Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mesa Rose Earrings

Here's a little pair of earrings I made the other day.  I think they have a bit of Southwest vibe (unintentional), so I'm calling them the "Mesa Rose" earrings.  They came together very quickly.  If you'd like to make some, here's a tutorial:

2  round beads, 6-8mm (mine were 6mm)
18" jewelry wire, about  20-22ga (I used Artistic Wire, but the label is long gone so I can't swear to the gauge)
Earring wires, 1 pair
Needle nose pliers
Round nose pliers
Crimping pliers (optional)
Nylon flat jaw pliers (optional)

Disclaimer #1:  I'm cheap frugal, so I work with the wire still attached to the spool.  That way if I make a mistake I can cut the project off and not waste any wire.  So I can't tell you how long a piece of wire to cut for the rose.  But I think about 6" would be more than enough.

Disclaimer #2:  The photos for this tutorial were taken from a tripod, using a timer, and cropped in Picasa.  I don't know which of these is to blame for all the blurriness, but I'm ready to go back to Nero Photo Snap and a hand-held camera.  I apologize in advance for the less than clear cut photos.

Here we go!

Put the wire into, but not through, the bead:

Bend the wire so it comes out of the hole at a right angle:

Wrap the wire snugly all the way around the bead, like this.  Notice how the wire looks like a sideways "V" where the free end goes past the part just coming out of the bead:

Gently grasp the free end of the wire with the round-nose pliers, right in the "v", and make the first petal by bending wire with your fingers over the pliers towards the bead:

Grasp the base of the petal with the needle-nose pliers, and gently bend the wire away from the bead:

Make another petal by bending the wire over the round-nose pliers:

 Make 2 more petals this way.  Your flower should look something like this, with the free end of the wire behind the first petal:

Now we're ready to make the second set of petals behind the first set.  Gently grasp the wire, using needle-nose pliers, so the tip of the pliers come right through the center of the first petal:

Bend the wire away from the bead, just like before:

Now switch to the round-nose pliers and bend the wire over them to make a petal. This petal will be behind and between 2 of the front petals:

Make 3 more petals this way, always remembering that the tip of the needle-nose pliers will be coming through one of the front petals.  Now your flower will have 8 petals: 4 in front, and 4 in back, with the free end of the wire behind the flower.  Snip off the wire just past the petals, like this:

Now take the round-nose pliers and gently curl the free end of the wire behind the bead.  Use your fingers to snug it up to the back of the bead, gently pressing on the flower if you need to:

Your rose is done!  Make another one (it will go even faster), attach some ear wires, and try them on.  You might like to leave your roses just the way they are, or you can go on to make something pretty to dangle from them.  I made leaves:

Cut a 3" piece of wire (okay, so my frugality went out the window at this point), and make a "v" in it using the needle-nose pliers.  The "v" should be almost in the middle of the wire:

Using the crimping pliers (if you have them, otherwise use the needle-nose), gently pinch the tip of the "v" to make the leaf tip:

In the "v" just above the leaf tip, gently grasp one side of the wire with the round-nose pliers, and with your fingers bend the wire into a curve.  Repeat on the opposite side until the 2 ends of the wire cross each other and you have a leaf shape:

Using the needle-nose pliers, grasp the short free end of the wire just where it crosses the other end and bend it straight down the middle of the leaf.  It's okay if it's a little too long.  Just snip off any excess:

Tuck the wire end into the notch at the leaf tip.  Now, using your nylon flat-jaw pliers (or if you don't have any, the wide flat part of your needle-nose pliers), gently flatten the leaf:

Grasp the top of the leaf with the needle-nose pliers, and bend the free end of the wire straight back from the leaf.  Snip the wire about 3/8" from the top of the leaf:

Switch to the round-nose pliers and bend the free end of the wire into a loop (this is called a plain loop, and if you haven't made one, here's a good picture tutorial):

Open the loop, attach to a back petal of the rose, and you're done!  (Earwires should be attached to the opposite petals.) Congratulations - your new earrings are ready to wear.

Thanks for viewing, and happy beading!

This post will be linked to Masterpiece Monday at Boogieboard Cottage.


  1. This came up in your Linked Within, and I couldn't resist. I've never done wirework, but this tutorial makes me think I could give it a try. :)

  2. I make my own jewelry and I LOVE this project! I'm gonna make these beautiful earrings! Thank you for posting and your earrings look really pretty!


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