We love clever ideas around here. A customer came in recently with some awesome fat vintage crystal drops (I think they were actually buttons!) and she wanted us to help her turn them into earrings to match an heirloom necklace. They were truly unique, fat, drop style beads, and she wanted to include bead caps in the design to bring in the gold from the necklace. Hmmmm – bead cap, top drilled bead, weird shape – how to make it work? The technique we came up with would work great on many kinds of top drilled pendants. It’s especially good if your wire wrapping skills could use improvement!

Try this alternative to a wire wrap when using a large drop bead in an earring :

Gather: top-drilled beads, bead caps, flexible beading wire, clamshell bead tips and crimp beads. You’ll also need your flush cutter and crimp tool.

Design: Place your bead caps on the tops of the beads and see which types will look best on your particular bead. (Of course, it helps if you’re in a bead shop and can try out a lot of different sizes and shapes!)

Bead: Use about 3″ of flexible beading wire to string through the hole of the drop bead. Bring the ends together and string on the bead cap to sit over the top of the drop bead. String on a clamshell bead tip, string on a crimp bead and flatten the crimp bead to secure the wire. Trim the wire off, and close the clamshell tip over the crimp bead. Attach directly to an ear wire, or add to a bit of chain for more dangle.

Need help with this project? Drop by the shop and we’ll show you how!