In the photos you will find some of the earrings I have created with this technique, but the variations are almost endless- and you don't even need a bead, as beads can be made from wire, too!
You will need four things for this tutorial:
Wire (around 20 gauge)
Earring Back (salvaged from other earrings or purchased)
Beads with Holes (matching or not, holes must accommodate your wire)
Wire Cutters (flush cutters are best)
One can also use the "stoppers" that come with dangle earrings sold in stores, as I have for a couple pairs shown. If you don't have access to flush cutters, make sure to file the ends of your wire so no rough edges will cut you! (always a good idea to check even when using flush cutters)
A specialty tool exists for wire ends known as a "cup burr". That would be ideal [and I'm jealous if you have one].
Step 1: Step One: The Wire
Choose a bead and slide it onto the wire, until about 1cm of wire is out the opposite side. Bend the wire in front of the bead at a good angle. If you really want things to be as symmetric as possible, you may wish to start the next earring right now, too.