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Spiral wire earrings

Who doesn’t love wire spirals and sparkly crystals? This project combines two great design elements in one fun pair of earrings.

SUPPLIES

Earrings 1 5⁄8 x 1 1⁄4 in. (41 x 32 mm)

  • Wire, dead soft, round 
    • 16 in. (40.6 cm), 14-gauge (1.6 mm)
    • 4 ft. (122 cm), 24-gauge (0.5 mm)
  • 5⁄32 in. (4 mm) brass or copper tubing, 1 in. (25.5 mm)
  • 4 20-gauge 4mm inner diameter (ID) jump rings
  • Beads
  • 30 3 mm crystal bicones
  • 12 3 mm glass pearls
  • 32 Size 11/0 glass or metal seed beads
  • Ear wires
  • Wirework toolbox
  • Jewelry saw and 3/0 blade
  • Tube holder
  • Metal file

INSTRUCTIONS

Spiral wire earrings Step 1
Step 1
Flush cut four 4-in. (102 mm) pieces of 14-gauge (1.6 mm) wire. Make a mark 1 1⁄2 in. (38.1 mm) from one end of each piece of wire. Use roundnose pliers to make a loop on the marked end. Create an open spiral on this end up to the mark. Repeat on all four pieces.
Spiral wire earrings Step 2
Step 2
Holding the tubing in a tube cutter or by hand, cut two 1⁄2 in. (13 mm) sections with the jewelry saw. Use a metal file to smooth the ends of the tubes. Slide one of the spiraled wires into a tube and spiral the other end, forming the larger second spiral towards the one on the other end. Repeat this step with the other tube.
Spiral wire earrings Step  3
Step 3
Slide another spiraled wire into the same tube from the opposite direction so there is a small spiral coming out each end. Spiral the end of the second wire. Repeat for a second earring. The large and small spirals will be arranged diagonal to each other.
Spiral wire earrings Step 4
Step 4
Choose one side to be the front, keeping in mind that the pieces should be arranged mirror-image to one another. Use a chasing hammer to flatten all of the spirals and the tubing. Use liver of sulfur to antique the spirals and 4 ft. (cm) of 24-gauge (0.5 mm) wire. Polish the spiral components with steel wool or a polishing pad.
Spiral wire earrings Step  5
Step 5

Add beads

Cut a 2 ft. (61 cm) piece of 24-gauge (.5mm) wire. Position the wire across the top of the top end of the tubing with 8 in. (20.3 cm) of wire on the side of the big spiral. Wrap the 8 in. (20.3 cm) end around the large spiral and bring the wire up between the wires next to the tube. Next, wrap over the top and around the small wire spiral, again coming out between the wires. Repeat this figure-8 weave twice until the wire is wrapped around the large spiral.

Spiral wire earrings Step  6
Step 6
Slide a pearl onto the wire, position it on the front side and wrap the wire three to four times around the spiral. Repeat twice. After adding the third pearl, wrap three to four more times. Cut off the extra wire on the back of the spiral and squeeze in place using chainnose pliers.
Spiral wire earrings Step 7
Step 7
On the other end of the wire, string an alternating bead pattern starting with a seed bead, then a crystal. Repeat the alternating pattern until there are 15 crystals strung on the wire and add one last 11/0 seed bead.
Spiral wire earrings Step 8
Step 8
Wrap this around the tube. If there are too many beads, remove what you don’t need. Make two or three figure-8 wraps around the spiral wires just below the tubing to secure the wire in place.
Spiral wire earrings Step 9
Step 9
With the wire emerging between the spiral wires, string on a pearl and position it on the front of the larger spiral. Make three to four wraps around the larger spiral. Repeat two more times. After the third pearl is strung, wrap three more times and flush cut the wire on the back of the earring. Squeeze the wire against the spiral using chainnose pliers. Repeat steps 5–9 on the other earring.
Spiral wire earrings Step 10
Step 10
Open a 20-gauge (0.8 mm), 4 mm ID jump ring and slide it between the first and second pearls on the top spiral and close the jump ring. Slide a second open jump ring through the first ring and loop of the ear wire. Close the jump ring. Repeat for the second earring.
Tip!
If the second wire is hard to slide into the tube, gently flatten the tube into an oval shape using a chasing hammer and bench block. 
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