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Earring Clusters are an elegant and flirty type of jewelry but are fairly simple to make with only a few supplies. In appearance, these earrings often remind me of either tiny grapes or flower petals in the way that the crystals or stones hang. Sometimes you will see earrings that use multiple clusters in order to make it look even more fancy. Other times, I have seen them hanging or grouped on fine silver chain.

The types of materials used for the actual clusters range from crystals (often Swarovski crystals) to silver and other precious metal bars to small drilled precious stones (amethyst, peridot and rose quartz seem to be popular ones). I’ve seen them both using the same type of item in the cluster as well as a variety of stones and shapes for a “funkier” look.

The simplest type of cluster uses between 3 and 6 small crystals or stones, usually about 2mm to 5mm. Any larger and they may start to get a little too big.

This tutorial is going to bring together two techniques that I’ve written articles on before: Simple Wire Loop Technique and Jump Ring Usage.

Earring Clusters Fig 1

Supplies:
(for “each” earring, double everything for a pair)
3 - 6 3mm crystals or semi-precious stones
1 non-soldered 3mm jump ring
4 1 inch headpins
1 silver earring hook, w/ non-closed loop
2 Chain Nose Pliers
Round Nosed (Rosary) Pliers
Sharp nosed pliers for cutting

The crystals used here are not Swarovski, but a cheaper brand. This is fine, but you will notice some imperfections as well as the odd crystal that can’t be used at all. Boy, Swarovski’s have gone up in price though! I’ve used silver plated 1 inch headpins in this case as well. If you don’t have any (or the store is too far away, or time is limited), you can easily make your own headpins as I discussed in an earlier article.

The silver earring hooks can be any type, but I like to work with ones that have the attachment loop OPEN and not soldered shut. You might think this is less secure (and you’d be right) but for earrings there is not as much strain on the weak point of the metal as in bracelets and necklaces. Also, in general it often saves time to be able to open the earring hook and remove the items on it. In this case, where I’m not wirewrapping the crystals but instead turning them on simple loops, it doesn’t matter as much. But I almost always use these earring hooks anyway.

The jump rings I use are mostly non-soldered for the same reason; you can open and shut them in case you make a “mistake”. However, they are definitely not as secure. I wouldn’t recommend using non-soldered jump rings in bracelets, especially if you’re using larger and heavier stones. Earrings are OK though.


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