Swaying frame earrings

Swarovski sew-on stones swing in the breeze with these easy wire frames. Meanwhile, decorative wraps and chain dangles draw the eye down past every elegant inch of the design.

SUPPLIES

Earrings 3 1⁄2 in. (89 mm) 

  • Nontarnish copper wire, round (vintage bronze)
    • 16 in. (40.6 cm) 18-gauge (1.0 mm)
    • 88 in. (2.2 m) 24-gauge (0.5 mm)
  • 2 9 x 18 mm space-cut sew-on stones (Swarovski #3251, crystal bronze shade)
  • 12 in. (30.5 cm) 2 x 3 mm cable chain (antique copper)
  • Pair of ear wires (vintage bronze)
  • 2 pairs of chainnose pliers
  • Nylon-jaw pliers
  • Roundnose pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Steel bench block or anvil
  • Hammer
  • Tape

INSTRUCTIONS

Swaying frame earrings a
Photo a
Earring frame

1.
Keeping the wire on the spool, use nylon-jaw pliers to straighten approximately 8 in. (20.3 cm) of 18-gauge wire.

2. Using roundnose pliers, grasp the wire 3⁄8 in. (9.5 mm) from the end of the wire, and make a 90° bend to form a soft corner (PHOTO A).
Swaying frame earrings b
Photo b
3. Form another soft corner approximately 13⁄16 in. (21 mm) from the previous corner (PHOTO B).
 
Swaying frame earrings c
Photo c
4. Form another soft corner approximately 5⁄8 in. (16 mm) from the previous corner (PHOTO C).
Swaying frame earrings d
Photo d
5. Repeat step 3 to form the last soft corner (PHOTO D).
Swaying frame earrings e
Photo e
6. Trim the overlapping wire in the middle of the short side of the frame (PHOTO E). This side of the frame will be slightly shorter than the opposite side and will be the top of the frame.
Swaying frame earrings f
Photo f

7. Place the frame on a bench block, and hammer it to flatten and work-harden it (PHOTO F).

8. Cut two 8-in. (20.3 cm) pieces of 24-gauge (wrapping) wire.

Swaying frame earrings g
Photo g
9. Bend one wire in half over the top of the frame where the ends meet (PHOTO G). Hold the ends in place while you wrap half of the 8-in. (20.3 cm) wire toward one corner. Repeat with the other half of the wire, wrapping toward the opposite corner. Trim and tuck the ends of the wire on the back of the frame.
Swaying frame earrings h
Photo h
10. Work as in step 9 to wrap the bottom of the frame (PHOTO H).
Swaying frame earrings i
Photo i
Sew-on stone

11.
Using roundnose pliers, make a 2 mm loop at the end of the 18-gauge wire on the spool. Trim the loop flush with the end of the wire, creating a jump ring (PHOTO I).
Swaying frame earrings j
Photo j
12. Place the jump ring on a bench block, and hammer it to flatten and work-harden it (j). Close the jump ring completely.
Swaying frame earrings k
Photo k
13. Tape a 9 x 18 mm space-cut sew-on stone in the center of the frame, leaving the holes of the stone exposed (PHOTO K). Make sure the stone is slightly closer to the top of the frame than the bottom and that the trimmed wrapping wires are positioned at the back of the frame.
Swaying frame earrings l
Photo l
14. Cut two 14-in. (35.6 cm) pieces of wrapping wire. Insert one wire through the top hole of the stone, and bend the wire in half. String the 2 mm jump ring over both ends of the wire, and center the jump ring at the top of the frame (PHOTO L).
Tip!
TIP: If your stone has foiling on the back, do not tape the foiling.
Swaying frame earrings m
Photo m
15. Wrap one end of the wire around the frame, through the top hole of the stone, and back up through the jump ring. Make two more wraps through the jump ring and the stone, and then make three or four wraps just through the stone and around the frame, working toward the corner. Repeat this step with the other half of the wire. Trim and tuck both ends close to the hole of the stone at the back of the frame (PHOTO M).
Swaying frame earrings n
Photo n
16. Insert the other wrapping wire through the bottom hole of the stone, and bend the wire in half. With each end of the wire, make a few wraps through the hole of the stone and around the bottom of the frame.

17. Cut four 1 1⁄2-in. (38 mm) pieces of chain. String a chain on each end of the wire, and position them along the bottom of the frame (PHOTO N).
Tip!
TIP: Hold the stone firmly in place while you wrap so it does not shift position in the frame. You can also use the second wire from step 14 to begin wrapping the other end of the stone, as shown in (PHOTO L) and (PHOTO M), to help stabilize the stone.
Swaying frame earrings o
Photo o
18. Wrap one end of the wire around the bottom of the frame, up through the hole of the stone, down through the chain, around the bottom of the frame, and up through the stone. Then bring the wire down to the bottom of the frame. Repeat this step with the other wire and chain (PHOTO O).
Swaying frame earrings p
Photo p
19. On each end of the wire, string another chain, and continue as before, working toward each corner. Make two more wraps through the stone and around the frame without going through any chains. Trim and tuck both ends close to the hole of the stone at the back of the frame.

20. Remove the tape. Open the loop of an ear wire, and attach the jump ring at the top of the frame. Close the loop (PHOTO P).

21. Make a second earring.
Tip!
Design option: For an even sparklier version of these earrings, add crystal rondelles along the sides of the frames and as dangles at the bottom of the chains.
B170201
About the author

Melissa Grakowsky Shippee fell in love with beading in 2007. Melissa teaches beaded jewelry workshops all over the world and sells patterns through her website, www.mgsdesigns.net.  This year, she will be teaching two classes at the 2017 Bead&Button Show.

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