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Thursday, February 13, 2014

DIY Freshwater Pearl Earrings

As you may or may not know (or care), I am getting married next year!  So a lot of my DIY projects coming up will be wedding related, but you don't have to be getting married to find them useful.  For example, today's DIY project is how to make freshwater pearl earrings.  I'm going to be making these for my bridesmaids, but they'd be cute on a date, or out with friends, as well.  If pearls aren't your thing, sub in any kind of fun bead on the end to make it work with  your style.

The Project

So, I like these earrings for a few different reasons.  The first is, it's a simple style.  Because this is the first DIY jewelry post I'm throwing at you all, I figured that an easier project would be good to start you out with.  Simple also is good for me, because I'm going to be making three pairs, and six earrings can be tedious if you choose something intricate.  

The Materials

Unlike my last post, this project does require an investment, but the great thing about it is that you will have supplies left over for future projects.  
I spent about $34 total on supplies, but I'll be able to make more than just these earrings, plus I chose higher end materials like freshwater pearls and sterling silver wire.  For a more budget friendly approach, try it with a metal alloy and glass pearls. I'm providing links to the products I bought for your reference (no, they are not affiliated with me). 
So, as you see, it's a steep investment, but I'll have leftover pearls, one extra pair of earring hooks, and leftover wire for future projects.  The most expensive part of the project were the pliers which I already owned, but included so you could estimate how much it would cost for a beginner. 

Step One

If you're feeling brave and ready to try, here's how to begin:
Take your wire cutter from the package of pliers, and snip off about 0.5" of your wire.  

Step Two

You want to use your needle nose pliers to grip one end of your wire, and the roll the nose until you have a loop touching the center of the wire.  Do the same thing to the other end, but leave a small gap between the edge of the loop, and the wire, so that it looks like an open 8.

Step Three

Link the open part of your wire loop with the earring hook, then use your pliers to press the loop together.  Add another 8 to the first one, and repeat until you have six linked onto one other in a chain.

Step Four

Once you have all six links done, cut a longer piece of wire; this is going to hold your pearl.  Twist the bottom into a smaller loop than usual - you won't need to fit a piece of wire through it, it's just to keep the bead in place.  Once your pearl is on the wire, twist the top into a loop just like you did for the links of your chain,  Connect it to the bottom link, and close with your pliers.

Step Five

Now you have the back part of your earring complete, and it's time for the front - you're over halfway there!
Add three links to your earring hook, and make sure that you add the top link so that it will be in front of the first chain, when you are wearing the earring.  Add the final pearl to the bottom of the three links like you did.  Congratulations, you did your first earring!  Now just do it all over again, and you've got a fab and classy pair of pearl dangles that would go great with a LBD...or a bridesmaid dress, as it happens :)

Happy crafting, fashionistas :)

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