Bead Original with Statement Earrings
Statement earrings frame your face, complement your outfit, and can make you feel instantly put together. Plus, statement earrings are fun to make! Earrings are a great way to learn a new beading stitch or use beads from your stash because they stitch together quickly. They’re an opportunity to experiment with something new, whether that’s the beadwork, the color, or the style. It’s a new year, so why not try something you’ve never done before?
“The key to looking great in the evening is to look original. Try to look different from others without looking out of place. When everyone else is wearing black, stand out in a bold, bright color. When everyone else is wearing dress that falls to the floor, shock them with a short gold brocade suit. But try not to overdo it. Focus on one thing: Will it be a statement necklace, a stunning pair of earrings, or really big hair? You decide.” -Isaac Mizrahi
Statement earrings can go so many different directions, in so many different styles. Think about your favorite earrings—could you mimic that style or shape with beadwork or simple wireworking techniques? You can link metal elements together, make beaded dangles, attach beadwork to metal components, incorporate crystals, and more, to create your own statement earrings. Here are a few examples of statement earrings that will turn heads:
Style & Statement Earrings
It’s gratifying to study someone’s style and make a pair of earrings you know they’ll adore. Last Fall, I made a pair of Frida Kahlo-inspired earrings from antique brass components, mirror drops, and red tassels. I gave them to my friend, Jess, as a little pre-wedding treat and she loved them so much that she decided to wear them with her wedding dress! I was honored to be a part of her special day and happy that my earrings spoke to her. Anytime she wears those earrings, I hope she feels the joy and care that they represent.
These amazing Mandala Magic earrings use circular brick stitch with a picot edge. In addition to being an excellent intermediate project for practicing the stitches, connections, and color changes, these earrings have style all day long. You could use them to dress up jeans and a t-shirt or use them to bring some bohemian flair to a solid color sweater or dress. The color scheme is so fun! But, if you prefer a subtler palette, it would be easy to substitute the beads.
Create these stylish Crystal Buckle Earrings with a simple strip of even-count peyote stitch and a Swarovski crystal square ring fancy stone. These are perfect for ringing in the New Year! You could make these in any color and the impact would be the same: Just the right amount of glamour. The matte seeds provide a textural backdrop for the reflective crystal ring. All of the elements can be exchanged to suit your style. You can use any type of open ring to fasten your beadwork strips. Or, lengthen the strips to make them even more show-stopping. You could also alter the design by using larger seed beads, such as size 8’s. This would make the beadwork go even faster.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Bead Artist Debora Hodoyer for Beadwork February/March 2020. Wire-wrapped beaded statement earrings were Debora’s inspiration for getting started making jewelry. These days, she’s creating gorgeous woven beaded jewelry like these Egyptian Flowers. he used AVA beads with DiamonDuos; MiniDuos; Minos par Pucas and seed beads to create these colorful, architectural designs. Many of Debora’s statement earrings have appeared in Beadwork. See pictures of her wire-wrapped beaded earring creations and read about Debora’s jewelry making evolution in “Learn About Color with Bead Weaving Artist Debora Hodoyer.” Debora likes making earrings because she can play with different geometric configurations, plus, she loves the way they frame the face.
Bead-Embellished Hoop Earrings
Combine your love of beading with beginner metalworking techniques to create Bead-Embellished Hoop Earrings. This free tutorial is a good introduction to making wire hoop earrings, from annealing to shaping, and more. Use anything around your studio as mandrels to create hoops in interesting shapes—small bottles, a ring mandrel, shaping pliers, all are good for creating hoops. Soldering is minimal, so you can get used to working with your torch. Add beads from your stash for eye-catching little splashes of color. If you enjoy combining metal with beads, you can use these techniques in many different ways to make creative jewelry.
52 Earring Designs
In Jewelry Stringing Presents 52 Earring Designs, you’ll find earring inspiration for every week of the year, with creative ideas for drops, chandeliers, hoops, and other styles. As Estee Lauder said, “Trust and love are wonderful, but don’t forget the earrings.” Use this as a jumpstart for making earrings this year. One of my friends does a daily challenge on Facebook. I’m not quite up for that level of commitment, but I think I could swing one pair of earrings per week. Join me! Whether we make them for ourselves or pass them along as gifts, it’s going to feel like a major accomplishment by the end of 2020.
Creative Statement Earrings
As jewelry-=wearing maven Elizabeth Taylor said, “Jewelry has the power to be the one little thing that makes you feel unique.” I have to say, I agree with her. And, I think earrings in particular are an easy way to feel special, whether you’re wearing drops, hoops, or earrings that make more of a statement. Enjoy creating your own unique, handmade statement earrings with these creative ideas!
Katie Hacker, interim managing editor of Beadwork