I have a confession to make. When I was younger I had my ears pierced. But, somewhere along the way I let them grow in and now I am far to chicken to get them re-pierced. This never used to bother me because I rarely wore makeup or earrings. However, part of the positive changes I have been making in my life includes feeling good about myself. It turns out that I like feeling pretty and I have discovered a love for fun earrings. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to make many cute clip-on earrings so what’s a girl to do? The obvious answer is to design your own earrings!
I have seen people make bracelets and necklaces, I knew they had the supplies in the local craft stores and anything I couldn’t find could probably be ordered through Amazon. I figured it couldn’t be too difficult and at the very least I was going to give it a try!
Learn Something New with Kristin
Feature 6 – Design Your Own Earrings
Unlike many of my learn something new features I don’t think we need a ‘what is’ section of the article this time. I’m pretty sure that we all know what earrings are! So we will just jump ahead to the nitty-gritty.
What Equipment do I need?
This is actually pretty highly dependant on the type of earrings that you want to create. I suggest having a plan in mind before you start. Once you go down the rabbit hole of looking at beads, tassels, and pendants you might not come out for a while. Seriously the amount of jewelry crafting materials online and in stores like Hobby Lobby and Micheals is insane. I changed my mind about four times just while looking. I’m pretty sure my husband and kids were on the verge of revolt as I waffled about what to buy.
That said there are some basic items that you will likely need regardless of your design.
- Earring Findings – Either pierced or clip-on. You have to pay attention to the color you get as well since there are far more options then gold & silver. You don’t want to buy silver findings and use brass jump rings if you want your earrings to match. The set I bought comes with multiples of various colors which made things a bit easier!
- Jump Rings – These are very handy for connecting different parts of your design together. Like findings the come in different colors. They also come in different gauges which I found out the hard way is pretty important. If your beads don’t fit because your jump rings are too thick then things get a bit more difficult.
- Head Pins & Eye Pins – These are probably somewhat dependant on your design but they seem like a good item to have on hand in case you need to rethink your plan. I ended up having to use these when my jump rings were to think for some of my beads. They take a bit of practice to work with but thankfully there are many online tutorials
- Round Nose Pliers – These are extremely useful. I bought a small pair and they worked very well.
- Beads, Feathers, Tassels or other decorations – While its likely possible to make a set of pretty earrings using nothing but wire and rings most of us probably want some decorations on there! Note that if you are planning on using feathers then you might want to look into come Crimping beads and a set of crimping pliers as well!
- Wire Cutters – I actually just used a pair of sharp scissors but if you don’t have something in the house already you might want to invest in a pair of these.
- Basic Wire – I didn’t buy this and I probably should have! I think it would have been much easier to work with than the head and eye pins when my jump rings didn’t work out.
Design your own Earrings – How do you do it?
I was kind of at a loss for this as it turns out that while there are a lot of jewelry making tutorials out there that will teach you how to make specific earrings, designing your own seems to be mostly trial and error. That said, here are a few things I learned along the way!
Design your own Earrings Step 1 – Have a plan
Trying to design your own earrings on the fly, in the middle of the store is not going to make anyone happy. It’s pretty much bead and color overload. At the very least you should go into the store with a color scheme you are looking for and a basic idea of the supplies you will need. Pay attention to the size of holes in your beads and the wire gauges of your other materials! Don’t be like me and buy jump rings that were far to thick!
Design your own Earrings Step 2 – Lay out your design
Once you have all your supplies gathered I found it really helpful to actually lay out the design you want to create. This helps make sure that you really do have everything you need and gives you a rough idea of how to go about creating it. I did have to change my design several times as I went. Sometimes, things just don’t work out so don’t be afraid to rethink this if you need too!
Design your own Earrings Step 3 – Practice a little bit
I broke 4 beads and several eye pins before I got the hang of looping and manipulating wire. Who knew that beads could be so delicate? In any case, I suggest practicing a little bit with some spare pieces before you start working with your design. Or make sure you have extras. If you are confused about how to work with a specific item don’t be afraid to check out a tutorial. I couldn’t figure out how to open jump rings without ruining their shape until I looked into it. Turns out you open them by bending them sideways instead of pulling them apart. Who knew?
Design your own Earrings Step 4 – Work on your design
Once you have mastered a few of the basic steps its time to make your earrings a reality. Odds are you might have to fiddle with your design a little bit but that’s okay! Your first pair of earrings might not be perfect but you made them! They truly are one of a kind!
The first pair of earrings I made was understandably rough. My loops weren’t overly smooth, the jump rings were too thick and I had to redesign my design (always annoying!) but in the end, they worked out. At least nothing fell apart when I put them on so I am counting that as a success. The second design came together much easier and I like them quite a bit although there are flaws in them too. Creating your own earrings truly does seem to be a skill where practice makes perfect!
Designing your own earrings turned out to be both simple and difficult at the same time – difficult because there are so many things to take into account (wire size, bead design & colors, tools you might need) but simple in that most of the skills seem to be something that anyone can learn with a bit of patience. Will your wire loops and twists be perfect the first time out? Probably not but the supplies are relatively inexpensive and most packs come with plenty of extras so with a bit of patience they soon will be!
Have you ever created your own Jewelry?