I've been meaning to create an earring design that matches my bird nest pendants without being exactly the same. These tiny nests are even smaller than the pendants and use different techniques to achieve the messy look of a real nest. My new design is a good weight for earrings. I also really like that these little nests are always unique and can be customized with different metals and different "eggs". They make beautiful earrings – especially for moms.
Step 2: What You Need
6’ 24g round dead soft wire
3' 26g round wire
3 4mm oval (rice) pearls
2 matching ear wires
patina and sealer (optional)
Round nose pliers
Flat nose pliers
Step 3: Prepare Wire
Cut the 6' piece of 24g wire in half.
Bend each of these two 24g pieces in half - don't cut.
Cut the 3' piece of wire in half.
Step 4: Twist
Take one of the 24g pieces of bent wire and twist holding the bent end. You can do this with pliers, a wire twister, or by putting one end in a drill. (The drill is easiest) Make it a fairly loose twist so you don't break the wire.
Step 5: Make the Nest Base
LOOSLY spiral the square twisted wire until the spiral is wider than the egg cluster. You must leave gaps in the spiral to pull the binding wire through later.
Step 6: Add Eggs
String 2-3 pearls on the 26g round wire and form a circle about 2/3 of the way down the wire. Twist the wire gently a couple of times (too tight and you may break the wire) to secure. Leave ends free and set aside.
These are the eggs.
Step 8: Join the Pieces
Affix the egg cluster to the center of the spiral with the round wire ends. Don’t worry about centering or being neat – that comes later.
Start using the egg wire ends to bind the twisted spirals together. I usually do this in a haphazard way perpendicular to the twisted spiral wires.
Step 9: Nest Building
Wind more of the twisted wire up and around the eggs into a nest shape. The height and thickness is up to you. Leave gaps. Don’t be neat.
Step 10: Continue Building
Bind nest together with more round wire, moving in and out through gaps.
Step 11: Keep Going
Continue to wind more of the twisted wire up and around the eggs into a nest shape. The height and thickness is up to you. Don’t be neat.
If you need more round wire, cut more.
Pull wires a tight as you want now. The nest should be getting fairly dense.
Pull out a loop of twisted wire from the side of the nest with the round nose pliers.
Step 14: Finishing
Cut excess wire and tuck in ends with pliers
Step 15: Tiny Nests!
Step 16: Add Ear Wires
Twist open the ear wires and add a nest to each one.
Step 18: Optional Patina
If you want to make the lines more defined, add a dark patina. I use M-24. Apply, wash, buff the highlights, and seal.
Step 19: Variations
Copper, silver, silver with a patina.
Step 20: Ready to Wear!
You can use most lead-free metals (all US jewelry wire is safe to wear), including recycled wire, to make these earrings. You can also use any round or oval beads of your choice for the eggs. The combinations are limitless!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and I'd love to see what you create. Feel free to post your photos in the comments.