It's Almost 2012 - Are You Ready for an Earring Making Challenge?

Dec 11, 2011

These are some of my favorite beaded earrings from the earring making challenge I did in January of 2011.
I can hardly believe that it's almost 2012! This year just flew by, which is, of course, what I say every year at this time.

Over the years, I've noticed that making beaded earrings is not something that comes easy to me.  When I come up with new beaded jewelry designs, 99% of my designs are either beaded necklaces or beaded bracelets. But beaded earrings? I don't know why they're so difficult for me, but they are. My brain (and my muse) just doesn't work that way.

If you get stuck for earring making ideas, the many variations of peyote stitch can provide ideas and inspiration!
Last year during the month of January, I decided to start the year off with a challenge to myself. I decided that I would make one pair of beaded earrings every day for the entire month. A few days after Christmas, I started to wonder if I would be able to complete this challenge. I kept asking myself: Can you really bead every day for a month? Are you kidding? How are you going to do that? How are you going to come up with all those earring designs? What if you run out of steam? What if you run out of designs? Is this going to cost you a fortune? You better make sure you have enough earring findings!

To be honest, I cheated a little. Since I decided to start this on New Year's Day, I spent the last couple of weeks of December sketching out and writing down design ideas for making earrings. Then, on January first, I brought along my bead tray and my beads when we went over to see my in-laws for our traditional New Year's Day dinner. While my son ran around like a crazy kid, I sat and beaded a pair of earrings.

It was a lot easier than I thought. The next day, still a bit doubtful of my ability to follow through and complete a pair of earrings every day in the month of January, I sat down and did a second pair. The next day, I did a third pair. By the end of the week, I had been making beaded earrings every single day and had seven new pairs of beaded earrings. I also had designs for a dozen more sketched out in my journal!

For me, the key was keeping the designs simple. Easy pieces of flat peyote stitch became wraps for large round gemstone beads that had vintage Japanese dangles. I stitched up lots of easy brick stitch triangles and diamonds and lavished them with fringe. Once I got the momentum going, it was hard to stop!

Are you ready to join an earring making challenge? If you need a little inspiration, check out the fabulous 101 Wire Earrings by Denise Peck. With over a hundred beaded earring designs, you'll find something for every day of the earring making challenge! You'll also find a wealth of ideas for making your own earring findings, adding beads and components, and basic wire wrapping techniques. Get your copy of 101 Wire Earrings today and you'll find yourself making earrings with this valuable resource for years to come!

This year, instead of making a New Year's Resolution, why not give yourself a New Year's Challenge? Let's see if we can make a pair of beaded earrings every day for an entire month! If you're interested in joining this earring making challenge, you can find all the details on the Bead-A-Long page here on Beading Daily.

Bead Happy,

Jennifer


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Tia Dalma wrote
on Dec 12, 2011 9:33 AM

Jen I have the same problem when it comes to making earrings! I just never think about them because I never change my own earrings! I wear large gauge hoops that I never have to take out so I have worn the same ones for more than 10 years!

How boring is that?!! Especially for someone who makes jewelry! I have always loved wearing long dangly earrings, so I am seriously considering taking these gauges out so I can wear pretty earrings again!

My mom also does a lot of beadwork too and her specialty is earrings...Everyone we know has several pairs of her earrings and they really are beautiful!

And whenever I make her anything, a necklace or bracelet, she always wants a pair of earrings to go with it. So I have made maybe 4 or 5 pairs of earrings this year...and they were all for her! But they were really nice and they take so much less time than a necklace or bracelet!

So I don't know why I don't make more of them! They are fun to make and you get instant gratification which is rare when working with seed beads! So this challenge sounds like the perfect thing for me! I am totally in! Besides, what else am I going to be doing in January?!  

on Dec 12, 2011 11:49 AM

Yay, Tia! Glad to have you aboard! I'm really looking forward to doing the challenge again, too. It was a great way for me to stretch my creative muscles a bit. Sort of like yoga for beads! :-D

on Dec 12, 2011 12:34 PM

Are instructions available for making the earrings in the photos above?  I am particularly interested in the peyote-stitch earrings in the lower right corner of the second photo.  Thank you.

Tia Dalma wrote
on Dec 12, 2011 2:07 PM

Whitehouse,

if you click on the tab at the top of this page for Projects, there is an entire section of Free Beading Patterns and Projects...I know there has to be some patterns in there for Peyote Stitch earrings! They may not be exactly the ones in Jen's photo but I know there are a lot of patterns available here and on Beadwork/About.com which is linked to in Jen's previous blog!

Here is another site that has some free patterns, maybe you'll find some earrings you like there:

http://bead-patterns.com/

And, if you click on the link for Bead Along at the top of this page, it will take you to a page that has several links to earring patterns!

Hope this helps!

Jen, I totally agree that this will help stretch my creativity! I actually decided to make a pair of earrings today using Marcia DeCosters "Medici Drop" pattern (I love that design) and it took me less than an hour to make them! Nothing takes less than a day in Seed Bead world so I was so excited about that!

Looking forward to seeing everyone join in on this challenge and seeing what everyone comes up with!

on Dec 12, 2011 6:59 PM

Thank you for the information, and I have done some searching through the pattern resources you mentioned.  I am particularly interested in the pair of earrings in Jen's photo, so if anyone comes across that specific pattern, I would appreciate the heads up.  Thanks!

Mave wrote
on Dec 12, 2011 10:58 PM

Do the earrings have to be made with seed beads and stitched?  I've never done any beading just made ordinary earrings.

Tia Dalma wrote
on Dec 13, 2011 1:23 PM

Whitehouse,

I am glad you have found so many resources for beading projects! It's awesome how many people share their knowledge!

As far as Jen's Peyote stitch earrings in that photo, they look like Odd Count Peyote stitch rectangles decreased into a point at one end and then attached with chain to the ear wire.

The photo is small but it looks like these are 11 beads wide total..meaning first and second rows combined...so 7 in first row and 6 in the next...but you would string on 11 beads to start this. And it's done in odd count so that the pattern can be centered in the beadwork and be brought to a centered point.

It would be easy to draw up the actual pattern/design for these using graph paper...there are many sites where you can download graph paper for the different sitches...maybe even somehwere on BD!

And when Jen was the guide at Beadwork/About.com she wrote and shared a lot of her patterns and tutorials there...maybe there are some of her Peyote stitch earrings over there? But she definitely has tutorials there for odd count peyote and for increasing and decreasing peyote stitch to make a point etc...here is a link to several tutorials for Peyote stitch:

beadwork.about.com/.../Just-Odd-Count-Peyote-Stitch.htm

I am sure you could make these earrings using these Peyote Stitch tutorials...you would just have to decide on your design and colors you wanted to use for the pattern!

on Dec 13, 2011 3:05 PM

Thank you once again!  I will continue to look around.  I am interested in finding out how to attach the chain to the peyote piece.  You have been very helpful.

yumemiru wrote
on Dec 17, 2011 7:57 AM

I wish I could join in, but...I'm a college student, and money is tight enough as it is. I'm just starting to build my stash, and add to that classes and classwork...it's sadly not going to happen for me.

But this year I decided to challenge myself to actually make something from a pattern, and that turned into 2 pairs of earrings I'm making for my older sisters' Christmas presents. :) So I sort of have my own "earring challenge" going on at the moment.

katsommers wrote
on Dec 17, 2011 1:54 PM

Oh, wow! I just love earrings and playing with the colors and beads and sizes and wire and poly - fun, fun, fun!

docsue wrote
on Dec 17, 2011 4:48 PM

Whitehouse,

I was intrigued by those earrings, also - I believe they are called tapestry peyote earrings; but you will have to put it into a search engine - it was a free pattern.  I used it to "create" a rectangle which I then stitched into a tube for earrings.

PoeDragonfly wrote
on Dec 19, 2011 1:12 PM

Jen,

Your pictured earrings are very lovely. I don't seem to have a problem creating earrings as you did, I constantly make earrings to match my necklaces. My problem? I have a tendancy to work in sets; which means that I always have a necklace, earrings & bracelet to match and if I'm making the set for me, there has to be an anklet and ring to match. I have started selling my jewelry in a gallery and only recently have found that not everyone has to have everything matching.....they actually prefer to have different pieces that only blend together not match. My challenge for 2012 will be to to stop creating so many sets!

Pam