loops are used. If the dangles are attached by simple eye loops, thicker wire such as 20 or 22-gauge is used. Some earrings are made using clear-coated copper wire, which is considered dead soft, with a combination of square and round sterling silver wire, which is considered full hard.

Dead Soft wire makes a perfect shape easier to achieve because it is extremely bendable, but will not hold its shape so should not be used for clasps or places where the shape will need to be held. The full hard wire holds its shape, is great for wire wrapping, and clasps. Square wire really shines well and makes beautiful chandelier frames.

Beads used when making chandelier earrings actually depend on the size of the chandelier frame. 20-gauge wire can carry a 4mm bead. Other sizes that are commonly used are 3mm and 6mm. Beads can also range from Swarouski crystals to glass pearls.

Jigs are usually a clear matrix of holes that has pins to insert into it. This is used to mark off the pattern for the earrings so that the wire can be bent to match the pattern.

Flatnose or chain nose pliers are used to attach pieces of the earrings to each other. Roundnose pliers are used to making the loops to attach the dangles. An anvil and a mallet are optional tools that can be used to hammer the ear wires without hardening or flatten the chandelier component.

It is a good idea to practice the wire working skills, such as making loops and using a jig, needed for this project, especially if the artisan is a beginner. Also, all of the findings, (parts of the earrings), can be bought if that is the route that is chosen instead of making all the findings personally.

The first step is to select the beads and set up the jig to create the chandelier frame, such as a diamond or whatever design has been decided upon. Set the beads that have been selected around the design so the space they take up can be determined.

Now begin wrapping the wire around the pins of the jig from the top and work around the entire design, ending by wrapping around the top once again. Pull the wire as it is wrapped and push it down toward the pins between the loops, keeping consistent tension on the wire for a nice, even shape. Cut the wire; remove the chandelier from the jig, then stretch the frame, using fingertips, so the frame will fit into an ear wire loop. An earwire loop must be made large enough to accommodate the number of loops that the design calls for. Now attach the chandelier to the ear wire.

It is now time to place the beads on the loops. If using headpins form a loop above the bead using the round nose pliers, open the loop and slip onto the chandelier loop. Use flat-nose pliers, close the loop, and repeat the procedure to string the remaining beads. Another way to string beads would be to use a spool of 24-gauge wire and thread the beads onto the wire. Form wrapped loops around the chandelier loops, below the beads, or even make spirals or bend the wire up so that is it invisible under the beads.

Attach the top dangle to the earwire finding, not to the chandelier frame. The dangle hangs from the earwire between the two loops of the chandelier. Attach the dangle to the front loop of the chandelier; be aware that the dangle may not swing freely, especially if square wire is used. After attaching the dangle, cut the wire and use a finger to mark the location of the bottom loop. Making the dangles for both earrings at the same time will help ensure that they are the same length.

To finish this project, create the second earring, the same as the first one. Use a jig, or the round nose plies, make the chandelier frame. Attach the dangles to the frame using wire or headpins, and then hang the chandelier from an earring finding.

To finish this project

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