June 10, 2014

Silver and Gemstone Mosaic Statement Earrings

Mosaic gemstone statement earrings DIY: Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

Out with the old, in with the bling


I made these earrings as a special order for a friend.

The design is similar to pair she had that was well loved - and overly worn.  Worn so much that the ear wires were smushed and all of the silver plating had worn off leaving them copper and brass colored.

But they looked fabulous on her - large and showy, so I can see why she persisted in wearing them even when they were obviously past their prime.

I felt great being able to make her this pair to replace them.

All sterling silver, with freshwater pearls, sterling beads, coated labradorite, pyrite and crystals - I think these
will withstand many years of daily wear.

Facing the design challenge


I've never made earrings in this style before, so there is a lot of new ground for me here.  

Mosaic gemstone statement earrings DIY: Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

First, I made the frames.  I used about 4 inches of 18g wire for each frame.  The coils are 22g.  Since I worked directly off the roll of wire, I'm not sure how many inches of wire I used for the coils.

Mosaic gemstone statement earrings DIY: Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog


The frame design is copied from the original pair of earrings and is slightly different than I would have come up with - mainly the way they are closed.  Typically, I use a round loop to join the wire to the frame - and this is folded.

Mosaic gemstone statement earrings DIY: Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

You might be able to see the wire folded down on the back side to secure the frame in this picture.  This design keeps the shape better than the loop closure does.

Mosaic gemstone statement earrings DIY: Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

To add the beads, I just worked around the edges toward the center.  I used 26g wire to attach the beads.  Most of the beads are attached in groups of 3 consisting of a small bead, larger bead and small bead.  The small beads are 2mm, larger ones are 3 or 4mm.

Mosaic gemstone statement earrings DIY: Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

I actually love the look of these earrings with just the outer edge of the frame filled in, so I may eventually make myself a pair like this.  I went around the edge for two rounds and then started filling in the center in a more random manner.

Mosaic gemstone statement earrings DIY: Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

And then a miracle happened and they were done... and looked great!  

They are a little heavy and large - about 2.5 inches with the earwire - but oh-so-pretty.  And sparkly.

Mosaic gemstone statement earrings DIY: Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

I had a moment of fear when I was filling them in, thinking I used too many pearls and they were getting a wedding vibe going.  I just pulled back and filled in more black crystals and pyrite to overcome that though.

I definitely plan on making some more designs in this style - with a smaller frame - and with just the edge filled in or a full mosaic like these.  Most of all, I'm happy that she likes them.

9 comments :

  1. Love the tutorial. Will give it a try. Thanks so much for sharing.

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    1. I'm glad you like the earrings and tutorial. I hope they come out great!

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  2. beautiful! thanks so much for sharing

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    1. Thank you for visiting my blog. Enjoy!

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  3. Thank you Lisa for sharing such a beautiful art of gemstone with us. Keep Posting :-)

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  4. Thank you for sharing this tutorial. Great DIY project. Can't wait for the next one :) Have a great great week! Natalie

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    1. Thanks Natalie. I hope you'll visit my blog for more projects in the future.

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  5. Lisa, do you smooth out the ends of the folded over wire before you fold them over? Thank you for this tutorial.

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    1. Oh yes - I always file my wire ends! I guess I should continue to include those steps. Thank you for reminding me.
      I keep foam backed nail files (the thick ones they use in salons) handy to smooth my wire ends on everything I make. It's just habit - cut the wire, smooth with the file.
      In this case, I think I may have folded, trimmed and then filed since I wasn't sure how much overlap I would want.
      Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting.

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