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How-Tuesday: Geometric Earrings

Feb 19, 2013

by Brett Bara

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

For this week’s How-Tuesday, we welcome Brett Bara to give us a peek into her newest project: Brooklyn Craft Camp, a one-day DIY event coming up in March 2013. Brett writes about all things crafts, DIY decor, food, and cats on her blog. She is also the author of the book Sewing in a Straight Line, the host of the PBS series Knit and Crochet Now, and a DIY blogger for Design*Sponge. You may also remember Brett from her previous How-Tuesday post on how to sew a skirt in one hour.

Looking for a quick and easy way to add a new spark to your look? Try these crazy-easy (and crazy-cute) painted wooden earrings. The design is inspired by a statement necklace class that Etsy designer Miss Batch will be teaching at the upcoming event I’m organizing: Brooklyn Craft Camp, a one-day DIY event on March 16 in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where attendees will craft, eat, meet, and greet. If you’re in the area or if you’re up for a trip to NYC, I hope you’ll join us!

In today’s post we’re making an abbreviated version of Miss Batch’s necklace project: painted wooden bead earrings! These earrings combine painting and graphic design elements with simple jewelry making. The result is minimalist, modern, and chic – what more could you ask for?

Materials You’ll Need:
Large wooden beads – any shape will do, but we used 20mm round beads and 21mm faceted beads.
Light- to medium-weight chain, about 8″ for each set of earrings – any size will do, as long as it can fit through the hole in the bead.
Jump rings
Ear wires
Chopsticks
Small paintbrush
Washi tape or masking tape (optional)
Fine sand paper (optional)
Acrylic paint or nail polish
Two pairs of needle nose pliers

Directions:

1. Paint the beads. Begin by placing each bead on a chopstick and resting the chopstick across the top of a glass — this will make it easy to paint all sides of the bead and allow it to dry without smudging. You can choose to paint the beads by masking them with tape, or just free-handing it.

If you’d like to mask them off, simply press some washi or masking tape around the bead and paint the free side using acrylic paint or nail polish. Repeat with a few coats until the paint color is even, allowing to dry between each coat.

Note: If you’re using a stained bead, you may want to lightly sand the surface before painting, to help the paint adhere.

2. Cut the chain. While the beads are drying, cut two pieces of chain approximately 4″ long.

3. Construct the earring. Working with two pairs of needle nose pliers, open a jump ring by twisting the ends apart. Thread one piece of chain through one of the painted beads, and attach the open jump ring to the last link on each end of the chain.

4. Attach the ear wire. Finally, connect the ear wire to the jump ring, then twist the ring closed again. Repeat to make the second earring, and you’re done!

If you make your own wooden earrings, share a photo with us in the Etsy Labs Flickr group. A big thank you to Brett Bara for sharing this project with us. For more projects like this one, check out Brooklyn Craft Camp in March 2013!

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