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Falling Raindrop Earrings

Instructions for making Falling Raindrop Earrings using WigJig jewelry tools, made out of jewelry wire, beads, and common jewelry supplies:

Falling RaindropEarrings with Swarovski Tanzanite Beads made on WigJig jewelry making tools.



We call these Falling Raindrop earrings because the chain leaves the raindrop shape about 1" below the ear wire.  Without the chain, if the raindrop wire component was connected to your ear wire finding, we would call those raindrop earrings.  We considered calling these teardrop earrings but decided not to, because it reminded us of a Country & Western song.  These earrings were made using gold-filled jewelry wire and common jewelry supplies. 

This is an advanced beginner's jewelry making project.

Jewelry Supplies Required:

Jewelry Tools Required:

  • Fine Step Jaw Pliers
  • Round Nose Pliers
  • Flush Cutter
  • Chain Nose or Bent Chain Nose Pliers
  • Any WigJig jewelry tool with 1 metal peg
  • 7/16" Super Peg for your jewelry making jig
  • Nylon Jaw Pliers
  • 30 minutes of free time

Falling Raindrop Earrings made using WigJig jewelry tools out of jewelry wire and tanzanite beads.Falling Raindrop Earrings made with Swarovski Violet Beads using WigJig jewelry making tools.Falling Raindrop Earrings made using common jewelry supplies and pearl beads on WigJig jewelry tools.Falling Raindrop Earrings made with Swarovski Crystal AB Beads and gold jewelry wire.

Step-by-step instructions for making Falling Raindrop Earrings using beads, jewelry wire, jewelry supplies and made using WigJig jewelry tools:

This project has one wire component that we call the Raindrop Component.  Instructions for making this component begin below. 

Step 1:  Cut a segment of 18 or 20 gauge jewelry wire 4 inches long.  In the earrings shown here, the two earrings on the right used 18 gauge wire and the earrings on the left used 20 gauge jewelry wire.  It is slightly more difficult to make the earrings in 18 gauge wire, but the look of the earrings in 18 gauge wire may be more esthetically pleasing.  You can use 1/2 hard or soft jewelry wire.  The earrings shown were made with 1/2 hard jewelry wire.

Step 2:  Using your Fine Step Jaw Pliers or round nose pliers make a loop in the end of your jewelry wire that will be large enough to fit over one of the regular pegs for your jig.

Step 3 to instructions for making Falling Raindrop Earrings showing peg pattern on WigJig jewelry tool.Step 3:  Using your nylon jaw pliers, hold the jewelry wire by the loop and straighten the wire.

Step 4:  Position one metal peg and a 7/16" Super Peg in your WigJig jewelry tool as shown at right.  For a round jewelry making jig, position your Super Peg in the Center hole for the WigJig jewelry tool and place the metal peg about 7/8" away Instructions for making Falling Raindrop Earrings Step 5 showing shaping jewelry wire.from the outside of the Super Peg. 

 

 

Step 5:  Wrap your jewelry wire tightly around the Super Instructions for making Falling Raindrop Earrings Step 6 showing WigJig jewelry making tool.Peg as shown at left. 

Step 6:  While holding your jewelry wire tightly against the Super Peg, wrap the wire around your metal peg in your WigJig jewelry tool as shown at right.

 

 Instructions for making Falling Raindrop Earrings Step 7 showing jewelry wire after shaping.

Step 7:  Remove your wire from your WigJig jewelry tool.  The jewelry wire will appear as shown at left.  It is normal that the jewelry wire will spring slightly out of shape.  With 1/2 hard wire, the jewelry wire may spring even more out of shape than shown. 

In the next few steps, we will convince the jewelry wire to return to the raindrop shape and to stay in that shape.

 

Instructions for making Falling Raindrop Earrings Step 8 showing common jewelry tools used to hold jewelry wire.Step 8:  Insert the stepped jaw of your step jaw pliers into the two loops.  This will require you to push the jewelry wire back into the raindrop shape.  Grip the wire firmly in the jaws of your pliers.  If you don't have step jaw pliers you can use round nose pliers but because of the conical shape of the jaws of the round nose pliers, the resulting wrap will not be quite as neat.

Instructions for making Falling Raindrop Earrings Step 9 showing common jewelry tools shaping jewelry wire.


Step 9:  Now, with your pliers in your non-dominant hand, push the wire tail with the thumb on your dominant hand so that the Instructions for making Falling Raindrop Earrings Step 10 showing jewelry making wire.wire tail wraps around the "neck" of the raindrop two full turns. 

 

 

 

Instructions for making Falling Raindrop Earrings Step 10BStep 10:  Remove the jewelry wire component from your pliers and it will appear as shown at left.  Cut the excess wire with your flush cutter at the point where the wire extends beyond the edge of the wrapped wire from step 9.  This will leave a very small end Instructions for making Falling Raindrop Earrings Step 11 showing close up of jewelry wire.of the wire raised and not flat like the rest of the wrapped wire. 


Step 11:  Now using your bent chain nose pliers squeeze the cut end of the wire gently until it lays flat against the rest of the wire component.

 

Instructions for making Falling Raindrop Earrings Step 12 showing finished jewelry wire component.

Step 12:  This completes your Raindrop Wire Component.  The next steps in making these earrings will be to support the beads in the center of the bottom of the raindrop. 

 

 

 

 

Instructions for making Falling Raindrop Earrings using common jewelry supplies Step 13Step 13:  Cut a segment of fine gauge jewelry wire about 2 to 2 1/2 inches long.  For this project, 1/2 round wire works best, but if you do not have 1/2 round jewelry wire you can use 22 or 24 gauge round jewelry wire.  Make a "U" shaped bend about 3/8" from one end of this wire. 

Instructions for making Falling Raindrop Earrings Step 14




Step 14:  Position this "U" shaped bend on one side of your raindrop wire component as shown.

Instructions for making Falling Raindrop Earrings Step 15 showing jewelry making wire.Step 15:  Wrap the wire tail around the wire in that side of the Raindrop Wire component 1 1/2 turns as shown at right.  Keeping the wire tail as close to perpendicular to the wire in the Raindrop Wire Component as Instructions for making Falling Raindrop Earrings Step 16 wrapping jewelry making wire.possible so that your wrap will be tight.

 

 

Step 16:  Cut the excess wire with your flush cutter about 1/16" from the edge of the Raindrop Wire Component.  Instructions for making Falling Raindrop Earrings Step 17

Step 17:  Using your bent chain nose pliers, squeeze the cut end of the wire flat against the inside of the Raindrop Wire Component.  Slide the wire to the position shown and try to keep it in this position Instructions for making Falling Raindrop Earrings Step 18 adding beads to the wire component.during the following steps.

Step 18:  Thread one size 11 seed bead, an 8mm bead and a second size 11 seed bead onto the fine gauge wire.  (We used topaz silver lined seed beads with our gold wire.  With silver wire we recommend crystal silver lined seed beads.)  If you don't have a size 11 seed bead, you can use two size 8 seed beads and a 6mm bead instead of the 8mm beads shown here, or you can use a 1/2 inch Super Peg to make a larger Raindrop and use 8mm beads with size 8 seed beads.  Now we are ready to wrap the otherInstructions for making Falling Raindrop Earrings Step 19 adding beads. side of the fine gauge wire around the Raindrop Wire Component.

Step 19:  Using your fingers, wrap the fine gauge jewelry wire about 1/2 way around the Raindrop wire component.  At this point we can not wrap further Instructions for making Falling Raindrop Earrings Step 20 adding beads to the jewelry wire component.because the wire tail is too long. 

Step 20:  Using your flush cutter cut the excess wire about 3/8" from the bend.

 

Instructions for making Falling Raindrop Earrings Step 21 adding a pearl bead.Step 21:  Using a combination of your fingers and your bent chain nose pliers, wrap the wire tail around the Raindrop Wire Component 1 1/2 times as shown at right. 

Step 22:  Cut the excess jewelry wire 1/16" from the wrap.

 

Instructions for making Falling Raindrop Earrings out of jewelry wire and beads Step 22

 

Step 23:  Using your bent chain nose pliers, squeeze the wire tail flat against the inside of the Raindrop. 

This complete our work on the Raindrop Wire Component and beads.  In the following section, we will begin assembling the earrings. 

Falling Raindrop Earrings made with Swarovski Tanzanite BeadsFalling Raindrop Earrings made with Swarovski Violet Beads and common jewelry supplies.Falling Raindrop Earrings made with Swarovski Pearl Beads and gold jewelry wire.Falling Raindrop Earrings made with Swarovski Crystal AB Beads using WigJig jewelry tools.



Step 24:  Using 20 or 22 gauge round jewelry wire, make a modified figure 8 connector.  One of the loops in this modified figure 8 connector will need to be larger so that it can connect to the top of the Raindrop Wire Component.  The other side should be smaller so that it can connect to your chain and will be similar in size to the links on your chain. 

Step 25:  Cut a segment of commercial chain about 1/2" to 5/8" long. 

Step 26:  Using your bent chain nose pliers open both loops on your modified figure 8 connector.  Connect the large side of your modified figure 8 connector to your Raindrop Wire Component and connect the small side to one end of your 1/2" long segment of commercial chain.  Close both loops when they are in place. 

Step 27:  Now using your bent chain nose pliers open the loop in your commercial ear wire finding and connect that loop to the top of your 1/2" segment of commercial chain.  Close the loop in your ear wire finding and hold your earrings at arms length.  Admire your finished earring.

We found that we liked one side of our Raindrop Wire Component better than the other and it took a little trial and error so that the better side hung facing out. 

Try these earrings with a variety of 8mm beads.  Our opinion is that round beads will show best since the round of the bead follow the round of the bottom of the Raindrop Wire Component. 

Alternative designs for making Raindrop Earrings using WigJig jewelry tools:

In the following section, we will describe three new versions of the Raindrop earrings.  These versions are larger and made with a different technique that may be easier for some jewelry crafters to make.

3 Raindrop Jewelry Wire Earrings made using WigJig jewelry making tools.

At right, we show three larger versions of these Raindrop earrings without the chain.  These three designs were inspired by many fashion magazines and by female movie stars who have been seen wearing similar earrings in a variety of sizes.  These earrings are a beginners project when made in 18 gauge, are more advanced when made in 16 gauge and are an advanced project when made in 14 gauge.  In this case, the larger the wire the more difficult it is to shape and the more skill required to make the earrings.  These earrings were made without beads for the simple reason that the earrings in the magazines and worn by the movie stars did not have beads.  Beads and/or gemstones could be added to these earrings using the techniques described previously.  Our step-by-step jewelry making instructions begin below.

Step 1:    Cut a segment of soft jewelry wire that is 5 1/2 inches long for the small earrings, 6 1/2 inches long for the medium earrings and 7 1/2 inches long for the large earrings.  Practice making these earring with 18 gauge wire.  For those of you who get satisfied with the product with 18 gauge jewelry wire, then try 16 gauge jewelry wire.  Finally, for advanced wire workers you can try 14 gauge jewelry wire.  14 gauge jewelry wire makes a bolder appearing and more permanent earring, but is much more difficult to work with. 

Step 2:  Make a loop in one end of the jewelry wire.  Please note that making a loop in 14 or 16 gauge jewelry wire uses a different technique than one would use for making a loop in 18 gauge wire. 

Step 3:  Hold your wire segment by the loop and using your nylon jaw pliers, repeatedly pull the jewelry wire through the jaws of the pliers until the wire segment is straight.

Step 4:  Now decide which pattern you want to make, the small, the medium or the large.  The pattern involves only two pegs and the pegs are separated by between 1 1/2 times to 2 times the size of the Super Peg that you use.  This pattern can be easily set up on either a jig with a round pattern as shown below-right or on a jig with a square pattern as shown below-left and below-center.  Choose your pattern and set up your pegs in your WigJig jewelry making tool appropriately.  For the small pattern, a WigJig Spiral Maker tool can be used in place of the 3/4" Super Peg.

 

 

3 Raindrop Jewelry Wire Earrings showing small peg pattern on WigJig jewelry tool.

Raindrop Earrings showing medium peg pattern on WigJig jewelry tool.

Raindrop Earrings showing large peg pattern on WigJig jewelry tool.

Small Pattern on
WigJig Centaur jewelry tool
Medium Pattern on
WIgJig Delphi jewelry tool

Large Pattern on
WigJig Cyclops jewelry tool

Step 5:  Place the initial loop that you made in your wire on the regular metal peg and while holding the wire tightly wrap it round the large Super Peg.  You want to push the wire tightly against the Super Peg so that there are no gaps between the wire and the peg.  Push the jewelry wire beyond the regular peg at the top until with no pressure applied the wire will rest adjacent to the metal peg at the top.  You will have to press the wire tightly into the Super Peg many times until the gaps between the Super Peg and the wire are as small as possible.

Step 6:  While continuing to hold the wire tightly against the Super Peg, wrap the jewelry wire around the regular metal peg at the top.  With the 14 gauge wire we had to use bent chain nose pliers to help us pull the loop closed. 

Step 7:  When you remove the jewelry wire from the WigJig jewelry tool you will probably notice that it will spring out of shape slightly.  With the 18 gauge jewelry wire you can shape the wire by squeezing it against the Super Peg with your fingers, several times.  With 16 and 14 gauge jewelry wire you will probably find that hammering the wire against the Super Peg with a nylon hammer will help the wire to take the shape of the Super Peg.  You can use the nylon hammer with the Super Peg on the jewelry making jig or off.  Experiment to determine which works best for you.

 

3 Raindrop Jewelry Wire Earrings made with jewelry wire and beads Step 8Step 8:  With 18 gauge wire there are two ways to finish the top of the earrings.  If you view the tip of the raindrop wire component shown at right, you can see that the 18g jewelry wire component is finished with an modified figure 8 connector. The connector at the top of the two 14 gauge earrings shown at right were made with 24 gauge jewelry wire wrapped tightly around the two loops holding them in position.  For beginners the modified figure 8 connector is by far Step 8 to Raindrop Jewelry Wire Earrings showing close up of jewelry wire.the easier option.  Unfortunately with 14 gauge jewelry wire the only option is the wrapped 24 gauge wire.  You can view a close-up of this approach at left.  The two loops of the raindrop wire component are at the bottom of the picture, the loop in the ear wire is at the top and the wrapped 24 gauge jewelry wire is in between the two.  To complete this wrapped 24 gauge wire, first, wrap two loops of the 24 gauge wire tightly around the two loops at the top of the raindrop wire component.  Pull these two loops tight by using your bent chain nose pliers and then wrap the shorter end of the wire around the longer end of the jewelry wire.  Cut the excess wire on the shorter wire segment and squeeze the cut end flat.  Finish the loop at the top using the longer end of the wire by making a regular wrapped loop.  

Step 9:  Open the loop in a pair of conventional ear wires and connect them to the loop at the top of the modified figure 8 connector or wrapped 24 gauge wire.  When you have done this for both earrings you are done.  Get ready for walking down the runway, but don't be surprised if you see someone else wearing these same earrings.

Summary of jewelry making instructions:

We've shown many alternatives for making these raindrop earrings.  The basic raindrop earring body used to make these earrings is a very standard jewelry wire component using in many earring and necklace designs.  Using this design with the chain shown here makes these earrings unique.  We like this design and hope you do also. 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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