Make ‘Clotheshanger’ Loops for Side-to-Side Drilled Beads

Use your leaf, dagger and other side-to-side drilled beads to create attractive dangles.

If you create a loop with angular straight sides, you can add a wide variety of side-drilled beads to your jewelry designs. I made this pair of earrings using 26 gauge wire. Grab a pair of straight pliers and try this wirework technique to add to your jewelry making skills.

Tools needed:

You’ll need a pair of needle-nose (straight) pliers and a second pair of any kind of pliers as backup.

Here’s how the clotheshanger loops and dangles look, up close.

The following picture is a step-by step graphic showing the bends you need to make on the wire with straight pliers. For better visibility I’ve used heavier wire, 20 gauge in this photograph. When I made the example earrings, I used 26 gauge gold art wire and 7 x 12mm leaf beads, not the 20 gauge dark wire and wide petals you see in the step-by-step graphic.

Make three angular bends, then wrap.

Cut a piece of wire about 5 inches long. 1. With the straight pliers, bend the bottom two inches to a 45 degree angle. 2. At about three-eighths or a quarter inch after the first bend, bend again. Thread a side-drilled bead on. 3. The third bend should be done at a length so that a flat triangle with equal sides is formed. 4. Between the jaws of the straight pliers, keep a firm hold on the spot where the wire crosses the top of the triangle. While keeping a stable hold and not allowing anything to move, wrap the end of the wire two or three times around the upright wire and trim. If the triangle clotheshanger shape is wonky, straighten and sharpen the corners with the straight pliers.

Your clotheshanger dangle is done! Now you can add beads to make the main body of your earring, finishing the link using the conventional wrapped loop technique. Add more links as desired, and add earwires.

14 K gold filled earwires, top links, main links and side-to-side drilled bead dangles.

Announcing the Czech bead final four face-off!

group shot of beads

Welcome to the jungle, baby.

Mid-Summer for me is the perfect time for idle Internet contests and quizzes of the “Which apex predator am I the most like?” variety. Here’s my bid for your summertime clicks, with a cause we can all support: four major types of Czech glass beads vying for dominance, paired as follows: Continue reading

Wire up a pendant with a Czech button

Wire up a pendant with a Czech button

Front view of pendant

Front view of pendant

Here is a way to use Czech buttons and wire to make a pendant. You will need 18 gauge wire for the frame and 26 gauge wire to secure the button to the frame. In this example I use art wire, although you may choose to use sterling silver, 14K gold-filled, or copper wire.  Art wire (my choice) is copper wire, sometimes silver-plated depending on the color, and always coated with a nylon-based enamel to keep it from tarnishing. It is sturdy in the larger gauges, and soft enough to bend with your hands. Continue reading

Make a five-petaled flower

Make a five-petaled flower

five-petaled flower earrings

Make a pair of five-petaled flower earrings!

Wire together five top-drilled beads to make a graceful five-petaled flower.

  • Skills needed: use of round-tipped and chain-nose pliers, and wire cutters
  • Tools: round-tipped pliers; flush cutters; chain-nose pliers
  • Materials (for pair of earrings)
  1.  two 20″ lengths of 26 gauge art wire
  2.  pair of earwires to match wire color (can be sterling silver, 14K gold-filled, or niobium, whatever matches best.
  3. eight matching 4 or 6mm pearls or round beads
  4.  ten matching beads, top-drilled side to side (briolette style).
    Top-drilled beads good as petals

    Use any top-drilled bead as a petal

Continue reading

Double spiral links

These earrings are made with silver art wire, sterling headpins/earwires and pearls.

These earrings are made with silver art wire, sterling headpins/earwires and pearls.

I have been making spirals for years, but always wanted to make one with two loops, one on the top and one on the bottom. Make two spirals and lash them together to create a link with two loops, following these easy step-by-step instructions. Continue reading