Make These Wire and Crystal Earrings Tonight!
Twice this year, I've bumped into Patti Bullard, the inventor of Wubbers pliers. The first time was at my taping of Beads, Baubles, and Jewels (which you'll get to read about next week), and the second time was at Bead Fest Philadelphia where I got to see the entire line of Wubbers pliers. Patti offered to send me some of the Wubbers so that I could try them out with some of my new wire jewelry-making ideas, and I was absolutely delighted and floored when a box arrived at my house with an incredible array of pliers — more than I knew what to do with!
Well, what else would this newby to the wonderful world of wire jewelry do with a full set of Wubbers? Make some earrings, of course! I've always thought that earring making is the best way to learn new skills, and it goes for wire jewelry-making skills, too. So I grabbed a few pairs of my new Wubbers and a couple of crystal beads from my bead buddy Stephanie Dixon to see if I could make a funky pair of earrings that used just two crystals.
One wire technique that I love is wrapping a fine-gauge wire around a heavier gauge. The finished look is "messy chic", and goes pretty well with my usual style. I picked out some natural copper wire and a nice, heavy gauge of antique brass craft wire, and sat down to make a funky earring-making project using just two crystals!
- 18 inches of 18 gauge craft wire
- 10 feet (or more) of 26 gauge craft wire in color to contrast 18 gauge wire
- (2) 14×10 oval Swarovski crystal beads
- Ear wires of your choice (or make your own with additional wire!)
- Flush cutters
- Wubbers looping pliers (or your favorite pair of combination pliers)
- Wubbers Extra-large round mandrel pliers
- Flat nose or chain nose pliers
- Bench block (optional)
- Chasing hammer (optional)
I have to admit that I really love the look of the mixed metals in this wire earring making project, and I'm eager to see what other shapes made by my Wubbers pliers can be wrapped with fine-gauge copper wire! I'm already thinking up variations on these to use as components for bracelets, or even smaller wrapped links for a short wire and crystal bead necklace. What other uses for these can you think of?
If you've been bit by the wire bug like I have, you'll want to check out Step By Step Wire Jewelry magazine. Get inspiration from your favorite wire jewelry artists, and information from our trusted editors about new tools, beads, techniques, and books in the world of wire. Subscribe to Step By Step Wire Jewelry and wrap your way through winter with some hot wire jewelry projects.