How to make beaded jewelry: settings and hanging stones

Choosing your beads:

Beads are made from various materials such as glass, wood, bone, shell or clay and any bead can be used as a hanging stone or dangle. There are a few factors to consider when choosing beads for jewelry.

1.) The weight of the bead and how you are going to use it is important. Remember, for this project the weight of the beads will be hanging from your pierced ears so choose beads you can wear comfortably.

2.) Check the hole in the bead to make sure it is large enough for a headpin to slip through.

Settings:

There are several different settings that are commonly used to make beaded jewelry. Wire, headpins, and cord are a few of the more popular ones. For this project, we will be using headpins that will be bent to form a loop or eyelet, which will attach the beads to the main piece or “ear finding.”

How to Make Beaded Drop Earrings

Tools Needed:

Needle nose or round nose jewelry pliers for making loops. (Best purchased from a bead or craft shop. Hardware store models are too big.)
Flat pliers
Wire cutters

Supplies Needed:

2 headpins that are two or more inches long – (you may want to purchase a few extra for practice)
4 to 6 beads (depending on the size)
2 ball ear posts with ear backs (known as the ear finding)

Let’s Get Started:

Begin by putting two or three beads on each headpin. Just slip the headpin through the hole in each bead. Nothing could be simpler.

Making the Loop:

Note: The size of the loop will depend upon the diameter of your needle nose pliers. If you want a larger loop, grasp the wire using the wider end of the pliers. For a smaller loop use the thin end.

  1. Hold the headpin and beads stationary in one hand. With the other hand use the needle nose pliers and firmly hold the wire about 1/2 inch from the top. Relax your wrist and turn (rotate) the pliers in a circular motion 3/4 of a turn to bend the wire forming a small loop (eyelet).
  2. Cut the end of the wire if it is too long for your loop.
  3. Repeat Steps 1 & 2 on the second earring. Make sure both headpins have the same distance between the top bead and the loop. This will ensure your earrings will drop evenly.

Attaching The Beads To The Ear Finding:

  1. Use the flat pliers and grasp the end of the loop then bend it to the side opening it just enough to allow the ear post to slip on.
  2. Slip the open end of the loop thru the hole on the ear post. Once you have your beads attached to the ear post, use the flat pliers and squeeze the end of the loop back to dead center and close the circle. Check to be sure the circle is closed completely so the headpin won’t come off.

Put them on and wear them!

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