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Interchangeable Earrings 2

Instructions for making Interchangeable Earrings #2 using jewelry wire, jewelry supplies and beads shaped on WigJig jewelry tools:

Interchangeable beaded Earrings jewelry making project with aqua beads.Interchangeable Beaded Earrings jewelry making project with fuchsia beadsThis earring design has the unique property that you can change the bead dangles.  This is a beginners jewelry making project.  Our instructions below provide instructions for making these earrings on the WigJig Electra or on the WigJig Centaur or Cyclops jewelry tool. 

These instructions show making the Interchangeable Earrings using an end cap bead.  You can easily modify this design to replace the end cap bead with a regular eye loop or an open loop.  Please scroll down to view our instructions for this alternative design.

This design is one of many examples where we completed the initial design shown at right, then learned a way to make a similar earring that we liked even better.  Our free jewelry making instructions for making this "better" version of the Interchangeable Earrings can be found by selecting here.

        Jewelry  Making Supplies Required:

Jewelry Tools Required:

  • 6 inches of 21G half-hard gold-filled jewelry wire (20G can be used)
  • Two 3mm gold-filled end cap beads
  • Two or more crystal beads
  • Two gold-filled head-pins
  • Four 2mm or 2.5 mm round gold-filled beads (optional)
  • Jeweler's Cement

(End Cap beads are metal beads with a hole drilled 1/2 way through.  They can be found here.)

  • Round Nose Pliers
  • Flush Cutter
  • Chain Nose or Bent Chain Nose Pliers
  • Any WigJig jewelry tool
  • 3 metal pegs and one 5/16" Super Peg
  • Chasing Hammer
  • Anvil
  • 30 minutes of free time


Jewelry Making Skills Required:

Step-by-Step Instructions for Making the Interchangeable Earrings using WigJig jewelry tools:

Step 1:  Cut and straighten a 3 inch piece of 21 G 1/2 hard gold-filled or sterling silver jewelry wire.  (20G wire can be used, but adding the end cap to the end of the wire will be a little more difficult as you may have to either ream the hole in the end cap or file the end of the wire so that it fits into the end cap bead.)

Step 2:  Add metal pegs 1, 2 and 4 to your WigJig jewelry tool.  Make a loop in the end of the jewelry wire and place this loop over peg 1.  Wrap the wire around peg 2 as shown at right.

Step 3:  Add the 5/16 inch Super Peg (peg 3) to your jewelry making jig.  Now wrap the jewelry wire around peg 3 and to the right of peg 4 as shown at right.

Peg pattern for Interchangeable Beaded Earrings showing pegs on WigJig Cyclops jewelry tool. Interchangeable Beaded Earrings jewelry making project step 2 Jewelry wire shaped in WigJig tool for Interchangeable Beaded Earrings step 3
Peg Pattern for Electra Step 2 Step 3

Step 4:  Now bend the jewelry wire against peg 4 as shown at right.

Step 5:  Cut the initial loop off the jewelry wire component and cut the wire tail of the ear wire.  Allow at least 1/8" of straight wire at the initial loop to facilitate inserting into the end cap.  Cut the wire tail with about 1/4" of wire between the end and the bend where peg 4 was.

Step 6:  Using your chasing hammer and anvil, hammer the rounded part of the ear
wire.  This is the part that touched the Super Peg.  This will set the shape of the ear wire.

Step 7:  Before opening the Jeweler's Cement, test the connection between the end cap and the wire.  The fit should be snug, with at least 1/16" of wire inside the end cap bead.  You may need to use a bead reamer to enlarge the hole in the end cap, or a file to make the end of the wire smaller.  When you are satisfied with the fit of the wire in the end cap, add a small drop of Jeweler's Cement into the hole in the end cap bead and then insert the wire.  Allow about 30 seconds for the glue to set.  When done the completed ear wire should appear as shown at right.

Step 4 of shaping jewelry wire on WigJig jewelry tool to make Interchangeable Beaded Earrings Interchangeable Beaded Earrings showing jewelry wire removed from WigJig jewelry tool step 5 Step 7 jewelry supplies added to jewelry wire to make Interchangeable Earrings.
Step 4 Step 5 Step 7

Step 8:  Make two bead dangles using beads on a head-pin.  I used a wrapped loop for my bead dangle, but this is optional.  Slide a bead dangle onto the ear wire you just made as shown at right.  Instructions for making the wrapped loop bead dangle can be found here. (Modify the technique shown on that page by replacing the green wire with a head-pin.)

Step 9:  Make a second ear wire to complete the set.  Make additional bead dangles so that you can use the interchangeable feature of these earrings.



Interchangeable Earrings jewelry making project step 8 made with blue beads.
Interchangeable Earrings jewelry making project made with blue beads, jewelry wire and WigJig jewelry tools. Interchangeable Earrings jewelry making project made with crystal beads, jewelry wire and WigJig jewelry tools.
Step 8 Finished Earring
w. Bead Item 2041
Finished Earring
w. Bead Item 1972

 

 

Interchangeable Earrings with Beads Jewelry Making Project Front ViewInterchangeable Earrings with Beads Jewelry Making Project side view
Alternative design for making earrings with an open loop using WigJig jewelry tools:

Here is an alternative design for our Interchangeable earrings.  This design was made on our WigJig Centaur and replaces the gold-tone end cap bead used in the first alternative with a small eye loop.  For this alternative the beads are interchangeable just as they were for our original design.

The peg pattern on your WigJig jewelry tool for this design is shown below-right.  This design uses three regular metal pegs and one 5/16" Super Peg.  As stated above, the peg patterns is shown on the WigJig Centaur, using the rounded portion of the Centaur.  When making this design, the loop made initially on peg 1, is going to be cut off during finishing of the earring, so you can conserve wire Peg  Pattern for Interchangeagle Earrings showing jewelry wire shapped on WigJig jewelry tool.by making only a partial loop. 

Step-by-Step Instructions for Making Alternative Interchangeable Ear Wires using WigJig jewelry tools:

Step 1:  Begin with a 3 inch segment of 20 gauge jewelry wire (1/2 hard or soft will work, but 1/2 hard is preferred). 

Step 2:  Make your initial 1/2 loop and straighten your jewelry wire.

Step 3:  Place your initial 1/2 loop on peg 1.  Add peg 2 to the WigJig jewelry tool (without peg 3 and 4 as they would be in the way at this point. 

Step 4:  Bend the wire around peg 2 so that it almost rests against the left hand side of peg 1.

Step 5:  Add peg 3, a 5/16" Super Peg, and wrap your wire around peg 3 so that it rests adjacent to the left hand side of the empty hole for peg 4 with no pressure applied.

Step 6:  Add peg 4 to the pattern on your WigJig jewelry tool and bend the jewelry wire against peg 4 as shown above. 

Step 7:  Remove the wire from your jewelry making jig and cut the excess wire about 5/16" from the bend made at peg 4.

Step 8:  Now we need to make the small open loop just above the bend at peg 2.  The loop that we are going to make here keeps your beads from falling off the front of the earrings.  Using your bent chain nose pliers, grasp the wire just above the bend made on peg 2 (Step 8A below-left) and bend the wire segment from peg 1 90 degrees.  See the picture (Step 8B below, center-left) for how the wire should look after the bend is completed. 

Step 9:  Using your round nose pliers grasp the short wire segment near the bend as shown below center-right (Step 9A).  Grasp with the wire close to the tips of your round nose pliers as we want this loop to be rather small.  Wrap the wire up and over the jaw of your pliers as shown below-right (Step 9B).  You won't be able to complete the loop in one movement because the jaws of your pliers will be in your way.
 
Instructions for making Interchangeable Earrings showing jewelry wire removed from WigJig jewelry tool  Step 8 Interchangeable Earrings with Beads showing jewelry wire shaped with hand tools Step 8 After Interchangeable Earrings showing jewelry making wire shaped with common jewelry tools Step 9 Interchangeable Earrings showing jewelry wire shaped with jewelry tools Step 9 After
Step 8A Step 8B Step 9A Step 9B

Step 10:  Reposition your wire in the jaws of your round nose pliers so that you can complete this loop.  After you have repositioned the wire, push the wire to complete the loop.  The remove the wire from your pliers.  See Steps 10A and 10B below. 

Step 11:  Cut the excess jewelry wire with your flush cutter and close the small loop you just completed with your bent chain nose pliers.  Please note that the colored wire used here is not appropriate for use as ear wires due to possibly carcinogenic chemicals in the dyes used to color the wire.  This wire was used here because it is easier to get quality pictures using this colored wire and because it is inexpensive. 

Instructions for making Interchangeagle Earrings with Beads Jewelry Making Project Step 10 Instructions for making Interchangeable Earrings with Beads using common jewelry supplies Step 10 after Instructions for making Interchangeable Earrings with Beads using jewelry suppliesStep 11
Step 10A Step 10B Step 11

Step  12:  Make bead dangles using head pins and a combination of beads.  Add your bead dangle to your earrings, as shown below-right.  Making several pairs of bead dangles will allow you to easily and quickly make earrings to coordinate with your apparel. 

Finished Interchangeable Earrings Jewelry Making Project Front View Finished Interchangeable Earrings with Beads Jewelry Making Project side view

Summary of instructions for making jewelry:

If you like the convience of travelling with many different colors of earrings without taking up a lot of space, then this earring design is for you.  You can make a single pair of ear wires that you wear and take a variety of pairs of bead dangles in the colors you want.  Individually, the bead dangles are very small.  We like this concept and the earrings are relatively easy to make.

 

 



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