Tag Archives: wire

Almond ear wires with pink conical beads.

Almond Ear Wires and a Pretty Pink Earring/Necklace Set

Almond ear wires with pink conical beads.
I just love this shape of ear wire.

New and interesting shapes for ear wires are very popular lately. My favorites are the almond-shaped ear wires.These have been featured all over the web and television. The first time I really noticed them was on Emily Deschanel in the television series “Bones.” They are elegant and fun and are actually very easy to make.

For demonstration purposes and because it photographs a little easier, I made these ear wires out of heavier 18 gauge sterling silver half-hard wire. I usually use lighter 21 gauge sterling silver half-hard wire, but I wanted something that would be very visible in the photos.

Wire bent at 90 degrees at 3/4".
Bend the wire to 90º.

Using flat nose pliers (although you can use the rosary pliers for the whole project if you prefer) I bent the wire at 3/4″ to a 90º angle.

Wire loop made with rosary pliers.
Wrap a loop with the rosary pliers.

Then I used rosary pliers (also called round-nose pliers) to make a loop by placing the pliers above the bend on the short wire and wrapping it around the nose of the pliers.

Completed wire loop.
Finish wrapping the short end of the wire around the stem.

Holding onto the loop with the rosary pliers, I use the flat nose pliers to twist the short end of the wire around the stem (below the loop). By having only 3/4″ of wire for the loop, there is no wire to trim and you are good to continue on to the next step.

Wire wrapped around the mandrel.
Wrap the wire around a mandrel or other object approximately 1" in diameter.

Here I used a mandrel that my father made me for Christmas a few years ago (Aren’t fathers wonderful?). The widest end of the mandrel is 1″ in diameter and the thinnest end is 1/2″ in diameter. For these ear wires, I wrapped around the widest point of my mandrel at 1″. I just made one wrap around the mandrel and as the wire is half-hard, it stretches back out to an incomplete circle when I let it go as shown in the photo below.

Wire just removed from the mandrel will stretch out to form an incomplete circle.
Wire just removed from the mandrel will stretch out to form an incomplete circle.
Completed almond shaped ear wire.
Here is the finished view of the almond ear wire.

Next, I bend the circle at the half-way point to create the top of the almond and lightly stretch out the two halves to create the full almond shape. I also bend the wire-wrapped loop to hang correctly down from the almond. I then use a small file to smooth the cut made by the wire cutters so it won’t catch in your ear when you put it through.

Almond ear wire earrings and matching necklace with pink pendant.

To show the ear wires in action, I made the matching earrings to a necklace I made from pretty pink glass florets, red pearls and crackled white quartz beads. The pendant is a piece of dyed jasper that I wire wrapped to hang it from the necklace.

I hope this helps you to create your own almond ear wires, or inspires you to create your own new shape entirely!

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Lake Michigan Rock Necklace

Rock pendant necklace and initial.
Rock with wire initial and ball chain necklace.

Cheri: On to Kristin’s gift. Kristin and Lynne went to Lake Michigan several months ago to camp and had a fantastic time. Lynne brought me back some rocks as I am a pretty avid rock lover.

The rocks were really nice and flat and round. I was very intrigued by them because I had just read a tutorial on how to drill rocks on craftgawker and I felt that I really needed to try it out. It was a little touch and go, but I did manage to get holes in several of them.

As I looked at the rocks, I knew that I wanted to make Kristin a necklace. I also wanted to make it a little more personal, so I made a “K” out of wire and then flattened the wire. I looped the initial into the hole with a jump ring. I had a ball chain that I thought looked very nice with the wire and put that on it.

It would also look pretty cool with a thin piece of leather cord. I was really pleased with how it turned out and I think Kristin was really thrilled with it too.

Beach Pebble Wire Initial Necklace
Beach Pebble Initial Necklace

Christmas Ornament Countdown: It’s the Final Countdown

So we have arrived at Christmas! I hope everyone is having at wonderful holiday. For those of you who have been following along with our ornament countdown adventure, you know that Cheri and I have been showcasing our ornament creations this year. We have been alternating days which is about all we had time for with our preparations for Christmas as well. We have gathered them all together here in one post for easy viewing.

First Day: Lucky Stars

Glass ball full of origami lucky stars.
Made by Kristin

Second Day: Scrapbook Paper Balls

Spiral ornaments made from scrapbook paper.
Made by Cheri

Third Day: Beaded Glass Ball

Glass ball covered in beaded mesh.
Made by Kristin

Fourth Day: Cardboard Tube Snowflakes

Snowflakes made from paper tubes.
Made by Cheri

Fifth Day: Sequins and Pins

Stryofoam egg decorated with pins, beads and sequins.
Made by Kristin

Sixth Day: Wire-wrapped Spider

Wire wrapped spider
Made by Kristin

Seventh Day: Teeny Tiny Places

Winter scenes inside tiny toy bubbles.
Made by Cheri

Eighth Day: Buttons, Buttons Everywhere!

Styrofoam ball covered in small white buttons.
Made by Cheri

Ninth Day: Crochet Wreath

Small wreath crocheted of cotton yarn.
Made by Kristin

Tenth Day: Scrapbook Paper Origami Stars

Scrapbook paper 3D origami stars.
Made by Kristin

Eleventh Day: Chinese Fortune

Glass ball full of Chinese fortunes and glitter.
Made by Cheri

Twelfth Day: Wire-wrapped Ice Fairy

Wire-wrapped snow fairy holding a snowflake.
Made by Kristin

Thirteenth Day: Steam Punk Felt Bird

Felt bird with wire-wrapped crown, wings and tail in steam punk fashion.
Made by Cheri

Fourteenth Day: Wire Wrapped Joy

Word "Joy" wire-wrapped inside wire circle.
Made by Cheri

It has been a wonderful craft experience to work in so many mediums. Cheri and I had a great time creating all of these amazing ornaments and look forward to another showcase for next year (which will include all the Crafty Sisters, not just us two).

Happy Holidays from Kristin!

Christmas Ornament Countdown: Wire Wrapped Joy

Christmas Ornament Countdown
Wire "Joy" Christmas tree ornament.

Cheri: While my sis and I were shopping at Hobby Lobby the other day, we were checking out the wire in the jewelry section. Back many years ago when I first started working with wire, I was using baling wire. This is the wire that holds bales of hay together. It was a good thing I was young and my hands were in good shape.

Since then wire comes in all shapes and sizes and colors. The wire I picked up for this ornament was really soft, and my hands really appreciated it. I was able to form the letters very smoothly and if I made an adjustment to the wire, it was easy to get the kinks out.

This ornament is really quite simple. I shaped the word “Joy” and then I made a big circle with a hanger at the top and placed the word in it. I then took small pieces of wire and held the word in place by wrapping it at various points. I think it turned out very nice and should really add a lot to the ornament tree that we are all working on.

Merry Christmas from Crafty Sister Cheri.

Christmas Ornament Countdown: Steam Punk Felt Bird

Christmas Ornament Countdown
Steam punk felt bird Christmas ornament.

Cheri: This little bird is all decked out in his Christmas Regalia. He is just not satisfied with being just a bird, he felt the need to dress for the occasion. And when I say dress for the occasion, he really did. He has a lovely crown, quite nice decoration on his tail feathers and he is wearing some very nice wing bracelets.

The body of this little bird is felt that has been sewn together and stuffed. I then took several pieces of different colored wire and used it in place of feathers. He is a little bit of a steam punk bird with all his attire. I hope you like him as much as I do.

Christmas Ornament Countdown
Felt bird.

Merry Christmas from Crafty Sister Cheri.

Christmas Ornament Countdown
All dressed up in steam punk.

Christmas Ornament Countdown: Wire-wrapped Ice Fairy

I love Cheri’s Chinese Fortune ornament. It will just glitter and shine next to the lights on the Christmas tree.

For an ornament last week, I did an homage to my stepfather’s sequin and pin ornament and for today I am doing one for my sister. Loryn has this ornament that she received from our grandmother (Memom – the other two sisters’ that make up The Crafty Sisters, mom) in 1981. As we were growing up Memom would give us each a Hallmark ornament for Christmas. One of the joys of decorating our tree was being able to hang the ornaments that were yours. This one in particular was a lovely Ice Fairy holding a snow flake.

Hallmark ornament from 1981 of an Ice Fairy holding a snowflake.
This is the original ornament. Unfortunately not ours, as this one still has her wings and snowflake.

I have many memories of this ornament and I know that my sister has even more. Unfortunately, time has not really been kind to the poor fairy. She has lost her wings and snowflake, but she is still a lovely ornament so she is hung on the tree every year. Here is my version of the ornament:

Wire version of the ice fairy.

I made her with silver wire. I started with the arms, wired on the neck and head and then continued with the rest of the body. Then I made the snowflake and wired it onto one of the hands and adjusted the other hand to hold it. The wings were made next and each is wired separately to her shoulders. I added her hair last.

Wire version of the ice fairy.

Happy Holidays from Kristin!

Christmas Ornament Countdown: Wire-wrapped Spider

I first heard about putting a spider ornament on your Christmas tree from Cheri years ago, but had never heard the story until recently. I have put a spider in my wreaths and decorations for years now.

Here is my spider for this year:

Wire wrapped spider.

He is a simple fellow. His legs are made with black bead stringing wire and the body is the same wire in silver. He only took me about an hour to make, but will last a long time.

Wire wrapped spider.

And in case anyone wants to read it, here is the story behind the Christmas spider.

On Christmas Eve, a gentle mother was busily cleaning the house for the most wonderful day of the year, Christmas Day, until not a speck of dust was left. Even the spiders had been banished from their cozy corners and had fled to the farthest corner of the attic. The Christmas tree was beautifully decorated. The poor spiders were frantic, for they could not see the tree, nor be present for Santa’s visit. Then the oldest and wisest spider suggested that perhaps they could wait until everyone went to bed and then get a closer look.

When the house was dark and silent, the spiders crept out of their hiding place. When they neared the Christmas tree, they were delighted with the beauty of it. The spiders crept all over the tree, up and down, over the branches and twigs and saw every one of the pretty things. The spiders loved the Christmas tree. All night long they danced in the branches, leaving them covered with spider webs.

When Santa Claus came with the gifts for the children, he saw the tree covered in spider webs, and smiled to see how happy the spiders were, but he knew the mother, who had worked so hard to make everything perfect, would not be pleased when she saw what the spiders had done. With love in his heart and a smile on his lips, Santa reached out and gently touched the spider webs. The spider webs started to sparkle and shine! They had all turned into sparkling, shimmering silver and gold. Ever since this happened, people have hung tinsel on their Christmas trees and included a spider among the decorations on the Christmas tree.

Wire wrapped spider.

Happy Holidays from Kristin!

Crafty Challenge Two: Wire and O Rings Necklace

"O" Ring Necklace
A study in black and silver.

-Cheri: Craft challenge 2 was a blast. The $5.00 limit adds an interesting twist to the challenge. But I wasn’t too worried about it. Here in Logansport we have a really cool old hardware store. I think they have some of the same merchandise that they had when they opened maybe 60 odd years ago. I spent a good hour pouring over the store, opening drawers and looking in all the little nooks and crannies.

I had so many ideas I knew I was going to have a hard time congealing them into one piece. I have a tendency to overdo things so I decided I was going to get a few items and work with them for a little bit to see what I could come up with. I picked up a variety pack of O rings, a retaining ring, a spring, a small flange washer and wire. I have spent probably the last 20 years making things with wire so I was pretty sure if all else failed, I would be able to make something with the wire.

I divided the O rings up into sizes and worked with the large ones to see what I could make. I eventually hit upon the idea of twisting the circles to create a centerpiece for a necklace. I made wire links from wrapping the wire around a pencil and cutting them apart, and formed the longer pieces of wire by making a loop on each end. I was thrilled with the outcome and I think that the hardware store may become one of my favorite places to go for jewelry supplies.

Wire and O Ring Necklace
The twisted O ring loop supports the two pendant loops.