Monday, February 27, 2012

When You Can't Afford The Real Thing

Men, you can check out right now, if you'd like.  This one is for the ladies.

Do you ever find yourself paying attention to the jewelry worn by people on tv?  I can't be the only one who does this.  I keep mental notes of the stuff I like, in the hopes of one day finding a knock-off at TJ Maxx.  Occasionally, I'll give jewelry-making a try, usually with acceptable results.  By "acceptable", I mean "good enough, as long as no one zooms in for a close look".

We've been watching "Once Upon A Time" every week since it started.  Sometimes more than once a week, if it's an especially fun episode for the kids (like the Hansel and Gretel one...we probably watched that four times).  The evil queen's alter ego, Regina, has this pair of earrings that she wears in what seems to be every episode.  Or that might be me replaying them in my mind over and over, because I like them so much.  Either way, I'm fixated on them.  I want them.  Desperately.

Or maybe I just want to look like her.  That might be it.

Now, I know I could go out and find something like these practically anywhere, but the problem is, I want them to be good quality earrings.  And that kind of spending is just not in the budget.  So I decided to take things into my own hands and make them myself.  Fortunately, I had most of the supplies already...all I needed was the wires and hoops.  Since the tools and beads (Swarovsky crystal pearls, they're so decadent, but only about $4 a pearl) were sunk costs from years before, I only had to come up with $9 for the hoops and wire ($8 for the hoops, $1 on the wire, all sterling silver).

Wire wrapping the bead isn't very difficult.  You can pick it up pretty easily by watching a youtube video like this.

Or, if you happen to have a friend who makes jewelry, even better.  Everyone should have a friend like that.  A couple of years back, I hosted a jewelry-making party with a bunch of friends from work.  My bff (beading friend forever, duh) NiqueSaulet, was so generous with us, sharing her techniques and giving us tips when our work looked like crap.  It was a great way to get started with jewelry-making, and that easy investment of $25 for the tools was worth the tons of jewelry I've since made for myself and for family.

The earrings took about 15 minutes to make.  In truth, if you're particularly talented, it should only take about 5 minutes, but I tend to be a little on the imprecise (read sloppy) side, which results in re-dos.  I'll re-do it as long as it takes to end up with a decent pair.  And no longer.

In case you're not the youtube type, I'll try to explain how I made them.  Start by threading the pearl with the wire.  With your weaker hand, use the round nose pliers to hold onto the wire that has been threaded through the bead.  In your other hand, use the flat nose pliers to grab the end of the wire and wrap it around the round nose for a half revolution.  Then in one fluid motion, change directions and wrap sideways underneath the nose, to create the neck between the bead and the loop.  Do about 3 revolutions of this sideways move.  Here's an image of what you should end up with.
Slide it off and clip the wire.  Crimp the edge, if necessary.
Slide the silver hoop through the wire loop.

And just like that, I had my own earrings, like the ones I saw on tv.  Or close enough.

Turns out I wish I just looked like her.

Big news!  I've got a post published today on Scary Mommy...if you have a free minute, make your way over and check it out.  Thanks!


Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress said...

Those look fabulous on you. And the deep color is beautiful!

NumberWhisperer said...

Thanks Elizabeth!