For as long as I can remember I have loved making swirly curly-Q designs. In middle school, my favorite pee-chee folders were covered in them. Well I’ve grown out of my doodling habits, mostly, but I still love those swirls! Unwilling to give up on swirls altogether I have found three great ways to incorporate them into your jewelry with the help of a little wire. Adding a simple curly-Q can take any design idea from ordinary to whimsical! You can make your swirls free form using pliers or try this great Spiral Maker to eliminate marks from pliers! (Editor’s note: We now have THREE spiral makers plus a variety of coiling Gizmos!)
1. Swirly Head Pins
The first and easiest way to add some swirl power to your jewelry is to make curly-ended headpins. Making your own headpins out of wire is easy and gives your jewelry an even more hand-crafted look. I recommend using either 18, 20 or 22 gauge wire. (18 being the thickest, 22 being the thinnest) Keep in mind the size of beads you plan to use. If your beads have smaller holes, you will need thinner wire.
2. Swirly Post Earrings
Making your own swirly post earring findings is actually quite simple. I personally like to use 18 gauge for sturdiness, though standard earring wires are not usually that thick. Most earring findings are no thicker than a 20 gauge. It’s up to you, though know if you do use 18 gauge, you will probably have to use a rubber earring back as most metal nuts won’t fit that thick of wire.
3. Egyptian Coils!
Now that you have mastered head pins and earring post, you can move onto the ultimate swirly design, the coveted Egyptian Coil! This design feature multiple swirls and looks so pretty at the top of dangly earrings or as an entire bracelet.
Well I hope you enjoyed my swirly blog post and are now inspired to try out some of these ideas. For all of these earrings I used bare copper wire and then oxidized the wire with Liver of Sulfur to antique it. I then buffed the designs with steel wool to expose the bright copper. I highly recommend doing this with your swirl designs because is really makes those curly-Q’s stand out.
~~Tiffany in the Showroom
Feel free to ask me any questions about how I did anything or what materials I used for all the designs.