Please welcome Brandy Thomason of Bella Vita Jewelry! I personally fell in love with Brandy’s jewelry one Saturday morning at the Argenta Art Market, where I noticed her table surrounded by people trying on her beautiful earrings, necklaces and other creations. At Home featured her work in our Fall Weddings issue (click here to see it), and while planning our guest blogger series, we just knew we had to have her. Here, Brandy gives you a beginner’s guide to making earrings. Start practicing now to make them as gifts, or better yet, gather a group for a jewelry-making party! This should get you started nicely, and don’t miss Brandy’s design and idea tips below for more ideas.
You’re a gem for stopping by Brandy!
Handmade Jewelry for the Holidays
Giving handmade gifts is by far one of my favorite things to do, especially for Christmas. Now, I canât say everyone on my list will be getting handmade jewelry this year (I donât know how much my Dad would like a necklace with a pair of matching earrings, no matter how much love I put in them), but the women on my list will be taken care of one by one with a special piece of jewelry designed by me.
In my opinion, the quickest and easiest pieces of jewelry to design and construct are earrings. So, we will stick to the beginner lesson of designing basic earrings and assembling them into wearable pieces of art
Materials and Tools:
Round Nose Pliers
Chain Nose Pliers
Head pins (the wire finding the beads go on)
Ear Wires (the wire finding the beads attach to and also the part that goes in your ear)
First step: String a bead or beads on the head pin.
Second step: Position the round nose pliers above the bead and bend the wire back at a 90Ë angle.
Third step: Rotate the wire around the round nose pliers so that it forms a loop, and continue turning the wire so a complete loop is formed. Cut the excess wire at the base of the loop.
Fourth step: Now, attach the earring drop to the ear wire. To open the loop, grasp the side of the loop closest to the opening with chain nose pliers and move this side of the loop toward you (imagine how a door opens). Attach the loop to the ear wire. To close the loop, grasp the open side with chain nose pliers and move away from you until the loop is closed and the end of the wire is flush with the base of the loop.
Fifth step: Voila! A fantastic pair of earrings ready to put on or wrap up as a special gift.
Brandy’s Design Ideas & Tips
- To make a smaller loop with the head pin, work closer to the tip of the round nose pliers. If you want to make a larger loop, start the 90Ë angle further back from the tip of the round nose pliers.
- The more beads you choose to put on the head pin, the longer your earring will be.
- Birthstones make great earrings and even better gifts. Go out to your local bead store and search for stones in the corresponding birthstone colors. If they donât have the semi-precious stones, ask to see the Swarovski crystals. Swarovski has a crystal that corresponds with the birthstone colors.
- Add in some metal spacer beads to add dimension and a more finished look.
- Go thrifting for bags of âjunkâ at flea markets, resale shops, estate sales, etc. This is an eco-friendly way of turning something old into something special and new, and you never know what you will come across.
- Have fun and donât get overwhelmed, which is easy to do especially when you are new to jewelry designing and shopping for materials.