Introduction: Cascading Diamond Earrings
After finals week ended, my roommate and I hit the mall for some retail therapy. For me it was merely window shopping, but my roommate managed to find some jewelry that she liked. After buying quite a few pairs of earrings (two sets and two individual ones...), she swore off buying any more... until we came across these clever ones at Charming Charlie. They were nicely interwoven for a herringbone-weave-esk look, but she was set in her resolve against another purchase. Even so, I liked them enough to snap a picture and surprise her with a wire version as a gift.
Step 1: Materials
- wire (I used 20 and 26 gauge rose gold wire)
- an entertaining TV show/movie for the weaving part (partially for passing time, partially to distract you from the pain radiating from your fingers..)
- beads (optional)
Step 2: Weaving
Cut off 8 inches of your thicker wire and fold it in half. Then grab your thinner wire and prepare to weave!
If you have never tried wire weaving, fear not; the pattern for this is quite simple. The major problem for this project is not inexperience; instead, it'll be finger fatigue and pain. Your fingers will inevitably hurt after some time, so be sure to take breaks when your fingers are sore. You'll need to weave between 3 inches of the top and bottom halves of your wire. The pattern consists of wrapping the wire around the top half of the thicker wire three times and then wrapping around both top and bottom pieces of thick wire twice. Make sure that your wrapping is nice and tight!
Step 3: Bending
Make a bend about 0.75" away from the tip of your woven wire. Make the bend by curving the wire around your finger at an angle so that the two halves after your fold are not in line (see first picture). You should end up with something like in the second picture. Make another bend about 0.75" away from your first bend, again curving the wire around a finger at an angle. Do that one final time for a total of three bends so that you end up with the diamond shape in the fourth picture above. At this point, the diamond should NOT be two dimensional (see step 5 for more pictures of this); your corners must be bent so that there are two sets of parallel sides that are at different heights due to the curving.
Step 4: Finishing
Cut off your loose wire and clamp down HARD on the ends to hide them securely. Take one of your ends of the thick wire and curve it down into a loop centered in the middle of the diamond. Trim off excess wire from that loop. Then take the other end of the thick wire and curve it upward in another loop centered in the middle of the diamond. Again, trim off excess wire. Use your pliers or fingers to rotate the top loop 90 degrees so that it lies perpendicular to the plane of the diamond (see fifth image above).
Make two of the diamonds described above. For the third and final one, instead of curving both ends of the thick wire in opposite directions to form two loops, curve both of them upward to form a single loop.
Step 5: Pictures of the 3D Shape
The shape of the diamonds was difficult for me to master, especially with mere pictures to work from, so I added more pictures to help you visualize the shape you are trying to achieve.
Step 6: Intertwining
To connect the three diamonds, follow the step-by-step instructions in the notes of the pictures above. In essence, you'll be inserting each diamond into one another so that they nestle together as intended. The top and bottom loops will all go together, as you'll see in the corresponding pictures.
Step 7: Earring Hooks
Take your spool of wire and make a sharp bend about 2.5" down. Bend until the end of the wire is parallel to the rest of the wire, and cut so that you have a piece of wire with two parallel 2.5 pieces (like a long, sharp U). Shape the wire into the shape of regular earring wires (use an online picture or another pair of earrings) -- shape BOTH parallel wires at once so that they are identical. Then cut about 0.75" down from the last bend. If you like, add beads and whatnot to decorate the hook, so long as you end it with a loop for attaching the three diamonds.
Connect your woven diamonds to your earring hooks, and voila; a special pair of earrings to gift or flaunt yourself.