Brass Bead & Tassel Earrings
Recently I became really intrigued by the combination of thread and brass. I don’t think it was any one piece that inspired me, it was more a slow accumulation. But after I started making tassels for my basket, I realized that I wanted to try another take on tassel earrings. And so these babies were born.
They’re really quite fun, and since embroidery thread comes in tons of colors and is super cheap (like, 40 cents a skein), you can make them every color. Which I may or may not do.
Read my lips: No new tassels.
Brass wire – I used half-hard 16-gauge wire.
Beads – Make sure they’ll fit on your wire.
Embroidery thread – I used one skein of DMC color number 157.
Round container to bend wire around
Needle with large eye
Ball peen hammer or rubber mallet (optional)
Jeweler’s bench block (optional) – Like this one or this one.
I’m going to give all of these steps for one earring, but you’ll want to double them all, to make a pair.
1. Use the round-nose pliers to create a small loop at the end of your wire.
2. Wrap the wire around a bottle (or anything round) that is the same size you want the loop of your earrings to be. The diameter of the paint bottle I used was about 1.25 inches. Cut the wire so it overlaps by about 0.25 to 0.5 inches.
3. Shape the wire around the bottle as snugly as possible, and use a piece of tape to hold the ends of the circle in place.
4. Give your wire a bit of texture, and harden it up, by hammering it on a steel block. If you don’t want texture, use a nylon or rubber mallet. Be careful not to flatten out your wire too much, or you beads could end up not fitting on the wire.
5. Remove the tape, and slide 4 beads onto the wire.
6. Now cut your embroidery thread for the tassels. I used 3 clumps of 10 strands each, 4 inches long, and 3 strands 10 inches long.
7. Loop one of the 4-inch clumps of thread between two of the beads. Take the 10-inch piece of thread, double it, and wrap it around the tassel near the top of the loop. Wrap the long thread around the tassel a couple of times, then knot the ends together.
8. Hide the ends of the thread by using a needle to thread them back down through the top of the tassel.
9. Repeat two more times to make two more tassels on this earring. (Then repeat another three more times for the other earring.)
10. Trim the ends of the tassels so they’re the same even length. I trimmed mine to 1.5 inches from the top of the loop.
11. Make another loop on the other end of the wire. You may need to trim it first, depending on how much overlap you left when you cut the wire.
12. Put a jumpring through both wire loops, and use it to attach an earring hook.
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