Thursday, December 18, 2014

O, Christmas Tree! - Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 9

I've seen some magnificently decorated Christmas trees coming through my Facebook stream over the past few weeks - each one has it's own unique charm and personality. So today, I've created another version of Christmas tree earrings, called simply, O, Christmas Tree!
Christmas tree earrings made with bohemian gold filigrees, topped with a gold star charm.

I think you'll agree that the three versions I've made each have a personality of their own too and they couldn't be more different from each other: leather trees, wire wrapped trees and now, filigree trees. Filled with glowing red beads and edged with sparkling gold crystals, these are statement earrings for those who dare to be bold - they measure a neck-tickling 7cm (2 ¾") from the top of the ear wire to the bottom of the basket!

Here's what you'll need to make these:
Diamond filigree, red beads, gold wire and jewellery findings
Tools: chain nose pliers; round nose pliers; Vintaj Bail Making Plier; Beadalon Nylon Jaw Pliers, flush cutters
Other: drill with 1 or 2mm drill bit or metal punch; block of wood.

Place the filigree on the block of wood and drill a hole in the centre.
Drilling a hole in the centre of the filigree using a dremel and fine drill bit.

Place the narrow jaw of the bail making pliers in the centre of the filigree and bend both sides down. Try to keep the two halves aligned.
Using bail making pliers to fold the diamond filigree in half.

Finish the shaping with round nose pliers to make the base narrower.
Making adjustments to the bend in the filigree using round nose pliers.

It should look like this when finished.
The diamond filigree folded in half evenly.

Insert the brass (or gold) eye pin through the bottom of the filigree and string on the two red beads.
Stringing the red beads through the hole that was drilled in the centre of the filigree.

Centre them in the Christmas tree and then bend the tail of the eye pin over the top of the filigree.
The eye pin is bent at a 90° angle above the pointed top of the filigree.

Then bend it so that it sits flush against the filigree to keep it out of the way whilst you complete the next step.

Cut 50cm wire and insert the wire from the inside first, through the hole closest to the bend in the filigree. Wrap the wire three or four times around the edge.
The wire is wrapped around the outside of one of the scallops at the bottom of the filigree.

String on a bicone and then insert the wire through the corresponding hole on the other side of the filigree, from the inside out. Take care not to kink the wire as you feed it through.
A gold bicone crystal has been strung onto the wire and the wire has been inserted into the scallop on the other side of the filigree.

Feed the wire back through to the first side again (from the inside), taking care not to kink it or break it. All your wraps will be over the outside edge first, through the middle of the two filigrees and then outside through the corresponding hole (from the inside). Continue adding beads on every second pass until you have added 6 beads.
The wire has been inserted back to the other side of the filigree on the next scallop.

Straighten the wire by running it through the nylon jaw pliers from time to time.
Straightening out the kinks that have formed in the wire with nylon jaw pliers.

After the 6th bead has been added, bend the tail of the eye pin back to 90° and wrap the wire around it two or three times to anchor the eye pin.
The wire has been wrapped around the eye pin at the top of the filigree three times.

Turn a simple loop on the eye pin.
Using round nose pliers to turn a simple loop on the eye pin at the top of the filigree Christmas Tree.

Continue wrapping the wire around the filigree, adding beads to every second pass. Once six beads have been added, wrap the wire around the last hole three or four times.
The wire has been wrapped and beaded all the way around the scallops of the filigree.

Trim both end wires close to the filigree.
Trimming the wire tail away using flush cutters.

String the bead cap and cube on the head pin. Bend the head pin as close to the cube as you can. Trim to 8mm (5/16").
The basket bead cap has been strung onto a head pin and turned at a 90° angle.

Turn a small simple loop.
A simple loop has been turned on the head pin so that it sits below the top of the basket bead cap.

Open the eye pin at the bottom of the Christmas tree and attach the basket.
The loop on the bottom of the filigree Christmas tree has been opened and the basket bead cap is being hooked on to it.

String the star bead on the gold eye pin and turn a simple loop.
The gold star bead has been strung on an eye pin and a simple loop has been turned on the other side using round nose pliers.

Open the earring wire and attach the star. Make a second earring to match.
The loop of the earring wire has been opened and the star bead has been hooked on.

Although these Christmas trees are true statement earrings, the laciness of the filigree gives them an airy and ornate feeling without looking too heavy. But if you feel that these are too big for you, look for a smaller diamond filigree and adjust the size of the beads you use inside it - you'll still get the same effect, just on a smaller scale.

So, we have nine pairs down and just three to go in the 2014 Twelve Days of Christmas Earrings Extravaganza. Have I run out of ideas yet?

Nope! I've still got a few more up my sleeve. Join me again in a couple of days for Day 10.

'Til next time.....

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