Can You Ear Me Now

I am probably the only person you know who doesn't have pierced ears. As such, I'm not much of an "earring" person which is why you rarely see the girls wearing them. But after numerous complaints--especially from those FR dolls who arrived with their own pair--I have finally given in with this post! Mind you, I really don't need to do a tutorial. Earrings are easy enough to make and at the very least, you can simply pick up an existing pair and be done with it. This post serves, primarily, as a source of ideas in the context of current trends.

Trends??!! Yes, there are trends in the jewelry business that are defined annually. They may or may not have anything to do with the clothing industry. But according to Vogue.com, the hottest look is the "statement" earring. Simply stated, those are super sized earrings. Sometimes they drop as far down as the shoulders. This is good news for the dolls because it means we don't have to worry about scale!


Materials
You don't need much to get started: 1) Eye rings 2) Flat nose stems to create end beads, 3) Stems with eye rings. You can create your own posts with them although the wire is quite thin. You might consider making your own using 20-22 gauge nickel free wire. 4) Some craft stores or shops specializing in jewelry making supplies have ready made posts. All you need do is to hang whatever bead or design from the small loop beneath the bead and you're good to go. 5-6) You'll need standard and round nose jewelry pliers. 7) No matter what you use as a post, eye rings are used in between the post and whatever you suspend. It's what creates the articulation of the earring. 8) And if you want to create a drop earring using beads, here's the diagram of what it needed: An eye ring is needed to join the top and the bottom of the snowflake. The top attaches it to the post, the bottom to the rest of the earring. A stem is bent into an eye at the bottom. The bead slides on and this stem is rounded at the top to attach to the eye ring at the bottom of the snow flack. Another eye ring joins the stem to a tear drop. If you have no tear drop beads, then thread an ordinary bead onto the flat nose stem and bend it into a eye at the top.


Bejeweled
Using this method, you can create bejeweled teardrops like the ones worn here by Waris and Claudia.

Nichelle and Katoucha are wearing earrings from ready made jewelry I took apart. To reproduce the look without these specific beads, you could make them from regular beads and flat nose stems. After finishing 5-6, suspend them from a single eye ring and attach to a post.

I had fun at my favorite bead store. I forced myself away from the usually silver and gold and dared to pick up some colorful enamel geometric shapes. What's interesting here is that the earrings have similar shapes but are not carbon copies.

Each element has an eye ring and is suspended from a single piece of chain. The orange arrows point out where eye rings attach to the chain. At the very end, the longest piece, the end of the chain and the post all share a single eye ring. You notice that when Aria wears them, they fall at different lengths.



Shootin' Hoops
Super sized hoops are all the rage night now. Making them is pretty easy. You could buy chain and cut them apart or you could make them.

1) This is 18 gauge wire that I have wrapped around a small bottle cap to get a perfect circle.
2) The wire is cut so that there is an overlap. Wrap one end around the top of the round nose pliers. Bend the other end so that it completes the circle of the hoop.
3) Here's the completed hoop. All that's needed is an ear post. I made this one myself.
4) I decided to add an eye ring in between the hoop and the post so that the earring would dangle more freely.


Tassels
Another popular trend, as seen on catwalks. Sometimes you can find tiny tassels, but if you can't, here's how to make them.

1) I used embroidery thread. Make about 3-4 loops about one inch wide.
2) Take the eye ring stem and slide through the middle of your looped thread.
3) Close the loop so that it is snug.
4) Clip the thread at each end.
5) Fold this in half.
6) Take another small bit of wire and wrap around the thread about 1/8 inch (3mm) from the top. Instead of using wire, you can also use a bead cone to finish the top.
7) Once finished, clip the bottom of your tassel so that the ends are even.
8) There is still a bit of the wire stem extending from the center of our tassel.
9) Bend this back towards the tassel, forming a loop. Add a eye ring and attach to a post.

Have fun with this look.

Karen wears tassel earrings that I have combined with chain. In this case, I bought a bit of chain that had a number of elements I knew I could use. For these earrings I only needed the part of the chain you see outlined by the orange box.
I attached my tassels to the chain using eye rings. The arrows point to where they are cached to the chain. Note that when laid flat, my chain is asymmetrical. This is because I wanted the earrings to fall at two different lengths.

Chain Gang
Chain is also big and very easy to translate into doll jewelry. The top and bottom right hand photos only needed eye rings that attach to posts. But Giselle (lower left bottom) is wearing an earring comprised of an eye ring strung with three lengths of chain.



Slipped Disks
This is a runway look I decided to make. Sometimes we can't find the beads we want. I used oven back clay to make my own here. Just be aware that you cannot make them too fine or they will break.

For these disks, my clay is only the size of a small pea. I used a straight pin to pierce them. You can leave it in as you back to ensure the holes won't close.

I left these au natural, but you can paint patterns on them for truly original designs.

Remember that chain I used earlier for the tassel earrings. Here, I've removed the large leaves. All by themselves, they are gorgeous.

Of course there are plenty of stamped metal pieces to create wonderful earrings.


Any other time, these would be considered out of scale. But in the current season, anything goes. These were made from a pair of vintage earrings.


You can give dolly a single earring or....the newest way to wear them--mismatched!


But at the end of the day, there's nothing like the classics. My girls were still thrilled with their "diamond" studs. If you buy the store bought variety, look for 3 mm stones which are perfectly to scale. On the right...I created "large" diamond studs using jeweled beads and a 5/8" straight pin.

Let me show you using pearls.
I add a bit of clear drying glue to the end of the pin and slide my pearl to the edge. Wipe away the excess and allow to dry. You can also find dressmaker's straight pins with the beads already glued in place.


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