Cup-chain mesh sparkling earrings

Mesh findings provide the movement for these sparkly earrings -- a perfect look for a special night out on the town!

I have always been drawn to the flash of rhinestones, so when these earrings caught my eye while shopping at an antique shop, I knew I had to have them. Unfortunately, upon closer inspection, I found that some of the crystals had darkened over time, tarnishing my earlier excitement. The earrings’ basic construction is cup-chain soldered together, but since I am not a wiz at soldering (yet), I decided to try an alternate method.

After searching for fitting findings, I called Diane Hyde. She graciously provided the perfect mesh findings, which allowed me to complete these dazzling earrings.

SUPPLIES

earrings

  •  2 yd. (1.8 m) 24-gauge craft wire to match findings
  • 12 in. (30 cm) 2 mm crystal cup-chain
  • 2 3/8 in. (1 cm) mesh domes with post earring backs (Designer's Findings, designersfindings.net)
  • chainnose pliers
  • wire cutters

INSTRUCTIONS

Mesh sparkling earrings_photo a
PHOTO A
1. Decide on your desired design, and carefully cut the cup-chain apart with your wire cutters (PHOTO A). For each of my earrings, I cut two 2-in. (5 cm) pieces, two 2 1/2-in. (6.4 cm) pieces, and one 2 1/4-in. (5.7 cm) piece of cup-chain.
Meshsparklingearringsphotob
Photo B
Mesh sparkling earrings_photo c
Photo C

2. Lay out the chains, making sure the design is wide enough to cover the mesh finding (PHOTO B).

3. Cut the 24-gauge wire into 14 2-in. (5 cm) sections. Bend the wires in half (PHOTO C).

Mesh sparkling earrings_photo d
Photo D

4. Hold the 2 1/4-in. (5.7 cm) cup-chain section up to the middle of the mesh finding.

 

Slide the wire ends through two adjacent holes of the mesh finding from front to back, straddling the cup-chain between two cups (PHOTO D).

 

Cross the wires in the back of the mesh finding.

Mesh sparkling earrings_photo e
Photo E

5. Using your chainnose pliers, twist the wire to snug the cup-chain up to the mesh finding (PHOTO E). Leaving a 1/8-in.(3 mm) piece of twisted wire, trim the wire. Bend the twisted wire over to lie flat against the back of the mesh finding.

 

6. Keeping the cup-chain as straight as possible, attach it to the mesh finding between the next two cups. Repeat to secure the cup-chain across the surface of the mesh finding.

Mesh sparkling earrings_photo f
Photo F

7. Position a 2-in. (5 cm) section of cup-chain next to the first, and repeat the wiring process. Continue to attach the remaining cup-chains in the same manner. Try not to wire the cup-chain too close to the edge of the mesh finding, as it will make it very difficult to attach the back of the finding. 

 

8. When all of the chains are attached, align the earring back with the mesh finding, and use chainnose pliers to bend the prongs over the front (PHOTO F). (I had to cut one of my prongs a little bit to get it to lie properly.)

 

9. Repeat steps 1–8 to make a second earring.


 
Other earrings image

 

Look for interesting shapes to turn any mesh finding into a glittering accessory.

 

 

Cup-chain also comes in a variety of sizes.

FIND MORE: chain , crystals , earrings

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