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Ruffled rings

Create colorful dangling earrings from layered jump ring clusters

A sample bag of mixed anodized aluminum jump rings inspired me to modify a simple chain mail pattern known as Shaggy Loops. I like the clustered effect that results from combining jump rings in different sizes and wire gauges. Beads and crystals add extra sparkle to the jump rings and earring findings, and it’s easy to match the earrings with any piece of clothing.

SUPPLIES

Pair of earrings

  • 2–6 6–8 mm crystals (optional)
  • 12–14 size 6/0 or 8/0 seed beads (optional)
  • 2–6 2-in. (5 cm) 20-gauge 
  • head pins or eye pins (optional)
  • jump rings
    • 14 4.25 mm inside diameter stainless steel or brass, 18-gauge
    • 84 anodized aluminum in assorted colors, sizes/wire gauges (Blue Buddha Boutique, bluebuddhaboutique.com)
  • pair of earring findings
  • bentnose pliers
  • chainnose pliers
  • roundnose pliers (optional)
  • wire cutters (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

You can make these earrings from any combination of jump rings — vary the jump ring size, wire gauge, and color. Customize them even more by changing the length, dangling crystals or beads from the bottom, or embellishing the jump rings with seed beads. Follow these basic instructions, and modify them as desired.
ruffled rings 1b
Photo a
1. For each earring, you will need seven 4.25 mm stainless steel or brass jump rings for the base chain, and three sets of 14 rings in different sizes, wire gauges, and/or colors. Select your jump rings, and lay them on your work surface in rows with the base jump rings in the middle and symmetrical rows on each side (PHOTO A).
ruffled rings 2
Photo b
2. Open the seven base jump rings and close the remaining jump rings. If you plan to attach a seed bead to any of the jump rings, embellish them before closing the jump rings (PHOTO B).
ruffled rings 3
Photo c
3. If you plan to attach dangles to the bottom of the earrings, make them now. To make a dangle, string a 6 mm crystal on a head or eye pin. Note the size of the bottom jump ring before making a plain loop. Make the loop large enough to fit around the jump ring. Vary the length of the dangles if you are adding more than one. Slide the bottom base jump ring through the plain loops before you attach the sets of jump rings (PHOTO C).
ruffled rings 4b
Photo d
4. Attach a set of closed jump rings to an open base jump ring in the order they were placed on your work surface, working from the center outward. Repeat to attach the remaining set of jump rings from that row (PHOTO D). Close the base jump ring.
ruffled rings 5
Photo e

5. Slide an open base jump ring through the top of the closed base jump ring. Attach the sets of closed jump rings on each side of the base jump ring. Close the base jump ring (PHOTO E).

6. Repeat step 5 with the remaining open base jump rings.

ruffled rings 6
Photo f

7. Attach an earring finding to the top base jump ring (PHOTO F)

8. Make a second earring.

Tip!

DESIGNER’S NOTE:
If closing the base jump ring is difficult, remove one of the colored jump rings, and close the base jump ring. Open the colored jump ring, and slide it through the base jump ring.

EDITOR’S NOTE:
If you use smaller jump rings of a finer wire gauge, you will need to stack more jump rings on each side of the base jump ring to fill it out.

FIND MORE: earrings , chain mail , jump rings

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