Mother of Pearl comes from mollusks, and is naturally a blend of tan, cream and white, with an iridescent finish. It can be bleached white, or dyed and color of the rainbow. Mother of Pearl beads come in an amazing range of shapes and sizes, while the thicker pieces are carved into cameos and pins, or cut into squares as mosaic tiles. Let’s turn a few round beads into a lovely pair of earrings.
How to Make Natural Mother of Pearl Cluster Earrings
These 1-1/2” long Natural Mother of Pearl earrings swing and shift with your movements, and they’re a neutral color, which coordinates with whatever you’re wearing. In this design, five beads orbit around a dangling two bead central core. These earrings are a little challenging in Step 6. At times you may feel like you have fumble fingers. If you are looking for an easy pair of earring for beginners, please click here.
Required Beads & Findings:
To make this pair of earrings you will need:
12) Silver plated Head Pins – 1” length,
14) 7-7.5mm round Natural Mother of Pearl beads,
2) Silver plated Surgical Steel Fishhook Earwires with ball & coil
(Please note: Head pins are the foundation of these earrings. They are inexpensive and come in big packages. Be sure to have several on hand just in case. Craft stores carry jewelry making supplies, including beads, accents, and tools. If you get hooked on jewelry making and yearn for the ultimate selections, look no further than FireMountainGems.com)
Required Jewelry Making Tools:
Round Nose Pliers – the smooth, round tips on these pliers make it easy and safe to manipulate wire, pins, and small jewelry metal pieces known as findings. Please don’t use standard pliers, which have teeth that will damage delicate precious metals.
Jewelry Wire Cutters – a sharp pair of wire cutters makes jewelry making so much easier. Do not use them for other crafts, such as floral arranging, which can damage the blades.
Earring Making Instructions:
Step 1: Slide the beads onto head pins as shown.
Step 2: With the round nose pliers in your right hand, grip the wire just above the Mother of Pearl bead. Hold the pliers in this position for the next step.
Step 3: Grasp the end of the head pin with your left thumb and index finger, and bend the wire toward you. Continue bending the pin over the tip of the pliers until it touches the Mother of Pearl bead.
The reshaped pins will look like the photo above.
Step 4: Cut off the excess wire. Leave enough wire to form a small loop above the bead. This may take a few tries. Don’t worry if you cut it too short. Simply use a new head pin and repeat the steps.
This photo shows the beads with trimmed pins.
Step 5: Hook the double bead pin onto the loop on the bottom of the fishhook earwire, and close the loop using the round nose pliers.
The earring will look like the above photo.
Step 6: Attach the first “satellite” bead to the earwire in the same way.
The earring now has a center core and one satellite bead. Repeat this step for the remaining four beads. If you have trouble getting the beads to lay correctly, remove the dangling two bead central core. Shift the five satellite beads with your fingers until they form a circle around the earwire, and then reattach the two bead central core.
Congratulations! You have successfully made a pair of Mother of Pearl cluster earrings.
Here’s the same pair of earring made with Black Onyx beads. Note how the color dramatically changes the look. You could also experiment with different gemstones, glass or wood beads.
Jewelry making is a great way to explore your creativity. There are so many options available that it’s hard to choose. After making several items for yourself, keep in mind that people love receiving jewelry as gifts.
Good Luck & Happy Crafting!