Earring-a-Day Challenge Recap: How Many Pairs of Earrings Did You Make?

Making earrings has never been something I feel I'm particularly good at, so back in 2011, I decided to begin each year with a beading challenge to myself: make a pair of beaded earrings every day for an entire month. It seemed a bit daunting at first, but I invited my beady peeps to join me in the earring making challenge so that we could learn from each other and be inspired!

Of all the earrings I made during this year's challenge, these three pairs of beaded earrings were my favorites!

Last year, I successfully made thirty-one pairs of beaded earrings, one for every day in January. It was tough, but it was also a learning experience. Just when I started to think that my ideas had dried up, I found new inspiration and new designs in the most unexpected places. This year, I wasn't quite as successful, ending up with twenty-eight completed pairs of beaded earrings, and three pairs still sitting on my bead tray.

My three favorite pairs from this year's challenge are the brick stitch and chain earrings I made with metallic cylinder beads, a pair of vintage glass cabochons that I embroidered with Swarovski crystal pearls, and a pair of metal mesh roses that I hung from antique brass ear wires with a couple of Swarovski bicones thrown in for good measure.

Your response to the beaded earring making challenge was overwhelming, and I so enjoyed looking at all the lovely earrings posted in the Reader Photo Gallery! Someone even started a thread in the Beading Daily Forums so we could talk about what we learned from the Earring-a-Day challenge, and the responses were quite enlightening.

I love these Blue Diamond earrings made by Becky Pancake Bead Designs! You can see the full-size photo in the Reader Photo Gallery.

While most people were energized by this challenge, there were a few who didn't feel quite as good at the end of the earring making challenge. And it's true – if you feel like you have to force yourself to do something, even when it comes to beading, you're not going to enjoy it.

Other (surprising) things that people learned were that they needed to improve their photo taking setups and their beading area setups. Someone else talked about how they discovered that their other crafting projects inspire their beading projects. And I think everyone was thrilled to have a whole new wardrobe of beaded earrings at the end of the challenge!

When you're finished looking at all the beautiful beaded earrings in the Reader Photo Gallery, grab a copy of 101 Bracelets, Necklaces and Earrings through Zinio! You can download your copy instantly on your laptop, desktop or tablet computer and be browsing over one hundred gorgeous beaded jewelry designs in just minutes. Not sure what beading project you want to make next? Check out 101 Bracelets, Necklaces and Earrings and challenge yourself to use new materials or learn a new jewelry-making technique today!

Did you participate in the Earring-a-Day challenge? How did you do? What did you learn? (If you didn't participate this time around, the great thing about a challenge like this is that you can do it any time.) Leave a comment and share your thoughts and experiences here on the Beading Daily blog! And stay tuned for more great Bead-Alongs coming soon to Beading Daily!

Bead Happy,


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Jennifer VanBenschoten

About Jennifer VanBenschoten

Born in New Jersey in 1974, I escaped to the Adirondacks for the first time in 1995, making it my permanent home in 2000.  I have been interested in beads, buttons and making jewelry as long as I can remember.  It's probably my mother's fault - she was a fiber artist and crochet historian, and whenever she ordered supplies from one mail order source, she would order a huge bag of assorted buttons and beads for me and my sister!    

10 thoughts on “Earring-a-Day Challenge Recap: How Many Pairs of Earrings Did You Make?

  1. Hi.
    Your earrings challenge is so inspiring that I have started my own, the February Earring Challenge. One day, one pair.
    I’m continually excited and inspired, I have continuously new ideas!
    You can watch my progress (I published dayly) here:
    and if You want to view other my work, click on:
    Have a nice day, and sorry for my english.
    Moni from Spaghetti Clay.

  2. Jennifer – could you tell me where you purchased the ‘opal’ stones that are in the middle set of earrings? I have a real opal set in a ring that’s a family heirloom, and the ones in the earrings match up beautifully! I’d like to make a pendant, bracelet and earring set to match.

    Would anyone here know where I can buy them? Thank you in advance for any and all help.

  3. I am a Texas gal and found your earring-a-day challenging and inspiring! I loved the little pressure each day to create something new. I did not see the challenge until a few days after the 1st of Jan. but I completed 28 pairs of earrings. It got me to look more at some of my beading magazines and found ones that I had not made and wanted to try. My daughter came over and said that I had developed my repertoire of earrings!
    Thank you for challenge!

  4. I had fun and met a lot of great people in the Beading Daily Community. Although I couln’t complete the challenge due to an unexpected, serious haelth issue, I was able to accomplish what I could, and got my inspirration from som very unexpected sources. I’m looking forward to trying out the next challenge!

  5. now,basketball wives earrings are very hot,many people buy some jewelry accessory,then make it by themselve,it is really good idea.people can make any style.they are very beautiful.

  6. Hi Jen, This challenge was the first I entered. I did complete all 31 pair. I usually make earrings to go with the necklaces & bracelets I make & the design comes from the other piece. I never set out just to make earrings. I am sure I will make many more now. Your challenge was inspiring & loads of fun. Thanx so much for posting my blue diamond earrings. I feel honored. Becky

  7. Hi Jen, This is the first challenge I ever entered. I did complete all 31 pair. I usually make earrings to go with the necklaces & bracelets I make, but then the earring design comes from the other piece. I never set out to just make earrings. Your challenge was an inspiring learning experience & loads of fun. I have several more pair of earrings in my sketchbook that I am going to make. Thanx so much for posting a pic of my blue diamond earrings. I feel honored. Becky

  8. Help! I signed up with zinio for this publication and they chage my pass word but the new they give each time doesn’t work and I can’t log in to get my download that I paid for. I keep looking a phone number to call but can’t seem to find one on their site. I am ready to cancel but really want this book you are selling. Name is under Clara Vaness, email cecevaness1947@gmail.com. Thank you for any help. Phone 251-962-2512

  9. Thank you for the challenge. I further challenged myself by making all 31 pairs of earrings using only beads and supplies that I already had. I perfected making my own ear wires and was forced to be quite creative. I started a day late, but made two pair one of the days, so I ended up completing the challenge.

    I learned that once you flatten aluminum wire, it is almost impossible to make a hole in it because it is so soft and tends to bend. I learned that I CAN bead every day if I set aside time to do it (but I have to be flexible enough to allow myself time off when I need it). I learned that earrings are a fun, fast, easy way to use up leftover beads. I learned two new beadweaving techniques – I made a peyote triangle, which is actually peyote and herringbone; and I also made earrings using flat circular peyote.

    I truly enjoyed the experience. I now have lots of new earrings to wear/sell/gift (one pair I gave to a friend for her birthday and she really loves them). Thanks again for challenging me to bead outside of my box.