A Beginning Beadwork Project-
A popular first beading project is headpin earrings. Using the same techniques to make simple headpin earrings, you can make a more ornate pair using filigree brass stampings, head pins and beads.
Filigree brass stampings come in lots of shapes and are widely available in different finishes including brass, copper, bronze and silver. The pair shown above is on earcuffs made with filigree stampings, but could be put on standard ear wires just as easily.
You will need:
- A pair of filigree stampings
- Round nose pliers
- Chain nose pliers
- wire cutters
- 2 inch long head pins- enough for each drop plus 1 extra
- beads- some tear drop vertically drilled, some round
Take a look at your filigree shapes and decide where you want the drops. Filigree pieces have a lot of little spaces to hang things and wire things. For the ones above, I used the 4 spaces across the bottom of the shape. Then you'll start making the drops.
You could string a few beads on one head pin then turn a loop at the top, but I like the movement in 2 linked pieces. Using one head pin and smaller beads, you can make both links from one head pin. Start by putting the bottom bead on the head pin, then bend it at a 90 degree angle from the bead using the chain nose pliers.
Turn that in a small loop and center it above the bead. Trim the wire, saving the piece you trim off.
Use the piece you trimmed off for the top part of the drop, make a small loop at the bottom, thread on a bead, then turn a small loop at the top to make a bead link.
To connect the two together, you'll open one link by turning the part of the loop sideways. You never want to pull the ends apart on the same plane because it's hard to get them to meet up again just right without deforming the loop. You always do something like a twist to open a jump ring or round eye on a head pin. Connect the two pieces.
Continue making drops until you have enough for the earrings you're making, then trim the head off the last head pin and make two more bead links to hang the finished earring from your finding. Connect all the pieces to your filigree stamping.
There are lots of ways to modify these, using different beads, chains and charms . You could also use bead links and filigree shapes linked together to make a bracelet or necklace.