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Spacer Bar Earrings

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

Making Beaded Spacer Bar Jewelry -- A Jewelry Making Project made on WigJig jewelry tools.Making Spacer Bar Jewelry out of jewelry wire and beads using WigJig jewelry tools.
In the past we have provided a tutorial on how to make a spacer bar to use in bracelets or necklaces to separate two or more strands of beads.  In this jewelry making project, we will show how to combine simple to make spacer bars into earrings. 

Spacer bars can be combined to make triangular shapes to include both a simple triangle shaped earrings as shown at left, or parallelogram shaped earrings as shown at right.  After showing how to make these earrings, we will address combining spacer bars into making a larger shapes. 

This is a beginner's jewelry making project.  Each of the individual skills required to make these earrings are simple to accomplish.  All you need is the tools and supplies identified below plus a little patience as you learn how to connect the spacer bars in the proper orientation. 

Jewelry Supplies Required:

Jewelry Tools Required:

  • Twelve inches of 20 gauge round, preferably half hard jewelry wire,
  • 6 or 8mm bead and/or seed beads. 
  • Commercial ear wire finding. 
  • Ruler,
  • Flush cutter,
  • Round nose pliers,
  • Bent chain nose pliers (2),
  • Fine Step Jaw Pliers,
  • Nylon jaw pliers,
  • WigJig Olympus, Olympus Lite, Delphi or Centaur Jewelry Making Tool
  • 3 Regular Metal Pegs for the jig
  • 30 minutes of free time,

Jewelry Making Skills Required:

  • Ability to cut jewelry wire with with a flush cutter jewelry tool.
     
  • Ability to straighten jewelry wire with nylon jaw pliers jewelry tool.
     
  • Ability to make a "P" Loop in jewelry wire using round nose pliers or step jaw pliers jewelry tools.
     
  • Ability to use a WigJig jewelry tool to make spacer bar jewelry wire components. 
     
  • Ability to open and close loops to connect jewelry wire components using bent chain nose pliers jewelry tool. 
     
  • Ability to make a figure 8 connector out of jewelry wire using common jewelry tools. 

Making Spacer Bar Jewelry on WigJig jewelry tools using common jewelry supplies.

Step-by-step instructions for making Spacer Bar Earrings made out of jewelry wire, beads and common jewelry supplies using WigJig jewelry making tools:

The first spacer bar jewelry project that we will undertake is to make the earrings shown at right.  These earrings require us to make five spacer bars and two figure 8 connectors. 

Step 1:  To start making these earrings, make five two-hole spacer bar wire components following our instructions here.  Use 18 or 20 gauge jewelry wire.  (We used 20 gauge wire for the earrings shown.)  The spacer bars should be about 1/2" long, but can be up to 1 1/4 inches long.  The pattern on our WigJig jewelry tools that we used for the earrings shown at right is shown below-left.  You can view the steps involved in making this spacer bar below.  Please follow the link above to read our step-by-step instructions for making a spacer bar.  The completed spacer bar wire component is shown below-right. 

Instructions for making Spacer Bar Earrings showing jewelry wire on WigJig jewelry tool. Instructions for making Spacer Bar Earrings using common jewelry making supplies. Instructions for making Spacer Bar Earrings showing jewelry wire shape.

Completed jewelry wire spacer bar made using WigJig jewelry tools.

Step 2:  Next, make two figure 8 connectors.  Use 20 gauge jewelry wire to make the figure 8 connector. 

Step 3:  Now we are ready to make our first triangular wire component.  Open one loop in a figure 8 connector and connect two spacer bars to that figure 8 connector, then close the loop in the figure 8 connector.  See the picture below-center.

Step 4:  Now open both loops in your third spacer bar and connect it to the bottom two loops on your first two spacer bars.  See the picture below-right.  Once the spacer bars are connected in the proper orientation, then close the loops in the bottom, horizontal spacer bar.  If you connect the three spacer bars in the wrong orientation, they will not hang properly.  If that happens you will need to open one or both loops in the horizontal spacer bar and re-connect it in the proper orientation. 



Figure 8 Connector made out of jewelry wire using common jewelry tools.
Step 3 to instructions for making Spacer Bar Earrings using common jewelry making supplies. Step 4 to instructions for making Spacer Bar Earrings showing connecting the jewelry wire.
Step 2 Step 3 Step 4

Making Spacer Bar Jewelry-- Completed Spacer Bar Earrings made from jewelry wire and beads.

Step 5:  In order to make the earrings shown at right, you need to add your final two spacer bars to either side of the triangle that you made in Step 4.  Open one end of each spacer bar and connect it to the bottom of the loops on the horizontal spacer bar. 

Step 6:  Complete the diamond shape of the wire component by adding a figure 8 connector to the bottom two loops of the spacer bars you added in step 5. 

Step 7:  Add a purchased ear wire finding to the top loop in the top figure 8 connector.  You can also make an ear wire.

Step 8:  Finish these earrings by adding a bead dangle to the bottom loop of the bottom figure 8 connector. 

Alternative configurations for making earrings:

There are many ways that we can modify these earrings to provide a different look.  The basic approach to making the earrings is the same, but  the following list describes several design alternatives.

  • Consider changing the length of the spacer bar wire components.  You can use any length of spacer bar from about 1/2 inch long as shown above to over an inch long.
  • Consider changing the length of the horizontal spacer bar, but not the other spacer bars.  The shape of the triangles will change if the horizontal spacer bar is shorter or longer than the vertical spacer bars. 
  • Consider using 18 gauge jewelry wire instead of 20 gauge jewelry wire to give the earrings a bolder appearance. 
  • If you are an experienced wire worker, you can consider using 16 gauge jewelry wire for a much more bold appearance.  
  • Consider adding seed beads or bugle beads to the middle of the spacer bars.  We will describe how to do this in the next section.  If you want to add seed beads or bugle beads to your spacer bars, you will need to use 20 gauge wire so that the wire will fit inside the hole in the beads. 
  • Consider adding these triangular wire components in combinations to make even larger earrings.

Adding Seed Beads when Making Spacer Bar Jewelry using jewelry wire and common jewelry supplies.

Adding Beads to a Spacer Bar:

In order to add beads to a spacer bar, you need to Adding Seed Beads to a Spacer Bar showing jewelry wire and beads on WigJig jewelry tool.add the beads after the first loop has been made, but before the second loop is made.  The beads are added as shown at left and then the spacer bar is completed. Once you wrap the wire around the second peg in the pattern, the seed beads or bugle beads will be permanently in position. 

Because the size of the wire must fit through the hole in the beads, you will normally find that you are constrained to use 20 gauge wire.  Any larger wire will probably not pass through the beads.  

We used silver lined seed beads in these pictures and they do not photograph as well as solid colors might.  Hopefully, you will be able to view the seed beads used in both pictures above.  Choose your colors of seed beads to compliment any focal beads that you add to the bottom of the earring body.  You can also use colored wire to make the spacer bars and seed or bugle beads that are a complimentary color to the color of the wire.  We didn't choose the color of the seed beads shown to match the color of the wire in the samples shown above.  We choose what we happened to have readily available.  Making Copper Triangle Spacer Bar Earrings made from jewelry wire and beads.

Making Larger & More Complex Spacer Bar Earrings:

Our next design alternative is making larger shapes.  In the picture shown at right you can view a pair of triangular earrings made with spacer bars.  These earrings use 7 spacer bars that are the same size and one spacer bar that is twice as long as the others.  The earring body is made in the same manner that we described with our earlier diamond shaped earring design, but then we add two spacer bars to the outside loops at the bottom of the initial triangle and we finish the earring body by connecting a spacer bar that is twice as long through the bottom loops in the four spacer bars.  This single, longer spacer bar stabilizes the triangle shape.  At the bottom of the triangle earring body you can add three identical beads as shown here, or you could add a single bead in the center, or you could add a center bead that is one color and the two outside beads in a different but complimentary color. 

Pink Spacer Bar Earrings  made from jewelry wire, beads and common jewelry supplies. Yellow Spacer Bar Earrings made from jewelry wire, beads and common jewelry supplies. Copper Spacer Bar Earrings made using WigJig jewelry making tools. Spacer Bar Earrings made from seed beads and jewelry wire using WigJig jewelry tools.

Instructions for making the Spiral Head Pins (above-left)

Above we show four variations of this spacer bar jewelry.  Some use different lengths of the spacer bar, some use a center spacer bar that is shorter than the outside spacer bars to change the shape of the wire component, and one decorates the wire with beads.  These are all varieties of spacer bar jewelry but are far from a complete set of what can be done.  Consider that the triangular spacer bar component is a building block and you can combine that building block in many ways.  This is an easy and quick way to make earrings, we challenge the visitors to our web site to come up with innovative ways to make spacer bar jewelry. 

Summary of jewelry making instructions:

This is an example of making earring bodies using many simple to make jewelry wire components made on our WigJig jewelry making tools.  The resulting earrings can incorporate seed beads to make them more interesting.  They can also incorporate larger more interesting beads at the bottom of the earring body. 

 

 



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