Techniques: Square Wire combinations
Skill Level: Beginner/All
I really enjoy combining different colors of square Fancy wire with untwisted square wire – the finished look is stunning!
You can make your own variations of this earring design by changing the position of the wires or by adding more dimension at the end. I used pale blue beads, thinking about birds in a clear sky, but you can use your favorite bead combinations and customize this design to fit your style.
Tip: to create a matching "left/right" pair make both earrings at the same time, mirroring each move from one to the other.
1. Straighten, measure and cut each 20 gauge wire into 4 pieces, each 3 inches (7.7 cm) long. For each earring, prepare a bundle with Brass wire on the edges and two pieces of Fancy in the center. Tape near one end. From the taped end, measure down 7/8 inch (7.7 cm) and mark across the bundle.
2. Using one 4-inch (10 cm) piece of half round wire, wrap one bundle from the mark down its length 5 times to show and trim. Use the remaining half round to wrap the other bundle in the same manner. The side of the bundle where the wrap wire begins and ends is now the back.
3. With the front of each
earring bundle facing you, gently fan 3 of the longer wires toward the side of one bundle. Repeat in the opposite direction on the other earring bundle. On one earring bundle, carefully cut 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) from the end of one Fancy wire. Working on the same bundle, measure and cut 3/4 inch (2 cm) from the other Fancy wire. Working on the same bundle, measure and cut 3/4 inch (2 cm) from the other Fancy wire end. Now repeat the same measured cuts, in the opposite direction, on the other earring bundle (thus making a "left/right" matching pair).
4. Remove the tape from both bundles, exposing the 'top' of each earring. On each bundle, gently fan 3 wires in the same direction as those on the respective bottom. Working with the curved Brass wire, trim 3/8 inch (1 cm) from the end. On the trimmed end, use chain nose pliers to begin, and flat nose pliers to roll a spiral down toward the front of the wrapped segment, ending with the spiral on top of the wraps. Repeat the above procedure on the other earring bundle.
5. Working with the next wire (Fancy), trim 1/4 inch (7 mm) from the end and make a gentle spiral down, ending next to the wrapped segment. Repeat on the other earring.
6. Use the 3rd wire (Fancy) to make another gentle spiral down, placing it slightly on top of the previously made curve.
7. On each bundle, bend the remaining brass wire 90 degrees toward the side. Measuring from the wrap, trim the brass wire to 3/8 inch (1 cm) long. Place round nose pliers on the end and roll the wire back toward the top of the earring, forming an attachent eye slightly behind the last curved wire.
8. Working now on the bottom of the earring bundles, add your chosen bead combination to the straight brass wire. Immediately after the last bead, make a 90 degree bend toward the side. Measure 3/4 inch (2 cm) from the bend toward the end and trim. Use chain nose pliers to begin and flat nose pliers to roll a spiral down, ending centered under the last bead. Repeat in the opposite direction on the other earring.
9. From the end of the Fancy wire next to the beaded segment, trim off 3/4 inch (19 mm) and from the end of the next Fancy wire, trim off 1/2 inch (13 mm). At the end of each wire, use chain nose pliers to form a tiny tight loop heading toward the beaded segment. Use flat nose pliers to form lazy curves toward the beaded wire.
10. Add dimension to the earrings by using flat nose pliers to slightly bend the Fancy curved wires up and over, toward the beads. Attach your favorite ear wires.