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Earrings make a quick, relatively simple-to-make gift. I don’t wear them that much, but if you know someone who loves switching earrings up constantly, mastering some of the basics in this post here will allow you to craft unique and wonderful gifts for them. And if you are an earring fanatic, then learning to make your own likely appeals to you.
Decide On Type of Earrings
There are scads of different types of earrings, google “types of earrings” and go into great depth. The main types that I use are chandelier and hoop.
Decide On Earring Hook
There are a few different types of hooks to use, the hook is basically what you use to attach the earring to the wearer’s ear. Probably the most popular is the French hook or shepherd hook. If you have hoop earrings, generally the hoop itself will be the fastener. A tip, if you are doing post earrings, you will also need to find a backer (there are several types, probably the most popular is the butterfly closure).
Generally, it will depend upon the project, but the findings I use most often when crafting earrings are split rings, head pins, and eye pins. These findings are used to attach the jeweled elements of your earrings to the hook. You will want to match the metal for all your findings generally, so use only gold findings or silver for example.
Split rings are metal rings with a gap in them, using pliers you can gently pry that open and attach it to your work. I will then use the pliers to close the gap and secure the ring to my project. Generally, I use reasonably small split rings for earrings, the smaller you can find, the less noticeable they will be.
Head pins and eye pins are quite similar in that they resemble a long pin, only the head pin has a flat, nail-like head and the eye pin is a loop. I use these to string pieces of beads that are part of the project. I will then take my round nose pliers (see my jewelry tools post) to create a loop at the end of my work and attach it to the rest of my work using a split ring.
Wire can be used to create beautiful designs in itself even without the use of beads. I haven’t had much experience with this, but I’ve just started to work with creating these gorgeous pieces, I’ll come back and update this post with my results once I’ve had time to finish up a project. In this case, you’re allowing the wire to take center stage by working it into intricate loops and other designs, so you will want a good quality gauge since your beads won’t be hiding it.
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