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Stocking Filler Earrings

November 23, 2016 , In: Metalsmithing, Tutorials
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Back in 2015 I posted a tutorial for soldering simple prong set studs well I was playing around with this idea for stocking filler gifts last weekend but I could not decide what to set, then out of the corner of my eye I spotted some tiny czech flowers! Brilliant but they would not work with four prongs so how to add another prong without over complicating it?….

To make these you will need:

  • A couple of inches of silver wire (I used 1mm thick wire scraps from my scrap pot)
  • Pair of 8 or 10mm czech flowers
  • Pre made earring posts and butterfly backs
  • Soldering equipment
  • Medium and easy solder paste
  • Pickle (I used white vinegar and salt)
  • Hammer and anvil
  • 4 way nail buffer
  • wire cutters (which of course I could not find so had to use nail clippers)

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I started by balling up the ends of a couple of pieces of wire,  pickling them so they were clean and then hammering the balls flat on the anvil (so they don’t roll around while soldering).

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I then made sure the wires were extra clean by rubbing them over with the nail buffer and trimmed 8 pieces of wire (approx 1.5cm long) and filed one end on each piece flat. Then the pieces were arranged as shown on the soldering/charcoal block (I use the tweezers to help position the pieces so I don’t get my mucky fingers all over them).

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Medium solder is then applied to all the joints and I checked that every wire had good contact with the flattened ball next to gently solder and then pickle. After rinsing I give each of the prongs a wiggle to check they are firmly soldered in place, any that seem a little iffy get re-soldered.

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I hammered the centre where the prongs join to make sure it is flat and then sand lightly with the nail buffer to make sure it is clean. Using the easy solder, I soldered the earring post to the back of the prongs (I use my soldering tweezers to hold the earring wire in place and safely prop the tweezers on a few coins so I do not have to hold them in place, this way I don’t have to worry about accidentally moving the earring post and can focus on waiting for the solder to flow without melting the whole piece)!

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Using pliers each wire is bent up so that they fit snugly in the groves in-between the petals and tried so there is just enough wire to bend over the top and hold the flowers in place. I like to used a burr cup to round off the tips of the prongs and then put them into the tumbler for half hour to give them a lovely shine. Once done the flowers are set by bending the wires into place.

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One down several more to go! 

 

Niky Sayers

Niky Sayers started creating jewellery 6 years ago after stumbling across a jewellery making blog while looking for a hobby. She is a stay at home mum with hermit like tendencies, a mild addiction to coffee and chocolate and a love of all things handmade or antique/rusty. While not raising her tribe she like to keep as busy as possible playing with metal sheet, wire and other treasures and trinkets all at her kitchen table in Surrey, England.
    • Divya
    • November 23, 2016
    Reply

    These are lovely, I always have trouble folding the prongs over. How do you get it so snug without scratching them and without the back joint breaking of?

      • niky
      • November 24, 2016
      Reply

      Diva, I always make sure the prongs are soldered on firmly before I even think about bending them, if you have good contact between the joints, the joints are clean, you have used enough solder and your solder has flowed there is no reason your joint should break unless you are being a little to ruff. With regards to scratching the prongs there are lots of things you can coat your pliers in to stop them from marking your wire, but I just tend to go really slowly. I find if I am struggling with an idea it helps to make up a few mocks from copper to practice on first, the more you do the easier it gets.

  1. Reply

    Love this idea Niky! You always manage to make soldering look so easy. I would love to spend some time looking over your shoulder and learning some tips from you 😀

      • niky
      • November 24, 2016
      Reply

      Cathy, I firmly believe that my success with soldering is all down to the use of solder paste, before that I hated soldering and I could never get it all to stay in place!

  2. Reply

    Ooh, this went right into my tutorial Pinterest file! These Czech glass flower beads are some of my favorites, so this is a perfect way to use them for stud earrings…Thanks so much, Niky!

    • Reply

      Your welcome Lynda I am rather fond of the tiny 8mm Czech glass flower beads myself!

  3. Reply

    These are so super cute!

  4. Reply

    What a simple and elegant design. Thank you for the tut!

  5. Reply

    You totally make those look easy to make. They are really fabulous! Thanks for sharing your process!

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