When I made these superbowl team color earrings, I thought they were silly - just something to wear to the superbowl party and flaunt my team colors. I love that I can whip up something quick for an event.
But, when you look beyond the bright team colors, the design has promise to be much more.
I saw this pair of earrings by Chan Luu (on my Pinterest board) and it shows that beaded links could be much more glamorous and fabulous.
So, I picked up some new chain to give it a try.
This is from Michael's. It was almost a shame to take apart the links. The chain is so pretty that it would make a fantastic necklace just like this.
Falling to pieces
But I did take it apart.
The nicest feature of this chain is that all of the decorative links are solid and the jump rings are split - so all of the disassembled components can easily be re-purposed.
I used WildFire .15mm black thread to add Miyuki 11/0 Delica beads to the outside edge of one of the thin oblong links using brick stitch. It is the same technique I described in this free tutorial for the team color earrings.
Once I had a few links made, I connected them with the jump rings from the original chain. The only consideration was that the connector had to be big enough to give the links enough room so they didn't overlap now that there were beads on the edge.
I made simple french hook earwires, and my new earrings are done!
I had to make earwires because the beaded link wouldn't fit on any of the store bought french hooks that I have. I made the loop connector larger than normal to accomodate the beaded link.
What you can't see in these pictures is how beautifully shimmery the earrings are. They are very elegant and are about 2 1/4 inches long.
I find it hard not to point out some minor issues with my link earrings. After all, it's just between us...
First, I started and ended the brick stitch on the side of the links. That was a bad idea because I can see the knots really clearly. That's something that I try to be aware of since it makes your finished jewelry project so much nicer - but I have to admit, I don't think many customers would notice that detail.
If I make these links again (which I am sure I will), I will make the beads join on one of the ends so the knots will be less obvious - or possibly hidden by the jump ring connectors.
I also think the black thread is a little too strong. I ran out out of smoke colored Fireline last week - and while I like the way the WildFire stitches, the color is very opaque black as opposed to Fireline which is more gray and slightly translucent.
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