Last week a made a fresh batch of lightweight summer earrings with a great group of teenagers. I chose ornate findings and a simple jump ring assembly. My hope was that the girls would be successful and enthusiastic about exploring new jewelry techniques. In the past I've had trouble teaching groups how to turn and wrap headpins, I carefully chose this project avoid that problem. Earrings make great inexpensive bead projects for large groups as they use significantly less beads than bracelets and earrings. The girls were thrilled to be working with 'real' materials, and were delighted with their finished pieces. My only regret was that I couldn't scrounge up enough pliers for each girl to have two pairs.
The moms were equally excited about this project and I wouldn't be surprised if some of the earrings ended up in their jewelry boxes. In fact I ran into a librarian already wearing my sample yesterday! Please follow the directions below to whip up a pair to match your summer wardrobe.
Blue Earrings - Laser cut metal earring components with ear wires, Natural Elegance, Blue Moon Beads
Red Earrings - Elongated hoops, Natural Elegance, Blue Moon beads you'll need to purchase the earwires separately and connect them to the hoops.
6mm jump rings
Blue and red seed beads - Global nomad, Blue Moon Beads (these are actually larger than traditional seed beads I think of them as 'e' beads)
2 silver sequins
Optional - Aleene's Metal Jewelry Glue
Chain nose and bent nose pliers
The trick to opening jump rings is to hold a pair of pliers in each hand, then use them to grasp the wire end on either side of the split. Gently open the ring laterally. If you simply spread them apart the ring will loose its shape. Hook the open ring through the finding, then string on an 'e' bead before closing the ring. Use both pliers to click the ring back into place. If the wires don't connect the thin metal finding can slip through the opening. Some of the girls found it helpful to add a drop of Metal Jewelry into the bead and slide the bead over the split. Repeat the process to add a bead ring to each of the openings in the finding. For added shine string a sequin behind the bead on the ring that hangs from the center of the finding.
Repeat the process to create a second earring, slide them on and enjoy!
I'm always grateful to Blue Moon for graciously supplying me with products for my designs, these were left in my stash from working on designs for my book Simply Beaded Bliss. Hopefully these findings or a similar alternate product are still available at your local retailer.