Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Whip It Up Wednesday: Anthro Inspired Big Top Earrings

We don't have Anthropologie here in Australia, so I hadn't even heard of it before I wandered into blogland. I have to say, it's a great place for inspiration but I'm way too much of a scrooge to buy anything!

Anthropologie's Big Top Earrings.
US$160 originally, down to US$80 on sale. Crazy!

When I saw these earrings I knew I had to give them a go! Of course, I wanted to do it with only the materials I already had on hand, so it's not as perfect as the Anthro version which has been done with wire and beads that are actually the same length! ;) 

Rissa's somewhat lame attempt ;)

My version is less "neat" but gives the right effect when they're worn, plus, they're lighter than Anthro's would be since they're made with cotton thread. I road tested them and they passed the "night out" test ;) Right, let's get on with it!

What You Need:
* Cotton thread (or similar)
* Large seed beads or pony beads
* Small seed beads or delica beads
* Bugle beads
* 2 earring findings 
* 2 jump rings
* Scissors, needle, needle threader, etc...

What To Do:
First we're going to build the "frame" of our earrings. Thread your needle with the cotton, and knot the end together. You'll want to keep it double stranded.

Thread on some of your small beads in the primary colour for your earrings. I'm using gold to keep it similar to the Anthro original. Seed or delica beads work well. I threaded about 6cm worth of beads.

Tie the ends together so you have a circle of beads. Knot tightly and trim the cotton ends as close as you can to the end of the beads.

Repeat to make a second bead circle.

Now repeat the process to make two smaller circles. This time I used 3cm worth of beads.

Now you should have two large and two small circles of beads.

Right, time to get out your other colours! I'm using mainly gold, with chocolate, dark blue and light blue highlights.

Tie one of your pony beads onto the end of your cotton. This time we're just working with single strands of cotton :)

Thread on three bugle beads in the same colour. Thread the loose end of the cotton up into the bugle beads to hide it. Like this:

Take one of your big beaded circles we made earlier. You want to thread the needle between two beads in the circle and in between the two strands of cotton.

Pull your cotton through so the dangling beads on the new thread are against the beads in the circle.

Thread on three more bugle beads, then repeat the above process with one of the small circles. Thread on another four bugle beads. You should now have something that looks like this:

Now we want to work back down the other side. Thread the needle down through the opposite side of the small circle, like this:

Thread on 3 bugle beads again, thread through the opposite side of the big circle this time, thread on another 3 bugle beads and finish by tying on another pony bead. Trim the cotton as closely as you dare ;)

It should now look like this, sort of like an A-frame:

Now you want to repeat these steps to create a second "A-frame" at a 90 degree angle to the first "A-frame". When you're done, it should look like this:

Right, that's our frame. Now we want to fill in the gaps between the frames. This is similar to creating the frame, except that after you thread the cotton through the small circle, instead of going up and over, we want to come straight back down. Here's a diagram to help explain:

Thread the needle down and through the gap next to where you threaded upwards -if that makes sense!! ;) Hopefully the diagram above helps you understand what I'm going on about!

Continue doing this until all the gaps between beads in your large and small circles have been filled. 

If you need to, you can double up on using gaps in the small circle, thread through the beads in the top circle (e.g. if you have gaps either side of a frame leg), or of you have a single gap left over you can thread back through the same beads on the way down. 

First - a typical case, up the left side, through the middle of the two cotton strands at the top, back down the right side.
Second - up the left side, through a bead at the top, down the right side.
Third - up the left side, through the middle of the two cotton strands at the top, back down the same beads.

When you're done it should be looking more like this:

You'll notice there are some kinks, not everything sits flat. This is because the bugle beads vary in length. If you can get your hands on bugle beads that are perfectly equal in size, your earrings will sit much more nicely ;)

OK, now we need that jump ring and earring finding. Open your jump ring and thread it through the top of your beaded tassel. You should have two strands on one side of the jump ring, two on the other. Slip your earring finding in and close the jump ring.

That's one earring done! Now repeat the steps to make a second earring so you've got yourself a pretty matching pair! *Phew* All done!

I'll even model my pair for you:
Check out my mad photoshopping skills ;)
Happy Beading!

Linking up at Sundae Scoop and Sunburnt Cow!


Maggie said...

These are SO cute! Thanks for sharing. I really wish I had seed beads on hand. I'm afraid that this would look too "cheesy" and "cheep" with some big ole' pony beads. I'll have to save this one for when I do get some. Thanks so much for sharing!

Jill said...

That's it - I give in, I'm off to check out this Anthropologie place! Those earrings are great - and you're right, it's mentioned all over blogland, and used for inspiration so crafty people can create these masterpieces for a decent price!
Thanks for sharing these earrings - great photo! :)

Jill @ Creating my way to Success

Janlynn said...

Your earrings are beautiful. Thanks so much for the tutorial.

Anonymous said...

Wow! You're good!!

Sweet Little Smoothie said...

So pretty! Thanks for sharing the complete how-to! I'm your newest follower :)

Kei said...

Gorgeous earrings! I've got so many of those kind of beads floating around, I might have to give your tutorial a try!

Deborah said...

Good job - thanks for the tutorial! Love your photo, too!

J-ME said...

SO cute. Thanks for sharing.

Jill said...

Thanks for linking these to a Round Tuit!
Hope you have a great week!
Jill @ Creating my way to Success

CodyG said...

Oh my gosh!!! I LOVE THESE!! I am making some and will be rocking them very soon!! Thanks for sharing!!

Screaming Sardine said...

Wow, these look nice. Not a "lame" attempt at all. Thanks for sharing this intricate project in a very easy to understand tutorial at the Sunburnt Cow link party. :)


To Sew With Love said...

hi! your project was featured today and made it to TSWL's finest May 2011 round 1. do grab a featured button and spread the word! ^^)

make handmade said...

Great tutorial. THanks for sharing

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