Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tutorial Tuesday:Swinging Spinning Disk Earrings

Swinging Spinning Earrings in Pink -a rustic fancy look

Swinging Spinning Earrings in Blue-- a rustic urban look

My tutorial for today features a way of making earrings that will spin and swing.  They are both made in the same way.  For the second pair, I just pulled out the wires to create a different shape. We will begin with making the spinning bead and then work on creating the longs wires that give the earrings a lot of swing.

Tools you will need
Round Nose pliers
Chain Nose Pliers
Flush cutters
Pipe cutter
Small hammer
Bench block
Supplies for one pair of earrings

6-8 artist disk beads with 1/8 inch center holes (or other artist disk beads: see Treasury at end of post)
6 inches 1/8 inch K&ampS copper tube ( from Ace Hardware )
30 inches of 16 gauge copper wire
1 pair of ear wires
6 inch piece of Sari silk or other ribbon

1. Assemble your disk beads.  I used 4 disk beads in each earring.   They are ones I made from ceramic clay.

I used two different sizes.  

2. String your beads on the copper tube.  I put on  one smaller disk, and then the two larger disks back to back and then another smaller disk.  You are going to mark on the pipe how much space they take up. Don't allow more than a little bit more than the space the beads take up.

3.  Take the beads off the pipe and put your pipe into a vice so that you can attach the pipe cutter to the copper tube.

Tube cutter

copper tube in vice

pipe cutter positioned on copper tube at marked spot

4.  Using the red circle shaped knob on the pipe cutter twist is slowly clockwise and it will begin cutting the tube.  Gently tighten the knob every couple turns so that the disk cutter stays in close contact with the tube.  After about 4 or 5  turns the tube will be cut.

5.  String your disks on the tube as described above.
disks beads string on cut piece of copper tubing

6. Because your beads will slip off the end of the tube even after they are strung on the wire we are going to flatten the ends of the tube so they will stay in place.  To do this you will need a small hammer and a bench block.  Place the beads strung on the tube on a bench block and gently tap the end of the tube with your small hammer.  Hold the disks together with your fingers as you gently tap.  Turn the bead over and do the other side and go back and forth until the disks are secure and don't slip off the tube.

Flattening the tube 

holding the disk beads tightly while flattening the tube

7.  Now you are ready to wire wrap your beads and make the earrings.  Measure and mark 5 inches on one of the 15 inch pieces of wire.  String your bead on up to that mark.
string bead 5 inches into the 15 inch piece of wire

8.  Fold both ends of the 15 inch piece of wire snugly around the bead as seen in picture below
wire folded around bead

9.  Cross the wires in the center of the bead about 2 inches from the center hole of the beads as seen in picture below.

Wires centered and crossed at 2 inches from center hole of beads
                             ( after taking this picture I decided 2 inches is better)

10.  Fold the shorter wire over the longer wire and use your chain nose pliers to make a right angle bend in the shorter wire at that point.
shorter wire crossed over long one with right angle bend

11.Wrap the shorter wire over the longer wire about 3 times, trim and squeeze wire into the wrap
shorter wire wrapped around longer one

shorter wire trimmed and squeezed into wrap

12. Making the Stringing Loop 
 About 1/4 inch from wrap wires make a right angle bend away from you in the center wire and then make a wrapped loop by  bending the wire towards you over the round nose pliers.
wire wrapping the stringing loop

Make the loop and then use the extra wire to wrap over the wire connecting the longer and shorter wires.  
wrapped loop

13.Repeat these steps for the second earring.

14.To finish your earrings
For the Rustic Urban Look earrings I shaped them by pulling the long wires outward at about the halfway point and then I painted them with liquid Liver of Sulfur gel to darken the wire.

Rustic Urban Look

For the Fancy Rustic Look I left the wire untreated.  To keep that pink copper color you can spray the wires with Krylon acrylic spray .  I then cut about 5 inches of pink sari ribbon and then cut that piece in half lengthwise and tied them on below the stringing loop. Trim the ribbon to suit how long you want it.  I cut it longer than I wanted so that it would be easier to tie it on.

Fancy Rustic Look

These earrings swing a lot due to the long wire and the weight of the bead.  The disks in the bead will move as well.

Here are some other Art Bead Disks you might like to try


Terri said...


Sandy said...

Great Tutorial and Design! Thanks!

Claire Lockwood said...

These look just so sweet and fun - great tute!

Mary Harding said...

Thank you all for you kind words about my tutorial. So appreciated!!

Catherine Hex said...

Thanks a lot for the tips! I can't wait to try to make my own earrings.

Melanie McGready said...

Wonderful! I'm definately going to give it this a go.