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Onion Dome Beaded Earrings

Instructions for making Onion Dome Beaded Earrings out of jewelry wire, beads and common jewelry supplies using WigJig jewelry making tools:

Onion Dome Jewelry Wire Earrings Jewelry Making Projec tmade  with Crystal AB BeadsOnion Dome Jewelry Wire Earrings With Beads Jewelry Making Project withTanzanite Beads

A key element of Russian architecture of the 19 and early 20th centuries is the Onion Dome roof.  This structure can be seen in Russian Orthodox churches and in the architecture of the Kremlin.  These earrings are called Onion Dome Jewelry Wire Earrings with Beads not because they have any relationship to Russia, but because the shape of the earrings is the shape of the onion dome roof.  (We considered calling these earrings Onion Earrings with Beads, but the vegetable, onion, while great when cooked on a steak and cheese sandwich, can cause bad breath when eaten raw and for this reason is not a good name for earrings.) 

These earrings were made with 18 gauge jewelry wire and this is the correct size of jewelry wire to use for a beginner.  For those of you with more experience, I suggest that you consider making your second pair of these earrings in 16 gauge jewelry wire. This is a jewelry making project that is suitable for beginners.

Jewelry Making Supplies

Jewelry Tools Required

  • 10 inches of 18 gauge jewelry wire.  Soft jewelry wire is recommended.
  • 3 inches of 20 or 22 gauge jewelry wire (soft or 1/2 hard will work.)
  • 4 inches of 21 gauge 1/2 round, 1/2 hard jewelry wire, or 4 inches of 24 gauge round 1/2 hard jewelry wire. 
  • One pair of commercial ear wires
  • Two 8mm round beads.
  • Two head pins
  • Round Nose Pliers
  • Flush Cutter
  • Chain Nose or Bent Chain Nose Pliers (2)
  • Nylon Jaw Pliers
  • Fine Step Jaw Pliers
  • Any WigJig jewelry tool with 2 regular metal pegs
  • Two 1/2" Super Pegs for the WigJig jewelry tool
  • Ruler
  • 30 minutes of free time

Step-by-step instructions for making Onion Dome Beaded Earrings using WigJig jewelry tools, made from jewelry wire, beads and common jewelry supplies:
Instructions for making Onion Dome Jewelry Wire Earrings with Beads

Peg Pattern on WigJig jewelry tool for making Onion Dome Earrings showing jewelry wire.
Step 1:
  Cut a segment of 18 gauge soft jewelry wire 4 1/4" long. 

Step 2:  Make a loop in one end of the jewelry wire using fine step jaw pliers or round nose pliers.

Step 3:  Hold the jewelry wire by the loop you just made and straighten the wire by repeatedly pulling it through the jaws of nylon jaw pliers. 

Step 4 to instructions for making Onion Dome Earrings by shaping jewelry wire on WigJig jewelry making tool.Step 4:  The peg pattern on our WigJig Centaur jewelry tool, for making these earrings, is shown above-right.  Pegs 1 and 3 are regular metal pegs for your jewelry making jig.  Pegs 2 and 4 are 1/2" Super Pegs for the WigJig jewelry tool.  We used a WigJig Centaur jewelry tool for this piece, but the pattern could be adapted to any jewelry making jig.  While the peg pattern for these earrings requires four pegs, we begin by adding peg 1 and 2 to your jewelry making jig.  Place the initial loop in your jewelry wire segment on peg 1 and bend the jewelry wire against peg 2 as shown at right.  We are bending the wire against peg 2 so that with no pressure applied, the jewelry wire rests adjacent to the empty hole for peg 3.  Step 5 to instructions for making Onion Dome Earrings using WigJig jewelry making tools to shape jewelry wire.

Step 5:  Add peg 3 to the pattern on your WigJig jewelry tool and bend the jewelry wire against peg 3 as shown at left.  To help make this piece more consistently, we placed a finger from our left hand against the wire on the left hand side of peg 3, while with our right hand we pushed the wire to the position shown.  The goal is that with no pressure applied, the wire will rest adjacent to peg 4 once it is added.  This will require a little trial and error.  It may be easier for you to mark the edge of peg 4 on your jewelry making jig with an erasable marker to help in finding out how far to push the jewelry wire.  Step 6 to instructions for making Onion Dome Earrings showing jewelry wire shaped on WigJig jewelry tool.

Step 6:  Add peg 4 to the pattern on your WigJig jewelry tool and bend the jewelry wire against peg 4 as shown at right.  As in all the steps above, the goal is that with no pressure applied, the wire will rest in the position shown with no pressure applied.  In this case, since peg 1 is already in place this is more difficult to achieve.  You will need to lift the wire over peg 1 and push it so that when you release the wire, it will spring back to rest in the position shown without pushing against peg 1.  As a test, if you remove peg 1 the jewelry wire should remain in the same position.  If it doesn't you need to put peg 1 back in and push the jewelry wire some more. 

Step 7 to instructions for making Onion Dome Earrings using WigJig jewelry tools and jewelry wire.

Step 7:  Now bend the jewelry wire back against peg 1 as shown at right.  You won't be able to complete the loop on peg 1 since peg 4 is in the way, so just bending the jewelry wire 180 Step 8 to instructions for making Onion Dome Beaded Earrings  degrees as shown will suffice.

Step 8:  Remove the jewelry wire from your WigJig jewelry tool and it should appear as shown at left.  If it doesn't appear as shown, that means that you may not have pushed the wire far enough in one of the earlier steps.  You can put the wire back on the jewelry making jig and use your fingers to convince it to assume the shape shown at left.

 

Step 9 to instructions for making  Onion Dome Beaded Earrings using common jewelry supplies.Step 9:  If you have fine step jaw pliers, use them to finish the loop at the bend around peg 1.  If you don't have fine step jaw pliers use your round nose pliers to complete the loop.  At this point your jewelry wire component should appear as shown at right.  Step 10 to instructions for making Onion DomeEarrings showing final configuration for jewelry wire component.

Step 10:  Using your flush cutter, cut the excess jewelry wire, remembering to position the flush cutter with the flat side of the cutter toward the finished wire component.  After cutting the excess wire, use your bent chain nose pliers to close the final loop. 

Step 11 to instructions for making Onion Dome Beaded Earrings using common jewelry making supplies.

Step 11:  The steps 11 through 14 are optional for beginners, but recommended for intermediate wire workers.  The two loops in this wire component can be held in position by a modified figure 8 connector that we will discuss in step 15, but won't remain as perfectly superimposed as they would if you wrap the two loops together.  Using about 2 inches of 24 gauge round 1/2 hard jewelry wire or 2 inches of 21 gauge 1/2 round, 1/2 hard jewelry wire, start by making a "U" shaped bend about 5/16" from one end of the jewelry wire.  Position the bottom of the U on one side of your wire component and push both sides of the U in opposition directions to make one tight wrap around the jewelry wire as shown at right. 

Step 12 to instructions for making Onion Dome Earrings out of jewelry wire and beads.

Step 12:  With one side of the jewelry wire anchored by the tight loop that you made in step 11, you now need to thread your jewelry wire through the center two loops in your wire component, with the loops overlapping one another.  Tightly wrap your wire through the center at least two times (with 21 gauge 1/2 round jewelry wire) or if using 24 gauge wire, three times.  This isn't easy and the end of the wire you are wrapping will get bent in this process.  Pull each loop tight.  Use your pliers if you need to get a good grip on the wire to pull it tight.  This part requires practice and may be easier when done with 24 gauge round jewelry wire.  The finished product will probably look better when done with 1/2 round jewelry wire.Step 13 to instructions for making  Onion DomeBeaded Earrings using common jewelry making supplies.

Step 13:  Now wrap the end of the jewelry wire around the opposite side of the loops as shown at left.  Wrap the wire around the wire about 2-3 times.  Then go back to the first side of the component and wrap the wire tail about 2-3 times so that it Step 14 to instructions for making Onion Dome Jewelry Wire Earrings matches the second side. 

Step 14:  Cut the excess wire on both sides leaving about 1/32" of wire.  You want just enough wire excess so that when you are done, you can squeeze and twist the final 1/32" of wire leaving the end of the wire flat, but on the bottom of the wire.  Step 15 to Onion Dome Earrings showing beads added to the earrings.This makes the end as unobtrusive as possible. 

Step 15:  Now we are ready to begin assembly of the earrings.  Start by making two modified figure 8 connectors.  Use 20 or 22 gauge wire to make your modified figure 8 connector.  This is a good use for wire scraps and will require about 1 1/2" of wire to make each connector.  Either soft or 1/2 hard wire will work for making your modified figure 8 connector.  Connect the modified figure 8 connector to the two loops in your wire component on one and and to your ear wire finding on the opposite end.  When connecting the loops in this connector, remember to use your bent chain nose pliers to open and close the loops

Step 16:  Using an head pin and an 8mm bead, make a bead dangle to hang from the bottom of your Onion Dome earrings.  For a beginner, you may find that an open loop bead dangle is easier to make, for intermediate wire workers a wrapped loop may be a better solution. 

Alternative Onion Dome Earrings made with Swarovski beads

This is a rather simple to understand alternative.  Instead of using just one 8mm bead with your earrings, we connected a second 8mm bead to hang in the center of the onion.  This is rather easy to accomplish and is just a bead dangle like the bead dangle at the bottom.  The one difficulty here is that because this dangle has to hang from the two loops that were made on peg one, instead of just one thickness of wire, the loop at the top of this bead dangle will need to be larger and the loop will need to be an open loop instead of a wrapped loop

Another alternative to consider is to wrap the jewelry wire around the bottom peg in the onion shape, leaving a loop to hand a bead dangle from. 

When you are ready to make a necklace to go with your Onion Dome Jewelry Wire and Beads Earrings, use 16 gauge soft wire to make the Onion Dome wire component.  You can also use beads that are larger than 8mm for the bead dangle.  The connector at the top of the Onion Dome wire component will need to be a regular figure 8 connector instead of a modified figure 8 connector.  You can find instructions for making a regular figure 8 connector

Summary of jewelry making instructions:

We hope you like our Onion Dome Jewelry Wire Earrings and Necklace with Beads jewelry making project.  You probably can find earrings in some expensive jewelry stores that will look similar but cost 10 times as much. 

 

 



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