Trident Beads & Wire Earrings

Instructions for making Trident Beads & Wire Earrings using WigJig jewelry tools, jewelry wire, beads, and common jewelry supplies.

Trident Wire & Beads Earrings -- Jewelry Making Project
In this jewelry making project, we are going to use our WigJig tool to help us wrap wire around itself consistently.  This technique is slightly different from prior projects in that we will keep the wire component on the jig as we perform the wraps.  This will help us to make the wraps more consistently. 

This design is also slightly different from some prior earring designs with three loops in that the loops are oblong instead of just round.  We do this by wrapping the wire around two pegs for each loop instead of just one.

We also show one more new technique in this design.  It is the technique of using a jump ring to keep your beads from migrating along the wire to find a new home.  With standard size jump rings this technique isn't too important because the width of the jump ring itself will prevent it from migrating.  When using very thin jump rings (as we did here) it is very important, because the less expensive, thinner jump rings will easily slide along the wire until they are out of place. 

This project probably is not suitable as your very first jewelry making project, but it is very easy to complete.  This is an advanced beginner's jewelry making project. 

Our instructions for making these earrings follow.

Jewelry Supplies Required: Jewelry Tools Required:
  • Fifteen inches of 18 or 20 gauge round, preferably half hard jewelry wire,
  • Commercial Ear Wire Finding,
  • Six Headpins,
  • Beads
  • Ruler,
  • Flush cutter,
  • Round nose pliers,
  • Bent chain nose pliers (2),
  • Fine Step Jaw Pliers,
  • Nylon jaw pliers,
  • WigJig Olympus, Olympus Lite, Delphi or Centaur Jewelry Making Tool
  • 7 Regular Metal Pegs for the jig
  • 30 minutes of free time,

Jewelry Making Skills Required:

  • Ability to cut wire with with a flush cutter.
  • Ability to straighten wire with nylon jaw pliers.
  • Ability to make a "P" Loop in wire.
  • Ability to open and close loops to connect jewelry components. 
  • Ability to make a jump ring using fine step jaw pliers. 
  • Ability to use a WigJig tool to make wire components. 
  • Ability to make a bead dangle using a head pin and a combination of beads. 

Instructions for making Trident Wire & Beads Earrings showing jewelry wire on WigJig jewelry tool.

Step-by-step instructions for making Trident Wire and Beads Earrings using WigJig jewelry tools and common jewelry supplies:

First, please view our template for making the trident wire component on our WigJig Centaur.  If you have a jig other than the Centaur, you can make your own template using the template for your jig.  Please note that the Centaur template will also work for the WigJig Delphi.  This pattern is for a right handed person.  Please select here to view how to convert these instructions for a left handed designer.

Step 1:  We begin by making the earring body wire component out of 20 gauge wire.  (You could also use 28 gauge wire.  For beginners we recommend 20 gauge wire.)  Start by straightening a segment of wire before you cut it using your nylon jaw pliers.  Straighten about 6 inches of wire

Step 2:  Cut a segment of wire about 5 1/2 inches long. 

Step 3:  Using your fine step jaw pliers, make a loop in the end of the cut wire with the flush cut.  Use the first step in the jaws for the WigJig Delphi or Centaur and the second step for the WigJig Olympus or Olympus Lite. 

Step 4:  Position all seven pegs in your jig as shown above right.  We are going to start with all pegs in the jig and remove selected pegs as we proceed because this is a larger, more complex pattern.  (Normally, Step 5 to instructions for making Trident Beads & Jewelry Wire Earrings using common jewelry supplies.we start with just two pegs in the jig.)  Step 6 to instructions for making Trident Earrings using WigJig jewelry making tools.

Step 5:  Place your initial loop on peg 1 as shown and remove peg 3 from the pattern (temporarily). 

Step 6:  Using the tip of the index finger on your dominant hand, push the wire against peg 2 until the wire rests adjacent to the empty hole for peg 3 with no pressure applied.  This will require you to push the wire beyond the hole for peg 3 and allow the wire to relax back to the position shown when you remove your contact with the wire. 

Step 7 to instructions for making Trident Earrings using jewelry wire, beads and common jewelry supplies.

Step 7:  Add peg 3 and wrap the wire around peg 3 as shown at right.  In order to ensure that the wire remains in the position shown you may need to lift the wire over peg 2 so that you can push it far enough. 

Step 8:  Remove peg 4.  Push the wire against peg 3 as shown below-left, so that the wire remains in the position shown, adjacent to the empty hole for peg 4. 

Step 9:  Remove the wire from the jig and replace it in the mirror image position shown below-center.  Add peg 4 to the pattern.  The reason that we flip this wire component over like this is that the finished piece will grow in height from one side to the other if you don't flip it over and will remain as only two thicknesses of wire if you do flip it over. 

Step 10:  Remove peg 5 from the pattern and push the wire against peg 4 until the wire rests in the position shown below-right. 

Step 8 to instructions for making Trident Earrings showing jewelry wire shapped on WigJig jewelry tool. Step 9 to instructions for making Trident Earrings using jewelry wire, beads and common jewelry making supplies. Step 10 to instructions for making Trident Earrings using WigJig jewelry making tools.
Step 8 Step 9 Step 10

Step 11 to instructions for making Trident Wire & Beads Earrings using common jewelry supplies.

Step 11:  Add peg 5 to the pattern and push the wire around peg 5.  Continue pushing the wire until the wire will rest adjacent to peg 4 with no pressure applied, as shown at right. 

Step 12:  Remove peg 2 from the pattern and push the wire against peg 4 until the wire rests adjacent to the empty hole for peg 2 with no pressure applied.  See the picture below-left. 

Step 13:  Add peg 2 back in the pattern.  Remove the wire component from the jig and replace it in the mirror image position shown below-center. 

Step 14:  Remove peg 7 from the pattern and push the wire against peg 6 until it rests in the position shown below-right, with no pressure applied. 

Step 12 to instructions for making Trident Earrings using WigJig jewelry tools. Step 13 to instructions for making Trident Earrings showing jewelry wire shapped on WigJig jewelry tool. Step 14 to instructions for making Trident Earrings out of jewelry wire, beads and common jewelry supplies.
Step 12 Step 13 Step 14

Step 15 to instructions for making Trident Beads & Jewelry Wire Earrings

Step 15:  Add peg 7 to the pattern.  Push the wire against peg 7 until the wire rests adjacent to peg 6 as shown at right. 

Step 16:  Push the wire against peg 6 until the wire rests against peg 1 as shown below-left. 

Step 17:  Wrap the wire around peg 1 as shown below-center. 

Step 18:  Remove the wire component from the jig and replace it in the mirror image position as shown below-right.  At this point we are preparing to wrap the wire around the "neck" of the design.  By wrapping the wire around itself, we make this wire component permanent, so that it won't come apart.   

Step 16 to instructions for making the Trident Earrings using WigJig jewelry making tools. Step 17 to instructions for making Trident Earrings using jewelry wire, beads and common jewelry making supplies. Step 18 to instructions for making Trident Earrings using WigJig jewelry tools.
Step 16 Step 17 Step 18

Step 19 to instructions for making Trident Wire & Beads Earrings.

Step 19:  Now push the wire up and over, across the neck of this wire component.  See the picture at right for how this should appear. 

Step 20:  We need to wrap the wire around the "neck" of the design about 2 times.  At this point we need to remove the wire from the jig and replace it in the mirror image position as shown below-left. 

Step 21:  As we did in step 19, we need to lift and push the wire up and over, to continue the wrap.  See the picture below-center for how it would appear after this step. 

Step 22:  As we did in step 20, remove the wire component from the jig and replace the wire component in the mirror image position as shown below-right.  This essentially completes two full wraps of wire around the neck of the design. 

Step 20 to instructions for making Trident Earrings using common jewelry supplies.  Step 21 to instructions for making Trident Earrings using jewelry wire and beads. Step 22 to instructions for making Trident Earrings using common jewelry supplies.
Step 20 Step 21 Step 22

Step 23 to instructions for making Trident Wire & Beads Earrings

Step 23:  Using your flush cutter, we need to cut the excess wire.  Leave about 1/16 inch of wire as shown at right. 

Step 24:  Using your bent chain nose or chain nose pliers, grip the short 1/16 inch wire tail and lift and twist it until it lays flat as shown below-right. 

Step 25:  Remove the wire component from the jig.  At this point, the wire component should appear as shown below-center. 

Step 26:  The body of the earring is connected to the ear wire finding by a figure 8 connector.  Using about 1 1/2 inches of wire make a modified figure 8 connector

Step 27:  Using that figure 8 connector, connect the ear wire finding to the top of the earring body.  You can find instructions for opening and closing loops to connect components here.

 

Step 24 to instructions for making Trident Beads & Jewelry Wire Earrings

 

Step 25 to instructions for making Trident Earrings using common jewelry supplies.

Step 26 to instructions for making Trident Earrings showing the finished earrings.
Step 24 Step 25  

 

Step 26 to Trident Jewelry Wire & Beads Earrings showing the finished earrings.

Step 28:  At this point you are ready to add bead dangles to the three loops at the bottom of the trident wire component.  In the earrings shown, we used 6mm pearl beads, 6mm Swarovski Bicone beads and 2x4mm Silver Lined bugle beads.  Thread your combination of beads onto a head pin.

Step 29:  Using the head pin and beads, make a bead dangle connected to each of the three loops in the trident wire component.

Step 30:  Using 1 1/4 inches of wire, make a medium jump ring.  Connect this jump ring to the middle loop in the trident wire component as shown above-right.  You should do this for one loop.  You can actually do it for all three loops in the trident wire component. 

Alternative jewelry making patterns using a jewelry tool with a round peg pattern:

Trident Jewelry Wire & Beads Earrings showing peg pattern on round jewelry making tool.

Shown at left is a picture of the peg pattern for these earrings using a round jig.  The component is very similar to the component we made on the square jig, but not identical. 

We hope you like this design.  As we said in the introduction there are several skills involved in making these earrings that are good to learn.  In particular it is worthwhile learning how to wrap wire while using the jig to preserve the shape of your wire component.  It is also worthwhile to learn how to use a jump ring to keep a bead dangle from migrating out of position. 

 

 

 

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