Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tutorial Tuesday: Wee Bud Earrings

Long story short, I recently went to a beady event where there were a number of art bead makers selling their work.  Obviously I had to get a wee (or, in some cases, no so wee) something from every stall, and from Pippa Chandler I picked up some of these dinky little flower buds.

I'm loving the whole orange and teal thing at the moment, so these really appealed to me.  I knew I wanted to use two in a pair of earrings, but that left me wondering how to use them so that the colours could be seen inside and out.  Here's the solution I came up with.

By hanging the flowers so that they partly rest inside the oval links, they are lifted up, showing the orange centre.  Moreover, the flowers are kept in place because the 'back' of the flowers is cradled in the oval.  Here's a quick step-by-step to show how I made them.  Start by taking about 10cm of 22 gauge / 0.6mm wire and thread a third of it through a large czech glass leaf.

Fold the ends of the wire up to the top of the leaf and bend the longer length upright at the centre top of the leaf.  Wrap the shorter length around the upright wire, then trim and tuck in the end.  Add a couple of lampwork spacers to the remaining wire. (The orange spacer I've used here is from Puffafish Lampwork; I can't remember who made the mini turquoise one...)

Next, take an oval link - I've used some links from a large chain, each being approximately 17 x 11mm.  Attach your beaded leaf drop below the oval hoop with a wrapped loop.  Put your polymer flower on a headpin and attach to the top of your oval with a wrapped loop.

Take another 6cm of wire and make a wrapped loop at one end, attaching it to the hoop at the top of your flower.  Thread on a mini czech glass melon bead then close with a wrapped loop. Finish by attaching an ear wire.

Now all you have to do is make your second earring.

There are lots of bud and pod beads about at the moment.  You could use this technique to hang them - whether on earrings or a necklace - so you can see inside them.

All you need to do is find a suitable 'link' shaped base on which to rest your bud or pod.  It might take a big bone hoop, a large metal connector, or a chunky vintage lucite ring.  Whether you want to make a pair of wee bud earrings or have been looking for a way to hang a pod shaped focal, I hope you've found something helpful here.

Bye for now, Claire

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Carol Briody said...

Beautiful design, Claire! The color combo is zesty! And the way you wrapped to highlight Pips little bud is so creative! Thank you for sharing the tutorial!

Ema Kilroy said...

I love these! Thanks for the tutorial Claire.

Mary Harding said...

Such sweet bud earrings. Great idea for tilting them so both colors are visible. Thanks for the tut on how to make these!!