Must Earrings Match?

 

Certain things in life should match: shoes, dinner plates, hubcaps, knitting needles. What about earrings? One of my favorite pair of earrings in college was a cowboy boot and hat set–one silver earring of each. In my mind, the two definitely went together, but did not match. So it's probably not too surprising that I love to design non-matching, but still complementary earrings. I especially like designing earrings that are mirror images of one another or whose components are the same, but in reverse order. Or in the case of double-sided elements (the puzzle pieces by Penny Michelle come to mind), I like to design the earrings so that a different side shows in each earring. Non-matching earrings lend a certain funkiness and creativity to an outfit, daring people to take a second look.

Of course, I realize that not everyone thinks the same way. (I once was surprised to see my deliberately non-matching earrings "fixed" in the pages of a magazine!) There are definitely some occasions–business interviews and weddings come to mind–where you might want identical earrings to help you present a more professional or polished image. And you'll certainly be a less tempting target for rude gossip! ("She must have partied too hard last night! Did you see she couldn't even manage matching earrings this morning?")

Free Projects: Girl Power Trio 

 

Today's free project ("Girl Power Trio") includes instructions for three pairs of earrings, only one of which is an absolutely identical pair.

At left: The original beads from Kandice Seeber (Air and Earth Designs) just out of the box. 

Free Project:  Girl Power Trio (Flirty Floral, Pink Copper Ripple, Sweet Sixteen)

 

Flirty Floral

Pink Copper Ripple

Sweet Sixteen

The deliberate color variations in the lampwork beads–particularly in the floral pair–are fairly subtle. The differences in the striped pair are most noticeable. The colors are exactly the same in the striped pair, but the proportions are not. One bead leans towards khaki, while the other is definitely more pink. If you've always been very precise about exactly matching earrings, this project might be the one to jolt you slightly out of your comfort zone. (I'm betting the renegade, matching-is-for-sissies beaders on this list won't even notice that the beads are different!)

Meet Lampwork Artist Kandice Seeber

The pink and khaki lampwork beads in "Girl Power Trio" were created by Kandice Seeber of Air and Earth Designs. Kandice Seeber started her creative journey in a fabric shop–something I find very intriguing, given that fabric shops are such wonderful places to get ideas for color combinations. I asked her how she started creating lampwork beads, her favorite color resources, and where she thinks the best place is to sell online. (She's done it all–eBay, Etsy, her own website!) Read the interview.

Bonus Free Project: Bauble Earrings 

 

If you really want to walk on the wild side, take a look at these non-matching "Bauble Earrings" by Step by Step Beads editor Leslie Rogalski. Notice that even though the earrings do not match, the colors go together and the size of the earrings are almost identical. This design works in part because of the fun Lucite beads–the non-matching design just underscores the playfulness of the components. This would be a more difficult look to pull off with classic, traditional materials like white pearls. (Difficult, but not impossible!)

Free Project:  Bauble Earrings by Leslie Rogalski

What do you think? Should earrings match? Do your customers feel the same? (In other words, do non-matching earrings sell to anyone besides me?) Please share your comments on the website–and have a wonderful weekend! 

 

Free eBook
Making Jewelry with Beading Daily
How to Make Earrings: Five Free Jewelry Projects

This free earrings ebook, Making Jewelry with Beading Daily: How to Make Earrings: Five Free Jewelry Projects, includes five earring patterns that use a range of techniques (simple stringing, wirework, simple metalwork, seed bead netting and fringe) and a variety of materials (silver, copper, seed beads, crystals, pearls, gemstones). Both beginners and more experienced jewelry makers will find at least one beaded earring design that will inspire them to catch the handmade earring craze!


Michelle Mach shares free beading projects and tips every Friday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Michelle (including suggestions for future free projects), please share them on the website. Thanks! 


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