Spiral Chain Drop Earrings
Skill Level: Intermediate
Technique: Involved Components
Sometimes when I am working on a particular design, another idea comes to mind. That is how this design came to be. While I was working on the Merry-Go-Round earring design, the idea to use a chain and a teardrop bead seemed like a possibility. After adding a few more steps and doing some things a little differently, "Spiral Chain Drop" earrings are now a reality. Feel free to explore different variations by using various chain designs as well as different bead shapes and sizes. (Within this pattern, I have also included instructions for making the earrings a bit shorter.)
Tip: Make both earrings at the same time, working one step on one earring, and then the same step on the other.
- Using 22-gauge square half hard wire, straighten, clean, and cut one 25" piece. Twist this wire using an automatic wire twister. So that the twists are consistent, cut the 25" wire in half, and then cut 1/2" from the end that was in the twister and 1/2" from the end that was in the pliers or vise. Each twisted wire should now be 12" long. Cut 2 pieces of chain, each 2 1/2" long (or 1 1/2" long if you want your earrings to be shorter.)
- Mark 1 1/2" from one end of each wire. Use flat nose pliers to make a 90° bend at each mark.
- At each bend, use round nose pliers to begin a wrapped loop.
- After making just the loop, slide the end link of one piece of chain into the loop.
- Finish wrapping the loop in, trim wire, and tuck in the end.
- Mark 1/4" above bottom of each wrapped loop. Using flat nose pliers, make a 90° bend at the 1/4" mark. Make a wrapped loop, then do not cut this twisted wire. Leave it extended to the side.
Tip: It may be easier to complete the wraps using your hands instead of the pliers.
- On each 2-inch head pin, put a 2.5mm sterling silver round bead, a 4mm crystal AB bi-cone bead, a 14mm teardrop bead, and a 2mm sterling silver round bead.
- After the last bead, begin a wrapped loop to connect the headpin to the bottom of the chain. Remember to place the last link of the chain into the loop and then complete the wrap.
- Using the long extended wire, beginning at the bottom, wind the wire tightly around a round pencil, forming a spiral. Carefully slide the pencil out of the wire.
- Use chain nose pliers to grasp the end of the spiral, and gently pull downward. Pull until the bottom of the spiral is below the bead. When you let go of the spiral, it should spring upward and be about even with the top of the bead.
Use chain nose pliers to make a tiny loop at the end of the spiraled wire. Now gently work the chain (with the bead) to the inside of the spiraled wire. Curve the end of the spiraled wire, creating a circle containing the chain with the bead inside the spirals.
- Attach each component to an ear wire.
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