I would like to make my own hoop earrings with non-tarnish wire and seed beads. I think I read some where that I need to use 22 gauge wire. Is that correct? That 20 gauge is too thick for seed beads....
If you're talking about putting the seed beads directly onto the hoop then start with 8/0 seed beads and larger for 20 gauge round wire. I checked and that was the smallest that would fit. For me making the hoop out of 22 gauge wire would be too flimsy for my comfort. I don't think 22 gauge would hold their shape well enough for the kind of use & abuse they would get. (Just my opinion though)
Personally, for frames and hoops and such I don't go smaller than 18 guage. For findings like headpins and things that need to hold there shape fairly well I use 20 gauge or even 22 gauge. But I don't like things that are too flimsy. I don't even make my earwires out of anything smaller than 20 gauge and truthfully I usually use 18 gauge for those.
Now, if you're talking about attaching the seeds by wrapping them to the hoops. Similar to the ones below. Then, again, I would still make the hoops out of at least 18 guage wire and then you can wire wrap them to the hoops with the 22 gauge wire or smaller.
In pair A. I used 6/0 seed bead on 16 gauge wire hoops with, I think it was, either 21 or 22 guage wire for the wrapping wire. And on pair B. I used 18 guage wire for the triangles and, I think it may have been, 22 to 24 guage wire for the wrapping wire my beads weren't seed on that one but 1mm wood rounds.
I have made my own hoops, see the below picture, but have just never put seed beads directly on them. . These are, again, made with 18 gauge wire the smaller copper beads are 5mm round beads. I don't have any 18 gauge wire at the moment but I did check and 20 gauge wire will just accomodate 8/0 there's not much wiggle room though. So I would guess that if using 18 gauge wire the smallest size seed bead you could use would be a size 6/0. Just a guess though.
I don't know if this was of any help or not but this is just my 2 cents. And what I am most comfortable with using.
Good Luck and I hope you will show us your completed piece.
Have a Happy New Year!
southwest Texas USA