When I first started learning how to bead and was learning basic jewelry-making, I loved earring making. I didn't realize it at the time, but making earrings a great way to learn new beadweaving stitches and jewelry-making techniques. Handmade earring projects are (usually) small and not terribly overwhelming, so they make perfect beading projects when you don't have a lot of time or just need to use up a few leftover beads.
Earring making is also a great way to get a little beading time in during the busy holiday season. Beaded earrings make great gifts, especially if you need a last-minute gift for a friend or co-worker. Or maybe you just need a little something to jazz up your favorite winter sweater – a new pair of earrings can really breathe new life into a favorite blouse!
Even if you don't have a beading pattern handy, there are lots of ways that you can just pick up your beads and start making earrings. Sometimes working without a pattern can be very intimidating, but try one of these four ideas for earring making and find out just how much fun it can be to design your own beaded earrings!
|Easy and fun: use simple brick stitch diamonds and lots of easy fringe to make a pair of Nancy Zellers' Diamond Fringe Earrings.|
1. Make a brick stitch diamond. This is pretty basic, but making earrings can't get much easier than this. Stitch up a simple brick stitch diamond using your favorite beads – cylinder beads, cube beads, or throw in a big fire polished bead into the center of the diamond. Make some funky fringe with a few leftover bugle beads or maybe some long loops of seed beads, and you have the classic (but updated!) beaded earring. Or just leave the diamond without any fringe and hang it from your favorite earring finding.
|Your basic peyote-stitched beaded bead can get a little dressed up to make Mary Tafoya's Peyote Tassel Earrings.|
2. Beaded beads. I just have a thing for those easy little peyote-stitched beaded beads. It takes literally minutes to stitch up a little piece of peyote and then zip it up. Add some more fringe or a fancy edging and hang it from a tiny seed bead loop! Or string your beaded bead on a head pin with a couple of crystal beads and you've got a little bit of glitz you can hang from your ears.
3. Beaded fringe. Beaded fringe isn't just for beaded necklaces and amulet bags! Making earrings from beaded fringe is a fast and easy way to make earrings with a serious "wow" factor. Gather a few leftover beads, shells, pearls or crystals that match your seed beads and use leaf fringe or stick fringe to make some lush (but lightweight) beaded earrings. Or use beaded fringe to make earrings that complement a beaded necklace when you don't want to take too much attention away from the necklace itself!
|Practicing your beaded bezels can be fun and beautiful when you stitch up a pair of Cecilia Guastaferro's Royal Amethyst Earrings.|
4. Practice your beaded bezels. You can stitch a tiny bezel around almost anything. If you have a couple of crystal stones hanging around (or Scrabble tiles, old typewriter keys, bottle caps or something else that would make a funky earring) grab some seed beads and stitch a beaded bezel. Use a seed bead loop to hang a dangle from the bottom, or just stitch a jump ring to the top for easy attachment to an earring finding. You can even stitch tiny bezels around gemstone beads and accent them with crystals and pearls for attention-grabbing earrings.
|Find great earring making ideas like these fun felted ball earrings by Dustin Wedekind.|
Do you have a favorite earring making technique? Are you the kind of person that makes earrings to go with every single piece of beaded jewelry you make? Leave a comment on the blog and share your thoughts, or take a picture of your favorite beaded earring creation and post it in the Reader Photo Gallery!