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Wishbone Earrings

Instructions for making Wishbone Earrings using WigJig jewelry tools, beads, jewelry wire and common jewelry supplies:




This jewelry making project is called Wishbone Earrings.  They just look like a chicken or turkey wishbone.  If they are a gift, or for sale, then they would be "Remembrance Earrings" because it sounds nicer than wishbone and they do look like the ribbon that symbolizes remembrance.  We will show four alternative styles for these earrings and discuss several other design alternatives.  The earrings shown at right use Paula Radke 6mm Dichroic Glass Beads.
 

Rememberance Beaded Earrings jewelry making design   Rememberance Beaded Earrings jewelry making design alternative configuration

Wishbone Earrings

Jewelry Making Supplies Required:

Jewelry Tools Required:

  • 5 inches of 20G 1/2 hard gold-filled or sterling silver jewelry wire
  • 6 inches of 24G 1/2 hard gold-filled or sterling silver jewelry wire
  • Two 3mm or 5mm gold-filled or sterling silver end cap beads
  • Several glass beads of your choosing
  • 3 inches of gold-filled or sterling silver chain
  • Several gold-filled or sterling silver head-pins
  • Two Ear Wire findings
  • Jeweler's Cement
  • Round Nose Pliers
  • Flush Cutter
  • Chain Nose or Bent Chain Nose Pliers (2)
  • Any WigJig acrylic jewelry tool
  • 3 metal pegs for the jewelry making jig
  • File or nail file
  • Fine Step Jaw Pliers (optional)
  • 30 minutes of free time

Jewelry Making Skills Required:

 

Step-by-step instructions for making the Wishbone Earrings using WigJig jewelry tools, jewelry wire, beads and common jewelry supplies:

Step 1:  Cut and straighten a 2 1/2 inch long piece of 20G jewelry wire.  1/2 hard gold-filled or sterling silver wire work best. 

Step 2:  Position three pegs in your WigJig jewelry tool in a triangular pattern.  The pattern for the Cyclops jewelry tool is shown at right.  The pattern for the Olympus jewelry tool will be shown at the end of these instructions.  Now make a loop in your jewelry wire and place that loop on the lower left peg in the triangle.  Wrap the wire as shown at right.

Peg pattern on WigJig Cyclops jewelry tool for making the Wishbone Earrings made using jewelry wire
Pattern on WigJig
Cyclops Jewelry Tool


Step 3:  Cut the two loops off the ends of the triangles.  Cut the two wire segments to the same length.  I cut the jewelry wire just before the point in the wire where it started to bend around the lower pegs.

Step 3 to instructions for making the Wishbone Earrings using jewelry wire and common jewelry supplies.
Step 3
 



Step 4:  For this first alternative, we are going to make a bend in each end of the legs of the triangle.  Leave about 1/8" of straight wire at the end of this bend.  I made this bend using Fine Step Jaw Pliers and used the edge of the pliers to measure where to make the bend.  When completed the wire should appear as shown at right.

Step 4 to instructions for making the Wishbone Earrings using WigJig jewelry tools and common jewelry making supplies.
Step 4

 

 

Step 5:  At this point we want to fix the shape of the wishbone.  We do this by wrapping fine gauge wire around the point where the two wires cross.  Begin this process by making a U shaped bend in a piece of 24 gauge wire.  Place the U against the point in the triangle where the wires cross and begin wrapping the wire.  Wrap about three times around.
 

Step 6:  Now we need to prepare the triangle for gluing the two end cap beads.  Because the 20G wire is slightly too large to fit into the end cap bead, we need to use a nail file, or jeweler's file to reduce the size of the end of the wire.  File both wire ends evenly all the way around.  This also provides a better grip for the glue.  Test the end cap beads to make sure that they fit.

Step 7:  Now cut two segments of chain about 1 1/4 inches long.  Be sure to count the links so that you have an odd number of links.  I used 15 links in the chain.  Be sure that both segments are identical.  Insert the beginning link in the chain onto one end of the wishbone and the ending link onto the other end of the wishbone.  Make sure the chain isn't twisted so that it hangs straight.

Step 5 to instructions for making Wishbone Earrings using jewelry wire and beads.
Step 5
 


Step 8:  Now place a very small amount of Jeweler's Cement into each end cap bead and place a 3mm end cap beads onto each end of the wire.

Step 3 to instructions for making the Wishbone Earrings using jewelry wire, beads and WigJig jewelry tools.
Step 8

Step 9:  Now using a head-pin, make a bead dangle and hang that dangle from the center of the chain.  You can hang 1, 3, or 5 beads from the chain.  (Our best instructions for how to make a bead dangle are in our online book "Wire Design Basics".) 

Step10:  Connect the wishbone that you just made to an ear wire finding. 

 

Finished Wishbone Earrings made using jewelry wire and common jewelry supplies.    Alternative Design for Wishbone Earrings made using beads and jewelry wire.



Alternative Configurations for Making Earrings:

The jewelry design at right was made without the bend at the end of the legs of the wishbone.  This is a simplified design, but I don't believe that the chain hangs as straight in this design. 

 

Alternative design for Wishbone Earrings made with wire and beads using WigJig jewelry tools.


Another alternative jewelry design is shown here.  In this design, there is no chain, but beads are added to the legs of the wishbone before the end cap beads are glued in place.  In this design the 5mm end cap beads were used instead of the 3mm end cap beads used in the prior designs. 
Alternative configuration for Wishbone Earrings using beads and jewelry supplies.

 

The pattern for these earrings is very simple.  It can easily be adapted to any jewelry jig.  Shown at right is the pattern for the WigJig Olympus or Olympus-Lite.  The pattern for the WigJig Delphi jewelry tool would be very similar.


Peg Pattern for Wishbone Earrings showing jewelry wire shaping on WigJig jewelry tool.
Peg Pattern on WigJig
Olympus Lite Jewelry Tool
 

Summary of jewelry making instructions:

There are many alternative jewelry designs that we haven't shown.  These earrings are rather long as I made them.  They have the J. Lo, evening-wear, designer earring look and not the everyday look.  They should get attention.  By shortening up both the length of either side of the wishbone and the length of the chain (but keeping an odd number of links in the chain) you can make earrings that are a little simpler and more appropriate for everyday wear. 

I hope you enjoy your "Remembrance Earrings" even if I do call them Wishbone. 

 

 



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