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U-Shaped Earrings

Instructions for making the "U Shapped Earrings" out of jewelry wire, beads, jewelry supplies using WigJig jewelry tools:

U Shaped Earrings Jewelry Making Project Made with Swarovski Sapphire BeadsU Shaped Earrings Jewelry Making Project Made with Swarovski Sapphire Beads

These earrings are called U-Shaped Earrings because the bottom wire component in the earring body is in the shape of the letter "U".  These same earrings could be made inverted, in which case the earring body would look like an ice cream cone.  The earrings also remind me of a circus clowns face, with the clown wearing a pointed hat and having a large blue nose.  We held a vote amongst all three names and U-Shaped Earrings won.

This is an advanced beginners jewelry making project.  If you can successfully make bead dangles with wrapped or conventional loops you will be able to make these earrings. 

Jewelry Making Supplies:

Jewelry Tools Required:

  • Round Nose Pliers
  • Flush Cutter
  • Chain Nose or Bent Chain Nose Pliers (2)
  • Fine Step Jaw Pliers (recommended)
  • Any WigJig jewelry tool
  • Three regular pegs and one 1/2" Super Peg for your jig. 
  • Nylon Jaw Pliers (recommended)
  • 30 minutes of free time

Jewelry Making Skills Required:

Step-by-step Instructions for making the U Shapped Earrings out of jewelry wire, jewelry supplies and beads using WigJig jewelry tools:

Step 1:  Cut two wire segments of 20 gauge jewelry wire, each 2 1/2 inches long. 

Step 2:  Make a loop in one end of each jewelry wire segment.  Be certain to use an end with a flush cut.

Step 3:  Straighten both jewelry wire segments.  If you are unfamiliar with any of the terms or techniques discussed here, please visit our Beginner's Instructions.

Peg Pattern for the Top Wire Component for the U Shaped Earrings Jewelry Making ProjectStep 4:  Position regular metal pegs 1 and 2 in your WigJig jewelry tool as shown here.  This is the pattern for making the top wire component for these earrings.  Place the initial loop from one wire segment on peg 1 and bend the jewelry wire against peg 2, so that without touching the wire it will rest adjacent to the empty hole waiting for peg 3.

 

Step 5:  Add peg 3 to the pattern on your WigJig jewelry tool and wrap the jewelry wire around peg 3. 

Step 6:  Remove the wire from the jewelry making jig and cut the excess jewelry wire.  Using your bent chain nose pliers close the final loop.  At this point your wire should appear as shown below, center-right. 

Step 7:  Now, using your round nose pliers, convert both loops in your top wire component to eye loops.

Step 8:  One at a time, grasp the loops in the top wire component with your bent chain nose pliers and twist them 90 degrees.  With the completion of this step, your top wire component is essentially completed.

After removing from the WigJig jewelry making tool, showing the jewelry wire configuration for step 6A.
Step 6A
Using jewelry tools to configure the jewelry wire for Step 6B of these instructions.
Step 6B
Jewelry wire bent into the configuration for Step 7 of these instructions.
Step 7

Step 8
U Shaped Earrings Jewelry Making Project Peg Pattern on WigJig jewelry tool for Bottom Wire Component.  Step 9:  Now we need to make the bottom wire component.  Position Peg 1, a regular metal peg and Peg 2, a 1/2 inch Super Peg for your jewelry making jig in the WigJig jewelry tool as shown at right.  Place the initial loop from the second wire segment on Peg 1 and bend the wire against peg 2 that that with no pressure applied to the wire it will rest adjacent to the empty hole for peg 3. 

Step 10 of U Shaped Earrings Jewelry Making Project.  Jewelry wire shape after removing the wire from the jewelry tool.Step 10:  Add regular metal peg 3 to the pattern and bend your jewelry wire against this peg as shown.  (We need to eventually make a loop in our wire where peg 3 is, but because the Super Peg is taller than peg 3, it will be easier to make the loop once the wire is removed from your jewelry making jig.  Instructions for Step 11 to U Shaped Earrings Jewelry Making Project.

Step 11:  Using your round nose pliers or your Fine Step Jaw Pliers if you have them, complete the loop in the jewelry wire where peg three was. When completed, the wire will appear as shown. 

Instructions for Step 12 to U Shaped Earrings Jewelry Making Project showing the jewelry wire shape.Step 12:  Cut the excess jewelry wire with your flush cutter and close the final loop with your bent chain nose pliers.  Step 13 to instructions for making the U Shaped Earrings showing two jewelry wire components connected.

Step 13:  At this point we need to open both loops on the Top Wire Component and connect that component to the bottom wire component, then close both loops.  Opening and closing loops is best done using your bent chain nose pliers.  When this step is completed you should have your completed earring body in an inverted ice cream cone shape.

U Shaped Earrings Jewelry Making Project Made with Swarovski Sapphire BeadsStep 14:  Now we are ready to add the bead dangles to the earring body.  Start by threading a 4mm bead followed by a 2x4mm bugle bead, another 4mm bead, another bugle bead and end with a third 4mm bead onto a single head pin.  Using your bent chain nose pliers, round nose pliers and cutter to connect that head pin with beads to one of the loops on the bottom wire component.  Do the same thing for the opposite side of the bottom wire component and the bottom-center of the bottom wire component making a total of three bead dangles, each with three 4mm beads and two 2x4mm bugle beads.   

Step 15:  The top of this earring body can be connected directly to an ear wire finding, or it can be connected by a modified figure 8 connector.  To make the connection to the ear wire finding, use your bent chain nose pliers and open the loop in the ear wire finding, then connect it to the earring body or modified figure 8 connector and then close the loop in the ear wire finding. 

 

Step 16 to instructions for making the U Shapped Earrings showing jewelry wire wrap to hold beads.Step 16:  This particular earring top wire component was made without a loop at the top.  In order to be able to hang a bead dangle from the center of the top wire component, fine gauge jewelry wire was wrapped across the wire component.  This performs two functions.  First, it keeps the ear wire in position and second, it allows us to hang a bead dangle.  Please see the close up picture for how the fine gauge jewelry wire was wrapped.  The bead dangle used for the center of the earrings is composed of a 6mm bead, a 2x4mm bugle bead, a 4mm bead and another 2x4mm bugle bead threaded onto a head pin.  The loop used in this bead dangle is a conventional loop and not a wrapped loop. 

With the completion of step 16, your first "U" Shaped Earring is completed.  Repeat these instructions to make your second earring.

U Shaped Earrings Jewelry Making Project Made with Swarovski Sapphire BeadsAlternative jewelry making configurations:

This particular configuration for these earrings replaces the bead dangle in the center of the earrings with a horizontal wire segment holding two 4mm beads and a head pin with a single 6mm bead.  This is the Clown configuration, with the two 4mm beads simulating the eyes and the 6mm bead simulating the nose of the clown wearing the pointed cap.  Our professional jewelry critic (my wife) likes this alternative configuration better esthetically, but she still does not like the name "clown" earrings. 

The horizontal wire component in these earrings is made with a piece of 22 gauge jewelry wire about 1-1/2 inches long.  First make a loop in the end of this piece of wire.  Using your round nose pliers convert this loop into an eye loop and then add the two 4mm beads to the wire.  Grip the wire with the very tips of your round nose pliers just above the two beads and bend the wire 90 degrees.  Grip the wire at the bend and make a second eye loop at that point.  Open both of these loops and connect them to the sides of the top wire component, then close both loops.  Add a 6mm bead to a head pin and hang a bead dangle from the horizontal wire component, between the two 4mm beads.  Now you have your very own Clown Earrings. 

One other alternative design to consider is to modify the top wire component in step 4 so that you wrap the jewelry wire completely around peg 2 1-1/2 times then down to peg 3.  This will make a top wire component with a loop at the top and will preclude the need to wrap fine gauge wire around the top of the wire component.  If you are new to wire wrapping this alternative may be easier to make. 

U Shaped Earrings Jewelry Making Project Peg Pattern on WigJig Delphi jewelry tool.The final alternative is to make the bottom wire component on a square jig like the WigJig Delphi jewelry tool or the square portion of the WigJig Centaur jewelry tool, as shown on the left.

Summary of jewelry making instructions:

This earring body is an example of a compound jewelry wire component.  Instead of making one jewelry wire component with a complex shape, we make two jewelry wire comonents and combine them using connected loops.  The resulting earrings are more interesting because they are more complex and they have more planes of motion while they are being worn.  While this earring design may not be the most important design on our web site, the concept of making compound wire components is one of the more important jewelry making concepts.  It is always easier to make multiple jewelry wire components and combine them as we have here, than it would be to try to make the same shape out of a single strand of jewelry wire.  If you can learn this lesson, you will have many, many new jewelry designs available for you to make. 


 

 

 



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