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Runway Earrings

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

Runway Earrings Jewelry Making Project made with jewelry wire shaped on WigJig jewelry tools.


We call these earrings Runway Earrings because they are similar to the very large, very simple earrings that professional fashion models sometimes wear on the runways of Paris and New York.  At 2 inches on a side, these earrings are quite large and definitely will get noticed.  If you like larger and really bold designs you might like these Runway Earrings.  If you like smaller and more delicate designs, consider making these earrings in the same square pattern, but with 1 inch on a side. 

This is a beginners jewelry making project and can be made on any of our WigJig jewelry tools with just four regular metal pegs. 
 

Jewelry Supplies Required:

Jewelry Tools Required:

  • 18 inches of 16 or 18 gauge jewelry wire
  • 4 inches of 18 or 20 gauge jewelry wire
  • One pair of ear wire findings.
  • Round Nose Pliers
  • Flush Cutter
  • Chain Nose or Bent Chain Nose Pliers (2)
  • Ruler
  • Step Jaw Pliers (recommended)
  • Any WigJig jewelry tool with 4 regular pegs
  • 30 minutes of free time

Jewelry Making Skills Required:

  • Ability to straighten jewelry wire using nylon jaw pliers jewelry tools.
     
  • Ability to cut jewelry wire using flush cutter jewelry tools.
     
  • Ability to make loops in jewelry wire using round nose pliers or step jaw pliers jewelry tools.
     
  • Ability to open and close loops in jewelry wire using bent chain nose pliers jewelry tools. 
     
  • Ability to make jewelry wire components by wrapping wire on a WigJig jewelry making tool.
     
  • Ability to make a modified figure 8 connector out of jewelry wire using common jewelry tools.

Peg patterns for Runway Earrings made on WigJig jewelry tools out of jewelry wire.Step-by-step instructions for making Runway Earrings using WigJig jewelry tools and made out of jewelry wire, beads and common jewelry supplies:

Step 1:  Using your flush cutter, cut a piece of 16 or 18 gauge jewelry wire 9 inches long.

Step 2:  Using your round nose pliers or your fine step jaw pliers, make a loop in one end of the wire.  The loop needs to be big enough to fit over one of the pegs in your WigJig Jewelry Making Tool. 

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

Step  4:  Add pegs 1 and 2 to your jewelry making jig as shown above-right.  The pattern is shown here on our WigJig Delphi jewelry tool.  The same square pattern could be made on any WigJig jewelry tool, using four pegs in a square separated by about 2 inches.  Place the initial loop in the wire on peg 1 and bend the jewelry wire against peg 2 until the wire rests adjacent to the empty hole for peg 3 with no pressure applied.  This will require you to push the wire beyond the hole for peg 3 and then remove your grip on the wire to see where the wire will remain.  If you use soft wire for making this component, the wire will naturally want to make a rounded bend against each peg instead of a crisp bend.  One technique to overcome this tendency is to hold the thumb on your non-dominant hand tightly against the wire about 1/8" from peg 2 on the wire segment between peg 1 and 2 while you push the wire against peg 2 with the thumb on your dominant hand to achieve the bend. 

Step 5:  Add peg 3 to your pattern on your jewelry making jig and push the jewelry wire against peg 3 until it rests adjacent to the empty hole for peg 4 with no pressure applied. 

Step 6:  Add peg 4 to your WigJig jewelry tool and push the jewelry wire against peg 4 until it rests adjacent to peg with with no pressure applied.  You will probably need to raise the wire over peg 1 as you push in order to get is to stay adjacent to peg 1 with no pressure applied. 

Step 7:  Wrap the jewelry wire tightly around peg 1 on your jewelry making jig to form a loop around this peg. 

Step 8:  Remove the jewelry wire from the WigJig jewelry tool and cut the excess wire.  Remember to cut the wire with the flat side of your flush cutter toward the finished piece so that you leave a flat or flush cut on the end of the wire.  Close the final loop using your bent chain nose pliers.

Completed Runway Earrings Jewelry Making Project Step 9 showing completed earrings.Step 9:  At this point, you will have a jewelry wire component shaped in a square with two loops superimposed one on top of the other.  In order to fix these two loops so that they stay together, we need to make a modified figure 8 connector and connect one side of this connector to the two loops.  After you have made this connector, open one side of the connector and connect it to the two loops in your square wire component, then close that side of the modified figure 8 connector. 

Step 10:  Connect the top of the modified figure 8 connector to your ear wire finding. 

This completes one of your Runway Earrings.  Make your second earring following exactly the same steps.

Runway Earrings Jewelry Making Project showing jewelry wire shaped on WigJig jewelry tools.This earring could be made with brass jewelry wire as we have shown above or it could be made in sterling silver or gold-filled jewelry wire.  If you decide to use gold-filled or sterling silver, 1/2 hard jewelry wire will be easier to use than soft wire. 

The earring shown above was made with each side being 2" long.  You can make less bold alternative designs with the sides any length.  In the following web section, we will show an alternative design that used sides that were each 1 inch long. 

Runway Earrings Jewelry Making Project Alternative Design made using common jewelry supplies.Runway Earrings Jewelry Making Project Alternative Design made with jewelry wire and beads.

Alternative designs for making earrings using WigJig jewelry tools:

Here we show two alternative designs for our Runway Earrings.  Both styles were made using a square peg pattern on our WigJig jewelry tools with the sides of the square being 1inch long.  In both of these designs we incorporated size 6 seed beads on the wire to add some interest.  We also used a diagonal brace to add strength to the piece. 

Adding the seed beads is relatively easy to do, but it requires adding the beads for one 1" segment, then placing the jewelry wire on the jewelry making jig and making the first 90 degree bend, then removing the wire from the jig and adding the beads for the second 1" segment.  For each segment and 90 degree bend you will need to add beads, then make the bend.  The bend in the jewelry wire holds the beads in place.  This piece can obviously be made with our without the seed beads. 

Should you decide to use the seed beads, here is an opportunity to add a lot of design interest by alternating colors.  We really are not recommending the mono-color design shown here. 

The diagonal brace shown above is made of a jewelry wire segment with eye loops on each end.  This brace is made by making the initial eye loop and then adding your size 6 seed beads.  Measure the length of the brace to be about 3/16" short of your target length, then make the eye loop on the opposite end of the brace.  This should give you a brace that is the correct length.  In order for the square wire component to accommodate the brace, you need to make complete loops around pegs 2 and 4 instead of just 90 degree bends that we made earlier. 

The nextlternative design for these Runway Earrings is that you can hang one or more beads from the bottom of the square wire component.  A good way to do this is to make a loop completely around peg 3 in the pattern on your WigJig jewelry tool when you are making the square wire component.  This loop is used to hang your bead dangle. 

In the next section, we show another alternative design for Runway earrings.  This alternative is for a round Runway Earring made with a 2" diameter circle.   

Round Runway Earrings Jewelry Making Project Alternative Design made on WigJig jewelry tools using jewelry wire.

Third alternative design for making earrings using WigJig jewelry tools:

These round runway earrings are also very easy to make and use our new 2" Larger Round Super Pegs tool and 7 1/2 inches of 16 or 18 gauge soft jewelry wire.  The earring shown at right was made with Instructions for making Round Runway Earrings using jewelry wire and common jewelry supplies.16 gauge brass jewelry wire. 

The peg pattern on our WigJig jewelry tools for making these round runway earrings is shown at left.  It uses our 2" Larger Round Super Peg tool (in white) and one regular metal peg.  This pattern is shown on our WigJig Delphi jewelry making tool, but would work on any of our WigJig jewelry tools. 

In order to make this earring, you cut your jewelry wire, make a loop in one end of your wire, straighten the wire, and place your initial loop on the regular metal peg, wrapping the wire around the Larger Super Peg tool, then bending the wire against the regular metal peg as shown above-left.  Remove the jewelry wire from the jewelry making jig and complete the second loop in the pattern using your round nose pliers or fine step jaw pliers.  After completing the final loop in the wire, cut the excess wire and close that final loop using your bent chain nose pliers.  To hold both the beginning and ending loop in this earring body together, make a modified figure 8 connector.  Open the larger loop in this modified figure 8 connector and connect it to the two loops in the round earring body, then close that loop.  This will fix the earring body so that it won't come apart.  At this point you may notice that the earring body is not exactly round anymore.  This can be easily and permanently fixed.  Remove the Larger Round Super Peg from your jig and position your earring body back on the Super Peg.  Now using a nylon or rawhide hammer, hammer the wire against the Super Peg.  Hold the jewelry wire in your non-dominant hand while you hold the hammer in your dominant hand.  You won't need to pound the wire as if you were driving a nail, instead use several taps with the hammer all the way around the earring body. 

When you have a properly shaped earring body, connect the top loop in the modified figure 8 connector to your ear wire finding.  This will complete your first Round Runway Earring.  Make a second earring the same way. 

We hope you like our larger, bolder earrings styles.  They probably aren't right for every day wear, but for that special occasion where you want to be noticed, they may be just the thing.

Round Jessica's Earrings Jewelry Making Project Made with Tanzanite Beads

Jessica's Earrings Jewelry Making Project made with jewelry wire and Crystal Beads

Here is another alternative to the Runway earrings we discussed above.  We call this design, Jessica's Earrings because they were inspired by Jessica Garrison who works for the Soft Flex company.  Jessica wanted large hoop earrings, but she wasn't satisfied with just one hoop. 

Like the Runway Earrings, these are large earrings.  When worn, these earrings have a lot of motion as each circle of wire moves independently.  If you want your earrings to be noticed, just the motion from these earrings alone will get them noticed.  Combine that with the light that is reflected from the 8mm Swarovski Crystal beads in the center and you can be certain that people will notice these earrings.

Summary of jewelry making instructions:

Currently large hoop earrings are in vogue.  Here is an opportunity to make some stylish earrings similar to earrings shown in magazines and on television at a relatively inexpensive price. 

 

 



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