Amethyst Purple and Crystal Earring

I don’t know why but lately I have been really into making earrings. I think it’s probably because they are quicker to make and I am less afraid to use colour in smaller pieces than I in bigger pieces. To be honest I am not sure. I was never much of an earring wearer to begin with. I am more of a bracelet and ring person but I am not sure if a bead-embroidered ring would work.

When I was putting together pieces that I could use in earrings I came across these wonderful faceted square Swarovski crystals that my mom had sent me. The good thing about them was that they didn’t have any holes for sewing through in them, bad thing about them was that they had a faceted back and I was bit iffy about using them.

So the challenge for this piece was gluing the faceted piece to the backing. I had read in the dimensional embroidery book that the way to use these types of stones was to use some sort of air-dry clay under them to make some sort of a setting. I was a little apprehensive to be honest about how to actually do it but after doing more research and finding no other method I decided to just give it a try.

The book says to use air-dry clay and the only type that I found on the day that I went to Michaels was the Martha Stewart’s crafter clay, which is very puffy and kind of reminds me of marshmallows. I made small balls and put the stone on top of the clay ball and pushed it down onto a flat surface to make the setting that the gem would sit in and trimmed the excess clay. Once the clay was dry I checked to see if it was actually stuck to the gem and I found that I could easily peel it back. the thing is that once the bezel was done , the gem would have been completely encased in the beads and would not have fallen out but just to be on the safe side I decided to  glue the stone to the setting and then sanded them a little so that the setting would be as thin as possible and then glued it on to my backing.

Once that whole section was done then it was off to doing the bezel work and the beadwork. For these earrings I went with a gold and bronze palette to compliment the vintage purple cabochons.


The thing with beaded earring as I found out is that they are very lightweight. I usually don’t wear earrings because after a while my ears start throbbing but I have been really comfortable with the beaded earrings that I have made for myself. I think it is probably because there is no metal setting involved in making the earrings, which makes the pieces very light and hence comfortable to wear.


Posted by Mana © BeadFeast. All Rights Reserved


Filed under accessories, bead embroidery, Earrings

6 responses to “Amethyst Purple and Crystal Earring

  1. I’ve never tried bead embroidery, but I bezel a lot of cabochons and rivolis with beadweaving techniques like netting and peyote. With a double sided cabochon the advantage is that you have a reversible piece – have you ever tried it?

    • I have never tried bead weaving but I would love to learn,it will give me more choices with the stones i could use. i would also love to use rivolis in my work but I don’t know how to with their backs being so pointy and all that and as you said the fact that the piece will be reversible in a woven piece is definitely a seems that you have to be more aware of pattern and bead counts in bead weaving whereas in bead embroidery ,apart from bezel , you just need to fill up the spaces. i was making a necklace for someone and i kept thinking it would have been great if the back of the piece was beaded as well and bead weaving would have taken care of that but i didn’t know how to do it. .I really should start practicing and learning those techniques. is it hard to do

      • You already know the basic stitches – peyote anyway – as you use it in your bead embroidery. For the rivolis there is a formula to tell you how many beads you need to start with for a peyote bezel with delicas and 15s. Most rivolis are foil backed though, so it is still not really reversible! Netted bezels are easier in some ways, but you need to experiment to find the right number of beads for each round.

      • i was looking through your blog and your pieces are amazing. can you recommend any books or websites that teach the techniques that you use in your work! i would love to learn them!!

      • Thanks for your appreciation! I taught myself the basic stitches from books, magazines and the internet. Beadwork (published by Interweave) is the best mag in my opinion – look on their “Beading Daily” website for free basic tuition and free downloads of projects, sign up for daily updates and messages. If you prefer a book, “Mastering Beadwork” by Carol Huber Cypher, or “The Art and Elegance of Beadweaving” by Carol Wilcox Wells are both excellent (but i don’t think either tell you how to do bezels, the magazine would be best for that, or anything by Laura McCabe).

      • thank you so much for taking the time to tell me about all the resources , i will definitely check them out. i love Laura McCabe’s stuff but didn’t know she has a book or anything like that!! I am getting excited about experimenting now!!:)

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