Monday, July 11, 2011

How to make a bead cluster pendant or earrings!

STEP 1: Gather supplies! You will need a selection of beads in multiple sizes with one (optional) larger bead, two 6mm jump rings, head pins, and chain nose pliers. You will need French hooks if you are making earrings.
STEP 2: OPTIONAL. Choose a larger bead to be an anchor in your bead cluster.
STEP 3: Decide whether you'd like to do a wrapped loop at the top of each bead, or a simple closed loop. This is really your preference. However a wrapped loop will always be more secure.
STEP 4: Stack the individual beads on headpins that you'd like to use in your bead cluster, and finish each with a loop at the top. If you are making earrings, consider the weight of the beads you are using. In the case of the pendant I am making, I used some pearls and resin beads in with the glass to make it lighter weight.
STEP 5: Stack your wrapped beads on one of the jump rings. 5-7 beads will do. See that your anchor bead is in the middle. Sometimes it is helpful to lay your beads out, since you will be loading your jump ring from one side. I hold the jump ring with my pliers while I load. It is far easier than holding between my fingers.
OPTIONAL STEP:  You may decide you'd like your cluster more free and elongated. If so, close your jump ring and add another jump ring to the main one. You will stack your remaining beads on this second jump ring, and then close.
STEP 6: If you have chosen to create a tight bead cluster, all of your beads will go on one jump ring. Keep adding beads until you can't add anymore. Be sure to add different beads next to each other adding the smallest beads last. You may want to lay out all of your beads before loading the jump ring, in order to assure that each side of the larger bead is balanced. Once you can add no more, close the jump ring.
STEP 7: While you still have your jump ring full of bead in your pliers, add a second jump ring at the top, which will serve as a bail. If you are making earrings, you do not have to add an extra jump ring before adding your French hook. The choice is yours.
STEP 8: Thread chain or a cord through your jump ring bail, and finish with a clasp!


RockMeGently said...

Thanks, Dawn! Love the carrot wall! ;)

cellocarrots said...

Thanks Sheree! I just lucked out finding this background. I have no idea how people do or find the cool backgrounds they do. This really isn't what I would pick, but it just seemed so right...heehee

MaryL said...

What a wonderful little tutorial! Now I know what to make with all the odds and ends beads I have left over, thanks!! By the way...I need your address again, misplaced it...been wanting to send you a piece of wire art for a very long time :))) Since I can't make it anymore, I've been slowly giving the pieces I have left to family and friends... Hugs!

Elizabeth said...

Thank you Dawn!

BassManPDX said...

Excellent tutorial!

bitsandbaubles said...

Thank you Dawn! :) I love your blog!! So many beautiful pieces! (((hugs)))