Dangle Chain Earrings
By Julie L. Cleveland of Blue Morning Expressions
These earrings can be created in less than 30 minutes.
2 – 10mm beads (I have used a pair of polymer clay beads that I created for this tutorial)
2 – 6mm beads (I am using Aquamarine Swarovski Bi-cone crystals)
2 – 4mm beads (I am using Purple Swarovski Bi-cone crystals)
Chain – at least 9 inches of chain of your choice (I am using Blue Moon curb chain)
2 – Earwires (I am using French Hook earwires)
6 – 2 inch 21 gauge headpins
4 – 6-10mm bead caps or spacer beads of your choice (I am using silver plated flower bead caps)
Round nose pliers
Flat nose pliers
Please note that my tools are old, worn out and useful to me. They are probably not the proper ones for all projects, but they work for me and my needs.
Thread your beads onto the headpins. The 10mm will have a bead cap or spacer first, then the bead, then the bead cap or spacer on top.
Measure your chain and cut two pieces 2 inches apiece, two pieces 1 ½ inches apiece and the last two pieces will be 1 inch apiece. Once you have the first piece cut, count the links and cut your next piece with exactly the same number of links.
One of my 10mm beads show what these will look like once you create a loop to make your eyepin for all your beads.
In order to make an eyepin, you must first bend your wire so it sits on the top of your bead. You can either use a pair of pliers to set them flush with the top, or you can use your fingers. The 21 gauge is soft enough to bend by hand. In the next few photos, I am going to show you the basics of creating an eyepin loop. However, I am unable to photo all the steps, so I will explain them.
With your headpin bent flush to the top, cut the wire to a length that is relative to the end of your finger. I know this is not scientific, but it works for me to create the right size for looping. I do not know why it seems to work, but it does.
This next step requires you to continue to hold your bead and take your round nose pliers and grasp the end of the wire. This photo shows the pliers on the end of the wire. Turn the pliers a half turn towards the bead. You will have a little hook. The nose of your pliers will be on the inside of that little hook. You may want to shift your pliers a bit to complete the round loop, but you want to roll the wire towards the bead for a nice round loop. With a little practice, you will get a nice and even loop every time.
Complete loops on all your beads to create eyepins for the beads to be attached to the chains.
You want to add each bead to the end of their respective chains. Do not open the chain, instead, use the eyepins and open them the way you would a jumpring. You open a jumpring by opening one side towards you and one side away from you to create a smooth opening without distorting the ring. You close the loop by doing the opposite as opening. You need to make sure that the loop is completely closed.
All of your beads are now on chains and ready to go onto the earwires.
I chose a pair of French earwires with balls, springs and an eyepin loop at the end. I hold the earwires, so that the ball and spring is under my thumb to keep it from sliding down into the loop.
I open the loop the same way we do a jumpring. You can see the loop and it has a slight split in it in order to open the loop. Here is the loop open.
Keep in mind that the loop opens on the outside of the earwire, so whatever is added to the loop is loaded longest goes in first because it will sit in the back of the loop when the earrings are worn.
We will take all our chains and load them onto the loop.
First we put our 2 inch chain on the loop. We then add the 1 ½ inch chain onto the loop. Last, we add the 1 inch chain onto the loop.
Then we close the loop the same way we opened it, from side to side.
Finish both earwires the same way for a quick pair of earrings for a fun night out.
I hope that you have enjoyed this project and that you create a sassy pair of new earrings for your next night out.
Julie L. Cleveland is a polymer clay bead artist and freelance writer. She has owned Blue Morning Expressions for 8 years and her beads have been seen in Stringing, Beadstyle, Polymer Clay Café and Beads 2011 editor picks. She lives in Florida and is currently on a long-term vacation in the mountains of Montana. She can be found at Blue Morning Expressions, Julie@bluemorningexpressions.com, Polymer Clay Beads, BME Blog, PC Canes Blog & Checked In Today Guild.