How to Make Easy Two-Bead Earringscomments (14) December 20th, 2008
I used to make jewelry when I was a kid, all the way up through high school, then in college I stopped for some reason, probably because I stopped wearing it. Well, when Susan Beal's book, Bead Simple, came out last spring, she inspired me to pick it up again, and I had such fun with it, especially with earrings! I designed these super-simple beaded earrings that make a great quick + easy last-minute gift, and have tons of variation possibilities!
For the basic version, you'll need:
- Two pairs of beads: one large, one small
- Two eyepins, 2 inches long, around 21 gauge (.028 inch)
- One pair of earwire hooks with open loops
- Round-nose pliers
Start by slipping a large bead onto an eyepin, grab the eyepin more than halfway up (about two-thirds of the way is good), and bend it to a sharp angle.
Now slip a small bead on the eyepin and grab the tip of the eyepin with the end of the pliers.
This is the way I bend the eye; although I don't think it's the "right" way, it's the best way for me. So do this part whichever way is best for you. Bend the end around in a loop.
Next, grab the base of the loop and bend it out at a slight angle.
That will open the loop a bit, so just use the pliers to bend the loop end back in and make it look good.
To put your beaded eyepin onto the earwire, open up the loop just enough for the eyepin wire to fit.
Slip the eyepin into the earwire loop at the curve.
That's it! Repeat all steps for the second earring—I usually do each step for both at the same time so they match best.
Variation with multiple beads instead of one large bead: You'll need as many beads as you want to use on the larger side, and one pair of beads for the smaller side.
Variation with headpins: You'll need two headpins around 21 gauge instead of the two eyepins.
You'll need to make sure you choose a smaller bead with a hole small enough to stay on the headpin—so a hole smaller than the head. To make each earring, first slip on the smaller bead, then bend less than halfway up, slip on the multiple beads, and bend a loop.
Finish off the same way as the basic version.
And here is another similar version but all flipped around. The head end of the headpin is on the larger bead side, which is only one bead, and there are two small beads, with the loop on that end.
Variation with more crafty earwires: You'll need earwires with long shanks instead of loops and another pair of pliers; flat-nose is best.
Variation with asymmetrical beads on the large sides: You'll need two similar but different large beads, or one large and two smaller that add up to about the size of the large one.
Since you are making your own loops for the earwires, you can make them however you want. I made this pair with basic loops but a longish length of wire above the loop. Grab the wire where you want the loop to start and bend the wire to a 90-degree angle. Then bend the end up around the nose of the pliers, all the way around the nose until the loop is completed.
Now hold the loop with the pliers and use your second pair of pliers to wrap the wire end around the earwire.
Squeeze the tip of the wire down so it doesn't stick out. Place a large bead onto an eyepin, bend the eyepin, and put the other end through the earwire loop.
Place a small bead on the eyepin and make a loop in the end to finish off your earring.
Here's another pair with the same variations—these have only one large bead on each earring but they are different yet similar enough to work. These earwire loops were made much higher up, giving more wire to twist around for an interesting earwire look.
Of course, I encourage you to come up with your own variations—be creative!
After you make this project, show off your work to other members!
Post your project in the gallery
Find ideas to create the ultimate DIY Wedding and to help plan any showers and parties this spring.