Introduction: 10 Minute Southwest Turquoise Earrings

About: Geeky artist. MUST. MAKE. STUFF. More stuff at:

These fancy southwest style earrings look involved, but are very easy and take almost no time to make. If you have your materials on hand, figure about 5 minutes per earring! My technique is super-versatile, so feel free to use beads you already own or personalize the earrings with birthstones, favorite colors etc. Also, I used real turquoise, but these earrings will still look great with imitation gemstones.

Step 1: Materials You Need

2 - 22 gauge (2") silver eyepins

4 - 22 gauge silver pointed paddle head pins (1")

2 - 4mm round turquoise beads

2 – long (15-20mm) turquoise beads - teardrop, or barrel

2 - 4mm round red beads (I use fossil stone)

2 - 8mm round red beads (I use fossil stone)

2 - 4mm round silver beads

2 - 4 - 6mm bali decorative silver beads

2 - 4 - 6mm bali decorative silver beads (different style)

2 – 20-30mm silver feather charms

10 – 5mm silver round open jump rings

2 - Stainless steel ear wires

Step 2: Tools

Round nose pliers

Flat nose pliers

Wire cutters

Optional: Bead mat

Step 3: Organise

Set out your beads in the order they will go on the head and eye pins. A bead mat is helpful to keep them from rolling away, but not required.

Step 4: Assemble Beads

String each set of beads onto a paddle pin or eye pin as shown. Just follow my pattern.

Step 5: Bali Bead, Little Red Bead, Paddle Pin.

Step 6: Turquoise Bead, Big Red Bead, Paddle Pin.

Step 7: Turquoise Bead, Bali Bead, 4mm Silver Bead, Eye Pin.

Step 8: Top Loop

Make a small closed loop over the silver and turquoise beads. This is a wrapped loop.

For more details on wrapped loops see my instructions (Step 6) here:

Step 9: Trim the Excess Wire.

Step 10: Smaller Dangles

There will be less wire above the beads on the paddle pins, so just bend a circle above the top bead with round nose pliers. This is called a simple loop. Look carefully and make sure you have no gaps or your dangle could pop off. Adjust with flat nose pliers if necessary.

Step 11: Ear Wire

Twist open the ear wire loop a few millimeters using flat nose pliers. Thread the top loop of the dangle (with the long bead) onto the ear wire loop. Twist the ear wire loop closed.

Step 12: Jump Rings

Using 2 pairs of pliers (one in each hand), twist open 5 jump rings.

Step 13: Feather

Thread the feather onto an open jump ring. Thread the the ring with the feather onto the bottom loop of the eye pin, under the long bead. Close the jump ring.

Step 14: Interlude: Easiest, Fastest Option (Version 1)

This version has all the dangles bunched together, which looks pretty, though not the one I prefer. If you want super-easy, though, this is for you! (Otherwise, proceed to the next step.)

Finishing directions:

Before closing the jump ring, add one of the small dangles to each side of the feather. THEN close the jump ring. That's it!

Now repeat with the other earring and you're done.

Note: If you make this version, you'll have leftover jump rings.

Step 15: Version 2: Just a Tad More Involved, But Still EASY

Add a jump ring to the loop at the top of each small dangle.

Step 16: Add First Dangle

Add a second jump ring to one dangle. Thread that ring onto the ring with the feather. Close the jump ring.

Step 17: Second Dangle

Add an open jump ring to the remaining dangle. Thread this ring onto the ring holding the previous dangle. Close the jump ring.


Step 18: Repeat

Make your second earring exactly the same as the first.

Step 19: Ready to Wear or Give

Your beautiful new earrings are ready to give as a gift or wear right way.

You can use this technique with any beads you want. Match an outfit in an instant (well, almost) or make a special handmade present with barely any time. I hope you have fun!

Step 20:

1 Hour Challenge

Participated in the
1 Hour Challenge