Waterfall Earrings (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg.

Waterfall Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Waterfall Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg.

These waterfall earrings can be as simple or as dramatic as you wish. And this project is a great way to use up some of your wire scraps!

Waterfall Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

On each earring I’ve used 10 copper sticks that are 3 cm long. But you can make yours much longer or shorter – and you can use more or fewer sticks (and you can also use ready-made headpins instead, if you prefer).

Waterfall Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Supplies:

  • 20 beads – 3 to 4 mm size (I used Czech glass beads).
  • 20 pieces of round wire, each 3 cm long. Use the thickest gauge of wire that fits comfortably through your beads. (I used 20 gauge soft copper wire). If your wire is thinner than 20 gauge, use half-hard wire. (Note: You can also substitute headpins in place of making your own wire sticks.)
  • 1 pair of earwires (I used copper handmade earwires).
  • 2 large jump rings (mine are 15 mm). I like having the jump rings in a color that contrasts with the rest of the earrings.
  • Wire cutter.
  • Cup bur or jeweler’s file for smoothing and rounding wire ends.
  • Round nose pliers.
  • Flat nose pliers.
  • Metal hammer for flattening wire (I used a chasing hammer).
  • Steel jeweler’s block.
Beads for Waterfall Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

The Czech glass beads I used for these earrings.

How to Make
Waterfall Earrings

Cut your 20 pieces of 3 cm wire (or trim wire scraps to that size).

Copper wire sticks for Waterfall Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Use a cup bur or jewelry file to smooth and round both ends of each piece of wire:

Use cup bur or file to smooth ends of copper sticks for Copper wire sticks for Waterfall Earrings

Place one of your 3 cm wires on your steel block and use your hammer to flatten one wire end into a paddle shape. Then do the same with one end of each of the rest of your wires:

Hammer flatten one end of each copper wire - Waterfall Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Your wires’ paddle ends should look something like this:

Making paddle headpins for Waterfall Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now string one bead onto each of your wires, with the paddle end as the stopper that keeps the bead from falling off the wire:

Bead on paddle headpin in Waterfall Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Next we’re going to make a plain loop on the opposite end of each of your 20 copper sticks. (If you’re new to making loops, or have trouble making them, see my 2 minute video, How to Make a Plain Wire Loop).

Use a Sharpie marker to make a mark on one jaw of your round nose pliers, so you can make all of your loops exactly the same size on your copper sticks. This finished loop will need to be a nice size to fit onto your big jump rings:

Mark your pliers to make your loops exactly the same size

To make the wire loop, use your round nose pliers to grasp the non-hammered end of your copper stick. Your wire should be right on the mark you drew on your pliers:

Making a plain wire loop - Waterfall Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now use the tips of your pliers as shown, to bend the loop backward until it’s centered over the main wire stem like a lollipop:

Straightening the wire loop - Waterfall Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now your wire stick should look like this. I’m making my loops perpendicular to the paddles, so that when the loop end is strung onto my big jump ring, the flat side of the paddle blade will be facing outward. (You can easily use flat nose pliers to gently twist either the loop or paddle to make them perpendicular to each other.)

Waterfall Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

When you’ve finished making the loop on each of your wire sticks, you should have a pile that looks something like this:

Waterfall Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now bring in your two big jump rings:
15 mm jump rings - Waterfall Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

And use your flat nose pliers to gently twist one of them open:

Twisting a jump ring open

Now start stringing your copper sticks onto the jump ring:

Waterfall Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

. . . until you have 10 sticks on your jump ring:

Waterfall Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Use your flat nose pliers to twist the jump ring shut again. Your earring should now look like this:

Waterfall Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now attach one of your earwires to the jump ring (depending on your earwire design, you may need an additional small jump ring to attach your earwire):

Waterfall Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now finish up the second earring the same way you did the first one.

And your finished pair of waterfall earrings should look like this:

Waterfall Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Waterfall Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Waterfall Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Waterfall Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Want to Learn the Basics of
Designing Your Own Wire Jewelry?

Design and Make Artistic Jewelry Components Class In my Design and Make Artistic Jewelry Components video class, you’ll learn how to get great ideas for wire jewelry designs – and then follow my easy system for turning those ideas into successful pieces of jewelry.

By the end of this online video class, you’ll be designing and making your own artistic earwires, clasps, connectors, and pendant bails.

You’ll also learn my tips for making wire jewelry more easily, with more professional looking results.

 

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Comments

  1. Patti Adcock says:

    Rena, I am crazy about those beads. I have searched extensively and cannot find any like them. Could you tell us the specific color/size and where we might be able to get some? I would be so grateful. Such a perfect color combination for copper.

  2. Hi Patti! I agree, copper and these beads just bring out the best in each other!

    I’ve just looked it up, and here’s the info on these beautiful little beads:

    Beads: Czech Glass Rondelles 5x3mm.
    Color: The seller calls them Dragonfly Wings.
    Source: TheBeadApothecary (Etsy seller).

    Best of luck with your beading – and I’d love to see the project you make with them! :)

  3. Hello Rena,
    I’ve just found your web site through Creating My Way to Success and I just love these earrings! I’m pretty new to jewelry making and I wondered how those little paddles at the ends of the wires were made…and now I know! Thank you so much.
    Dawn ~

  4. Those are beautiful! I am not a jewlery maker myself and I am so impressed with the clarity of your tutorial. I feel like I should go shopping and make myself a pair.

  5. Great tutorial and beautiful earrings.
    Have a great week.
    Debi and Charly

  6. Beautiful. I love the beads with the copper.

  7. My little sister would love these. I love these, especially how you hammered the copper ends. It is such a sleek finish.

  8. These are beautiful and I like the copper wire a lot. Thanks for the great idea!

  9. These are beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Sarah Schultz

  10. great tut! thanks!

  11. Lovely tutorial. I feel like I could do this if I had the equipment (oh, I’ve thought about it…) Thanks again!

  12. These earrings are so pretty! Thanks for the great tutorial!

    Linda

  13. Beautiful! I’ve pinned it. I have been contemplating a similar project. I have these purple seed beads I bought for a present project that would be fun to do this with. Thanks for sharing with us!

  14. These earrings are SO pretty! I love the copper with the beads you chose! Gorgeous!

  15. Thank you so much for sharing this on Fidlin’ Fridays! You write such a great tutorial and I am loving this earrings!

  16. Love the colors…great job. Thank you for sharing at One More Time…

  17. I’ve always been too intimidated by jewelry making to give it a try, but these earrings are so beautiful I may have to face my fear. Thanks for sharing at Inspire Us Thursday at Organized 31.

  18. Love this! Love the colors. So beautiful! Thanks for sharing on my Blog hop!

  19. These are so cute! Thanks for bringing them to Super Sunday! Hope you can bring us another fun piece next week!

  20. Hannah says:

    Oh my goodness, how lovely! I always fall for things that have simple shapes but still look dramatic. The material choices are crucial, aren’t they?

  21. These are wonderful earrings. I love the faceted rondelles and how the beads swing on the wires. They must look great in movement.

  22. I cannot say how wonderful the class is on designing components with wire. Well yes I can It’s wonderful!

  23. Ooooh, pretty! I love how you flattened the wires instead of just using headpins. I am shopping around for a chasing hammer…and have found literally dozens of lengths and weights. I’ve read that the weight and balance is very important when making jewelry – obviously that would vary from person to person, but is there a specific weight/length/brand that you prefer? Buying online, so I can’t test for myself, and frankly I’d have no clue anyway. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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