Earring Making Makeover: A Pair of Beaded Pearl Earrings

Mar 11, 2013

One of my favorite sources of inspiration for making beaded jewelry is antique and vintage jewelry. So when my good friend gifted me with a huge box of very special antique beaded jewelry, I decided to repurpose some of the jewelry for new jewelry-making projects.



The original vintage pearl earrings (bottom) that inspired my earring making makeover (top)!
Even though earring making projects have never come easy to me, I was inspired by these vintage pearl earrings. I wanted to figure out how to re-create them using modern materials, and thanks to a little stash of Swarovski crystal pearls, I managed to do just that! These are real old-world glamor earrings, bold and brassy and fun to wear. Enjoy!

Materials:

  • 24 Swarovski crystal pearl, Bright Gold, 5mm (A)
  • 54 Swarovski crystal pearl, Bright Gold, 4mm (B)
  • 66 Swarovski crystal pearl, Bright Gold, 3mm (C)
  • 2 Swarovski crystal pearl, Bright Gold, 8mm (D)
  • FireLine beading thread, 6 lb. test
  • 1 pair gold ear wires, or clip-on earring findings with 8mm pad

Tools:

  • Size 12 beading needle
  • Thread cutter
  • Chain nose or flat nose pliers (optional, but useful for guiding beading needle through a tight spot)

Step-by-step Instructions


On a 5' length of beading thread, pick up 6 A. Pass through the first bead again, forming a ring. (If you are using ear wires, leave at least 7" of beading thread as a tail to use for attaching your ear wire.)




Keeping your tension tight, pick up 6 C and pass through the same A again. Pass into the next A in the ring, and add 6 C. Repeat for each A in the ring.




Pick up 2 B and pass through the A you're exiting again. Pass through the next A in the ring, and add 2 B. Repeat around.




Pass through each B you added in the previous step again to form a solid ring. Pass through the first B of the second pair you added in the previous step.




To form the "petals", pick up 1 B and 1 C. Push them all the way down against the B you are exiting.




Pass your needle under the thread in the center of the 6 C you added in the second step. (Similar to catching the thread in brick stitch.)

Pass back through the 1 C and 1 B you added in the previous step, then into the next B in the ring.

Pass through the next 2 B in the second ring, and add another C and B in the same manner. Repeat around for each of the petals.




From the B you are exiting, pick up 2 C and pass through the same B. (Same direction.) Pass through the next B in the ring, and add 1 C. Repeat around, alternating 1 C and 2 C until you have added a total of 9 C.

Pass through all 9 C again and pull snugly to form a ring.





From the C you are exiting, pick up 1 D and push it down into the ring. Find either the 1 C or 2 C directly across from the bead (or beads) you are exiting, and pass through.

Pass back through the D and the bead (or beads) you originally exited at the beginning of this step.





Pick up 9 B and push them down against the beadwork as far as you can. Pass through all 9 B at least twice more, pulling snugly to form a ring that fits around the D in the center.

Tack the ring of 9 B down by catching the thread between beads of the ring of B you added in the third step. Knot your thread in the beadwork, weave your tail in a bit, and trim close to the beadwork.





If you are using a clip-on earring finding or a post earring finding with a pad, use E600 or Euro Tool Super New Glue to attach the finding.




If you are using an ear wire, weave your tail through the first 3 C you added in the second step. Pass through the ear wire, then down through the next 3 C, pass through the A, and back up through the first 3 C. Repeat the thread path a couple of times to secure, then knot your thread, weave it in, and trim it close to the beadwork. Repeat all steps for the second earring.

Would you like another free earring making project? For a limited time, when you purchase Melanie Potter's fantastic new DVD Bead Stitching Chevron Chain with Melanie Potter, you'll get her Wildflower Earrings as a FREE download! What could be better than learning the basics of chevron chain from a master bead-weaving artist? Get your copy of Bead Stitching Chevron Chain with Melanie Potter and get your free earring making project, too! (Or, if you're really into instant gratification, you can download Bead Stitching Chevron Chain with Melanie Potter and be watching on your desktop or laptop computer in just minutes!)

What's your favorite inspiration for beaded jewelry design ideas? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share your ideas with us!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer


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Comments

on Mar 14, 2013 12:54 PM

I love Chevron stitch and just received my copy...can't wait to get started. But here is my concern...I have not received any of the free Bonus projects that are being advertised...what happened?