These make a great handmade gift if you have friends or family who enjoy crochet, and they are a lot easier to make than you might think. They allow for so many possibilities to personalize. You just need some basic jewelry tools and findings, and if you watch the sales or coupons, these supplies will be really reasonable. You can get everything you need at any craft store (like Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, Joann’s, etc).
What you will need:
Beads you love – I picked a round disc river shell bead strand from Hobby Lobby’s Traditions Line.
Earring wires – the open kind, or the kind that closes – whatever you prefer!
Jewelry pins – these will either have a flat base, a loop, or something decorative. Any version will work.
Jump rings – you may or may not need these, depending on whether the ear wires you choose can open up or not. Some don’t. I didn’t need these with the ear wires I chose.
Jewelry pliers – The round ones work best, but don’t buy pliers just for this project. Any small pliers will work.
Wire cutters – the ones from your household toolbox work fine.
The first step is to make your beads into charms. For this, you just need the bead and the pin. My pins are flat on the bottoms, so that the bead doesn’t slide off the end. If the holes in your beads are larger than the head of your pin, you can fix this by putting a smaller bead on the end, like a seed bead.
Now, you need to turn the top into a loop. Do do this, bend it around your pliers like the photo below:
This is why I say round pliers works best, but the loop doesn’t need to be perfectly round, don’t worry. Loop the metal all the way around.
Now, bend the little “tail” around the “neck” you’ve made.
Nip the end of the pin off, if you have any left (it will depend on the size of your bead or beads).
You will probably still have just a little bit of tail poking out. Just use your pliers to press it down. There are no rules a to how many times it should loop around the neck – at least once, but however many times you have room for. I looped mine twice.
Now, I chose ear wires that have an open back – mostly because, they don’t look so much like earrings, they are more convincing stitch markers. :) But the little loop on mine opens up (with some help from your pliers). Just add your bead charm on, and close it back up. If you have chosen ear wires that don’t open up, that’s okay, you will just need a jump ring to attach the charm to the wire. (Jump rings are just simple rings that open and close with a pair of pliers.)
Then – just repeat this process as necessary until you have a nice set!
Are you getting the jump on some handmade gifts for the upcoming holidays? What kinds of things are you making?