DIY: Art Deco Swing Earrings

Staying in the summertime groove of lightweight, slinky and sparkly is a must for jewelry projects this season. These earrings have so many possibilities that I couldn’t limit myself to only providing the pattern for one design, I also included the pattern for a pair that uses rhinestone chain. They are so simple (okay, one step is kinda frustrating) you will be inspired to customize the pattern yourself.

I’d love to see what you make from this DIY. Post your pics on Baubles & Beads Facebook page by August 2017 and I’ll hook you up with a coupon code to help you purchase more supplies.

Materials Needed (for the gold pair)MaterialsArtDeco-BaublesAndBeads

Preparing the Chain

Counting ball links is the least wasteful method of cutting the chain. It’s not so great for those of us with lacking 20/20 vision. Keep this technique chill by starting with each chain the longest length and then cut the rest down to size.

Step1ArtDecoSwing-BaublesAndBeadsStep 1: Cut the following number of chains into 1 3/4″ lengths: 8 black pieces, 4 silver pieces, 6 gold pieces. Repeat this step for the second earring and set them aside.

Securing the Chains into the End Cap

Step2ArtDecoSwing-BaublesAndBeadsStep 2: Feed one ball link of each chain into the slot of the end bar in the following pattern: 2 black, 2 gold, 2 silver, 2 black, 2 gold, 2 black, 2 silver, 2 gold, 2 black. Repeat this step for the other earring and set aside.

Step3ArtDecoSwing-BaublesAndBeadsStep 3: Using chain nose pliers gently fold the open end of the end cap closed while making sure no chains fall out of the cap (this is the tricky part). I usually use the tool to get the end to fold downward and then secure it tight by pushing the end against the edge of a table or hard surface. Make certain the end is closed enough that the chains can’t fall out. Repeat this step on the other earring and start to get excited.

Cutting the Fringe Pattern

It is inevitable that even though I measured each length of chain they are are different lengths. I like to count the ball links of center two chains so that I am certain the two earrings are a match. (I will also admit I counted them, all 32, by taking a picture of the earrings and zooming in on my phone so I could easily see the ball links.) I have made a lot of these earrings and every time I cut the fringe a bit different, usually because I make a mistake.

Step4ArtDecoSwing-BaublesAndBeads.jpgStep 4: Each length of fringe decreases by two links from the center two chains. Cut each chain, one by one, starting from the center and working toward the ends. If you make a mistake simply repeat it on the other side and call it a custom design. Repeat the same pattern on the opposite earring.

Attach the Ear Wire

Step5-ArtDecoSwing-BaublesAndBeadsStep 5: Using chain nose pliers, attach the open loop of your ear wire to the loop on the end bar.

Designer’s Musing: If you are a keen tutorial reader you may have noticed my picture of materials includes a lever back ear wire while my list of materials uses a post. When I connected the lever back to the end bar I discovered the loop on the lever back was too small to allow the earring to dangle freely so I opted for the post earring instead. To keep my ears from reacting to the metal I always use precious metal ear wires on my designs even if the other materials are base metal, unless of course they are for someone who always loses the earrings I give her 🙂

But Wait There’s More…

When I decided to write this tutorial I had a hard time decided which earring to make. Why not both? Check out this hottie… (recipe ingredients are included below). Same technique just different chains.

Art Deco Sparkle Earrings

ArtDecoRhinestone-BaublesAndBeadsMaterials Needed (silver pair)

Win one of the samples by commen ting on this post before May 29th, 2017. We will choose one lucky winner and contact you for shipping details, good luck, & most importantly enjoy!

Stringing A Necklace On Thread

We have two great new videos to strengthen your technical skills. The first video will guide you through materials selection while the second video will teach you how to attach a clasp with clamshell beadtips.

The materials discussed in the previous video can be found on our website.
Threads: Silk, Nylon, C-lon
Beadtips
Hypo Cement
Twisted Wire Needles
Flocked Design Board
Chain Nose Pliers
Round Nose Pliers
Thread Snips

Thanks for taking the time to watch us in action. Let us know what other techniques you would like us to cover by commenting below.

Patinas For Metal

For many jewelers applying a patina is the final step in the completion of a jewelry design.  The patina process includes a broad range of colors, products and techniques.  Before applying any patina the metal should be clean and free of debris or oxidization. Let’s explore the patina products that Baubles & Beads uses at the store.

Liver of Sulfur

Liver of Sulphur

Liver of Sulphur

The most widely used patina solution for home jewelers due to its range of colors and ease of use. Most non-porous beads are unaffected by the chemical and can be used to patina a metal piece that incorporates beads, such as wire work projects.

What metals does it work with?

When used hot the solution works with sterling silver and fine silver. A cold solution will patina base metals such as copper.

Color Range

Range of colors on fine silver using liver of sulphur.

Range of colors on fine silver using liver of sulphur.

Color range includes: reds, greens, blues, browns and a very dark brown that appears black. Vibrant colors are considered experimental and results will vary according to variable conditions (water temperature, ratio, etc.).

Add about 1 tablespoon of ammonia to a 2 cup solution to create more vibrant colors on silver.

Safety

Always use proper ventilation as this stuff stinks! The solution can also stain the skin so be sure to wear gloves and safety glasses. Use plastic or glass containers.

Application

Liver of sulphur solution diluted in hot water.

Liver of sulphur solution diluted in hot water.

Mix the solution as directed on the package. Use hot water (about 140 degrees F) but never boiling as fumes will be released in the steam. We prefer to make a weaker solution that is yellowish in color. When using a weak solution allow the piece to remain in the solution for a longer time period until the desired color is achieved. Too strong of a solution can create a flaky black patina that will crumble off.

Silver Black

Silver Black

Silver Black

A diluted solution of hydrochloric acid that produces an instantaneous deep black patina. This item is corrosive to stone and coated beads, use only on metal. Many people are afraid to use this product due to its corrosive properties, use this fear to your advantage by always practicing good safety precautions and you will be rewarded with a beautiful black finish.

 What metals does it work with?

Widely used to patina sterling silver and fine silver. Can be used to darken base metals by diluting the solution with water. Will darken gold-filled metal when either the piece or the solution is heated prior to application.

Color Range

Silver Black is coveted for the deep black effect that it creates on metal.

Safety

Silver Black is a diluted form of hydro-choloric acid, therefore Baubles & Beads is unable to ship the item. However, this product is available for purchase in our retail store in Berkeley, CA. Use safety precautions when using this product: wear gloves, safety glasses and always work in a well ventilated area. Baking soda is used to neutralize the acid both on the piece and to clean up any spills. But watch-out!, when the acid comes in contact with the baking soda it reacts much like the childhood volcano science project where one mixes vinegar and baking soda to make an “eruption.” Contain your workspace by working in a bowl in case the bottle should tip over during use.

Application

Apply solution to the metal with the aid of a Q-Tip to areas that you want a black patina. Neutralize the piece and applicators after applying patina.

VinTaj Patina

VinTaj Patina

VinTaj Patina

These are opaque inks that are specially formulated to adhere to metal. The patina is permanent and UV safe.

What metals does it work with?

All metals.

Color Range

Baubles & Beads currently carries four color collections including three colors in each collection. Mix the colors to create your own custom blend!

Safety

The paint is an irritant and should not be ingested or come in contact with the skin and eyes. Wear gloves and use in a properly ventilated area.

Application

Simply apply the paints to any metal surface using a small paint brush. Experiment with different applications such as blotting it on with a soft cloth, applying several layers of color or mixing colors. It can also be wiped off while still wet. The manufacturer recommends setting the ink with a heat gun for added durability. We use this product on a regular basis and have yet to follow the heat gun guideline and still have great results.

Gilder’s Paste

Gilder's Paste green patina.

Gilder’s Paste green patina.

This is a waxed based medium used to add highlights to metal, wood, ceramics and more. If the paste dries out it can be easily reconstituted by adding a bit of paint thinner and mixing thoroughly.

What metals does it work with?

All metals. It works best when there are recessions in the metal pattern to “catch” the color.

Color Range

Baubles & Beads currently stocks six colors that range from several metallic shades to green and black.

Safety

Like all patina solutions, keep this product away from children.

Application

Apply with a gloved finger, brush, or cloth to the metal in a rubbing motion. Dries to the touch in 30-60 minutes but takes 12 hours to fully dry. It can be thinned out with paint thinner. Rub with a soft cloth to produce a gilded finish. Apply in temperatures above 60F.

Red Aluminum disc with Gilder's Paste applied to stamped design.

Red Aluminum disc with Gilder’s Paste applied to stamped design.

Most impotantly, a safety reminder…

ALWAYS USE ADEQUATE VENLTILATION AND PRECAUTIONS WHEN USING ANY CHEMICAL!  Pregnant women should seek the advice of a doctor before handling any chemical.  Protect your clothing, eyes, skin, and lungs.  If any solution comes in contact with the skin, immediately flush the area with water or appropriate neutralizer .  All mixing cups and jars should be exclusive to a specific chemical and not used for other purposes.  After use, wash all tools and containers with soapy water to remove any residue.  Clean all metals with soap and water after patinization process to remove any residual chemicals.

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