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A bit of the sea, a bit of sparkle, and a lot of dazzle! These DIY Shell Sparkles Wire-Wrapped Earrings bring the magic of the beach to any outfit, and can be customized in color and size. I’ll teach you how to make the simple wire frame, then decorate it with a mix of pearls and crystals for a very ocean-chic look. A shell and chain tassel completes the earrings, and adds a bit of movement when wearing.
These are great for both beginner and advanced jewelry makers – you don’t need any specific tools besides normal jewelry-making pliers to make! Let’s get to crafting!
Gather materials. You’ll need an assortment of colored pearls and crystals (ranging from 3mm to about 8mm), silver french earwires, silver cable chain, small cowrie shell charms, small 4mm jumprings, 6mm jumprings, 18g non-tarnish wire and 24g non-tarnish wire.
Take the large gauge wire and wrap around a nail polish bottle or other small cosmetic bottle. The diameter will affect the size of your hoop. I made 2 sizes, approx. 1.5″ and 1.75″. Cut 2 coils from your wrap, and create a loop at one end of the coil with your roundnose pliers. Create a loop at the other end, going parallel to the wire instead of perpendicular to it. Don’t close this loop yet- bring it around over the last loop you made, then crimp shut with flatnose pliers. Your frame is complete!
Bring out your bead assortment and thin 22g wire. Cut an approx. 10″ piece of wire, and wrap the end around the top of the frame, tightly to secure. Choose your smallest bead (mine a 3mm crystal rondelle) and thread it onto the wire. Holding it right up against the frame, continue to wrap the wire around the frame twice more, catching the bead in the wrap. Repeat with another bead, one slightly larger in size (here about a 3.5mm pearl). Keep repeating stringing and wrapping, using slightly larger beads each time for a gradual effect. Feel free to mix pearl and crystal here for that mixed media look.
Once you have the desired amount of beads wrapped, cut excess wire and bend the ends flush to the frame with pliers. I went for an asymmetric look here, but you can fill up the entire frame if you would like.
Cut three lengths of your cable chain to make the chain tassel – mine were approx. 3″, 2.5″, 2″. Bring out your shell charm, 6mm jumping and 4mm jump rings, as well as your earwire. Group the chains together and add to a 4mm jumpring, then add a 6mm jumpring through the top of your shell. Place the chain tassel on the 6mm jumpring, then close the 6mm jumpring. Cut a 5″ piece of 22g wire, and create a wrapped loop around the 6mm jumpring. String on a 4mm bicone, then create a wrapped loop around the top loop of the beaded frame to finish. Cut excess wire and repeat the steps with your other frame. If you did an asymmetric beading pattern like me, make sure you mirror the frame before adding the shell charm. Add earwires to the tops of the wire frames, through the loop. Your earrings are complete!
The wire frames can be adapted to different shapes, such as long teardrops, squares, rectangles….. I noticed a lot of my nail polish bottles had different shapes. You could also create a larger statement earring, hanging shells off the bottom of the wire frame for extra drama. Enjoy!
DIY Shell Sparkles Wire-Wrapped Earrings
All photos copyright Quiet Lion Creations. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for permission to use or re-post.
Don’t steal them, it’s bad karma ☺.