The other day as I was rummaging through my pile o' jewelry looking for a pair of earrings, my first thought was, "I don't have enough earrings." It's probably true -- when I sit down to make a piece of jewelry, earrings are usually not the first thing I think of designing. Sure, they're fun and easy, they work up pretty quickly, and they don't require an entire mass of fire polished beads, and...wait, why is it that I don't make a lot of earrings, again?
A few years ago, I started challenging myself every January to make one pair of beaded earrings every single day for an entire month. Looking back, that first year, I was wishing that I had chosen February as my month (3 less pairs of earrings to make!), but I did come away with some great ideas for making beaded earrings on the fly. Do you feel the need to bead today? Check out these 12 easy earring making ideas that you can (probably) do right now! (Before you get started, just make sure that you have enough ear wires handy, or learn how to make your own!)
1. Bezel a pair of Czech glass spike beads with peyote stitch. Got so many spike beads that you don't know what to do with them? Work a simple peyote stitch bezel around a pair of them, add some gemstones or accent beads, and make a little loop for your ear wires.
2. Bezel a pair Czech glass gumdrop beads with peyote stitch. Just like the Czech glass spike beads, but softer. These lend themselves to pretty floral-inspired earrings designs.
3. Bezel a pair of crystal rivolis. Do you really need anything else? Just a few seed beads and a pair of crystal rivolis, and you have the perfect pair of understated, elegant earrings for your next special occasion.
4. Bezel anything else! Seriously, I have three drawers full of cabcohons, vintage glass stones, resin-filled bottle caps...all of which are just crying out at any given moment for me to drop whatever it is that I'm doing, grab some seed beads, and make earrings out of them.
5. Cover a pair of tiny rings with right-angle weave. Remember those plastic rings that you use for making potholders? My mother and my grandmother always had dozens of them lying around, and a few years ago, I discovered that I could paint them (or not), and cover them with right-angle weave to make funky earrings!
6. String some Lucite flowers and crystals on headpins. There's nothing quite like the instant gratification of stringing some Lucite flowers and crystals on a pair of headpins for quick-as-you-please beaded earrings.
7. Make a pair of brick stitch triangles or diamonds. My old standby: I loved making these when I was first learning how to bead, but now, my designs have grown up. Try making a ladder stitch base for your beaded diamonds and use Czech fire polished beads in the center of 3- or 4-bead stacks for a fancy centerpiece. Add fringe in excess for some shoulder-sweeping beauties!
8. Make a pair of peyote stitch rings. Of all the peyote stitch techniques I come back to over and over again, I can't get enough of making self-supporting peyote stitch rings. These open themselves up to so many design possibilities...and they look great just by themselves for a pair of quick and simple beaded earrings.
9. Work a strip of flat peyote to surround a pair of round beads. One of my favorite designs from my first earring-a-day challenge was a simple strip of flat peyote that I wrapped around a 10mm round bead. I zipped the peyote stitch strip together to form a tube, put the tube around the bead, and wiggled a headpin through the peyote stitch and the bead.
10. Make two little pieces of embellished spiral rope. Embellished spiral rope is so much fun to do, especially in small doses! Gather up a handful of your stray glass beads and use them to embellish a couple of short pieces of spiral rope. Join the ends of the spiral rope into rings before adding your ear wires, or let them hang freely.
11. Leaf fringe. Fast and easy, right? Just take a short length of seed beads (maybe an inch or two?) and add a stop bead at both ends. Embellish the heck out of it with as many little leaf fringes as you can, and then add your ear wires. For a little extra something, add some Czech glass cup beads or a sprinkling of crystal bicones as you stitch.
12. Small metal stampings. I have a whole hoarde of beautiful, tiny brass stampings. I may not get around to using all of them in my lifetime, but they make great earrings. Use a headpin to dangle a bead off the bottom of a brass stamping or other metal jewelry-making component, and attach the top to an ear wire.
And, if you really want a challenge for your earring making skills...why not make a pair of non-matching earrings? It's a fun little test for your design skills to see what kinds of earrings you can make that are matching, but not matching!
Where do you get your best ideas for earring making projects? I love what I see in each issue of Beadwork magazine. Fun designs using all the new shapes and types of glass beads, earrings that incorporate unusual components, new ways to use your favorite beading stitches... You won't want to miss out on a single issue! Subscribe to Beadwork magazine and stock your artistic "well" with new ideas for making beaded earrings.
What's your favorite way to make earrings? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share your ideas with us!
Filed under: Peyote stitch, Crystals, Beaded Beads, Bead Making, Stringing, Brick Stitch, Glass Beads, Wire Jewelry, How To Bead, Seed Bead Patterns, Bead-weaving, Beading Tools, Earring Making, Beaded Jewelry Design, Beads, Jewelry Making, Beading Daily