DIY Wedding

DIY Wedding

How to Make Easy Two-Bead Earrings

comments (14) December 20th, 2008     

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leethal Lee Meredith, contributor
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This project is so quick, you could gift a set of multiple pairs if you hurry!
Be sure your bead colors all coordinate well to avoid overly busy earrings.
The different shaped beads share the same colors and are about the same size, helping them work together as a pair.
This project is so quick, you could gift a set of multiple pairs if you hurry!

This project is so quick, you could gift a set of multiple pairs if you hurry!

Photo: Lee Meredith

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

Use special beads that stand out for the larger ones, and simple beads in a coordinating color for the smaller ones.

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.


Try to hold the eyepin close to the end of the round-nose pliers when bending.

Now slip a small bead on the eyepin and grab the tip of the eyepin with the end of the pliers.


You're going to bend a loop in the end of the eyepin to match the other end.

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.


Bend it all the way around until it's touching.

Next, grab the base of the loop and bend it out at a slight angle.


Bend the loop base the same way it's bent out on the eye of the eyepin.

That will open the loop a bit, so just use the pliers to bend the loop end back in and make it look good.


Now you have two matching loops on the ends of your eyepin.

To put your beaded eyepin onto the earwire, open up the loop just enough for the eyepin wire to fit.


This loop will probably be much harder to bend than the eyepin wire.

Slip the eyepin into the earwire loop at the curve.


When making your second earring, be sure to slip it on the opposite way for symmetrical earrings.

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.


These are so simple, a great design for everyday casual wear.

Version 2

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.


This version will make use of more beads.

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.


I chose a fairly large bead to be my smaller-side bead, but this design would work well with a small seed bead, too.

Finish off the same way as the basic version.


Be sure your bead colors all coordinate well to avoid overly busy earrings.

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.


Two small identical beads add a little more interest but don't draw attention away from the larger bead too much.

Version 3

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.


I chose very simple small beads to keep the earrings from being too complex or busy looking.

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.


Place the pliers on the wire depending on how big you want your loop—closer to the end of the nose will make a smaller loop, while farther back will make a larger loop.

Now hold the loop with the pliers and use your second pair of pliers to wrap the wire end around the earwire.


You can choose to cut the wire when it's wrapped as much as you want.

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.


Your new earwire loop won't open, so you'll have to make the earring in a different order than the other versions.

Place a small bead on the eyepin and make a loop in the end to finish off your earring.


The three larger beads being the same color helps tie together the earrings even though they are asymmetrical.

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.


The different shaped beads share the same colors and are about the same size, helping them work together as a pair.

Of course, I encourage you to come up with your own variations—be creative!


This project is so quick, you could gift a set of multiple pairs if you hurry!

 

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posted in: Jewelry, earrings, beads, wire

Comments (14)

Nodan writes: Even though all of your earrings are made by two beads, they look lovely. Thank you for giving such a detailed direction on how to make them.
Posted: 2:57 am on January 31st
CdGautreaux writes: These are cute!
Posted: 12:28 am on July 21st
gigi123 writes: This really does look simple and quick! Thanks for the clear illustrations/instructions!
Posted: 8:52 am on May 27th
arianec writes: My next rainy day project :-)
Posted: 5:34 pm on May 19th
BellaPerlaJewelry writes: This is great! I have some extra beads that have been sitting to the side and now I have something to do with them.
Posted: 12:53 pm on November 23rd
Kdrodgers writes: These are awesome! Love the tutorial, great pictures and very clear directions!!!
Posted: 12:14 am on March 30th
elina writes: good amm very good & easy too
Posted: 4:50 am on March 25th
glittergrandma writes: Love the design and balance... wonderful & FUN ! Well done.
Posted: 6:05 pm on March 20th
changaud writes: Wow I was just browsing to see what would involve making my own jewelry. So this is the first online tutorial I landed on. Great pictures, clear explanation. It got me hooked into trying this new hobby, I'm heading for the craft store right now. Thanks...
Posted: 12:00 pm on January 9th
trusk4u writes: Really fun and contemporary feeling! I love them and will have to make some!
Posted: 7:43 pm on January 2nd
KimsIdleHands writes: What a great idea!
Whips up quickly for those lats minute gifts.

Kudos!

Posted: 8:47 am on December 22nd
Meggy writes: Thank You! These are some of the best photos, as a newbie I really appreciate the quality of the photos and instructions, thank you.
Posted: 3:10 am on December 21st
susanstars writes: Those are gorgeous, Lee! I love them all!
Posted: 4:39 pm on December 20th
krazym writes: Great Idea! My nine year old Grandaughter loves to make earrings, so I'm going to have her try this design.
Posted: 3:21 pm on December 20th
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