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Half-round earrings

Seed beads, crystals, and wire link up in a fun design

It’s usual for my work table to have enough area where I can spread out the beads for the next few projects. Occasionally, the project beads will get mixed up and produce a completely new project – like these earrings. One of the crystals ended up on top of a partial circle of leftover wire with seed beads all around. I liked the way it all looked together, so I forgot the projects I’d planned and began making dozens of these earrings. I am notorious for not wanting to repeat designs (my friends might say whiny, but that is absolutely NOT true.) I have to force myself to finish the second half of even a single pair of earrings. But this design was so much fun and so easy to do that I made more than a few pairs.

SUPPLIES

  • 2 Flat beads or crystals
  • 2 Drop crystals or pendants
  • Japanese cylinder beads, 2 colors
  • Gold or silver wire, 18 gauge
  • Dowel, 1⁄2 in. for small, 1 in. for large
  • #12 Beading needle
  • Nymo B beading thread
  • Ear wires
  • Roundnose pliers, wire cutters
  • Hammer and anvil (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Halfround earrings a
Photo a
Halfround earrings b
Photo b

1. With the hammer and anvil, pound one end of a 2 1⁄2 in. (6.3cm) length of wire flat (3 1⁄2 in. (9cm) for large earrings). Note: if you don’t have an anvil, add 1⁄4 in. (6mm) to the wire’s length and form a loop at the end (How-Tos). String the flat bead (photo a).

2. If the flat bead has a vertical hole through the center (see bear earrings, above left), skip this step. If the flat bead has a horizontal hole through the center, bend the wire perpendicular to the hole, just behind the bead. 

3. Form a loop just above the flat bead 1⁄2 in. (1.3cm) from the bend, bending to the left for one earring and to the right for the other earring. The wire should cross over the stem behind the flat bead (photo b).

Halfround earrings c
Photo c
Halfround earrings d
Photo d

Wrap the wire around the stem after making the loop (photo c).

4. Curve the wire around a 1⁄2-in. dowel (1-in. dowel). Bend it away from and behind the flat bead. 

5. Push the arc downward, slide on the drop bead, and make a small loop on the wire’s end. Position the drop bead just below the flat bead (photo d).

Halfround earrings 1
Figure 1
Halfround earrings 2
Figure 2

6. For the brick stitched points around the arc, tie 2 ft. (61cm) of thread onto the arc, sliding the knot down to rest near the drop bead. String 2 main color Japanese cylinder beads. Go around the wire from back to front and back up through the second bead (figure 1). Go down through the first bead and come up through the second bead. 

7. String 1 bead. Go around the wire and through the bead just added (figure 2). Repeat 2 more times.

Halfround earrings 3
Figure 3
Halfround earrings 4
Figure 4

8. Work the triangle in brick stitch (How-Tos), working the last 2 rows in another color bead. Go through the outer edge beads and the last bead in the base row (figure 3). Go around the wire and back through the same bead. 

9. Begin another triangle by stringing 1 bead. Go under the wire and back through the bead just added (figure 4). Work a base of five and the triangle.

10. Work enough triangles to fill in the space between the drop and the top of the arc. Attach the ear wires.

Variations

1. Work the triangles with a base of 3 beads. This will produce smaller points. Or add loops on the tip of each triangle. 

2. Add a little movement by dangling beads with small holes: In step 1, form a loop, but don’t add a bead. Finish the wire and beadwork. Form a loop on an end of a 3⁄4 in. (1.9cm) piece of 22-gauge wire. String the small bead and form another loop above the bead. Attach the dangle to the loop formed in step 1.

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