Saturday, 3 December 2011

DIY hex nut earrings

Hello everyone!!!
Today is a very special day! First of all, it's Saturday and Saturdays are nice... :) And secondly, I'm officially posting my very first tutorial here today! Tadaaaaaa!

The style of the earrings, with the arrowhead form and the chain to make them nice and dangly, was inspired by the lovely blog at a bit of sunshine. She also has a tutorial available to make these arrowhead earrings with leather instead of hex nuts... In case you're not as crazy for hex nuts and jump rings as I am...
For all of you who like hex nuts and jump rings here's what you'll need for a pair:

12 hex nuts, brass or silver colour (I chose the M3 size which is the smallest I have seen here so far) I recommend using the smallest ones as otherwise the earrings get quite heavy
small metal curb link chain (but any small chain will work, whatever the style) I used 3 cm for each earring
22  4mm jump rings
flat nose pliers (prefereably the ones which are smooth so the jump rings won't be dented)
round nose pliers (but any pliers with which you can grip the other end of the jump ring will work)

So here we go, step one: Open the first jump ring.
Step two: Thread one hex nut onto the jump ring, then thread the second one. Close the jump ring as much as you can. As the jump rings are matched to the size of the hex nut, it will be very small so no space to grab both ends with a plier. So hold one end of the jump ring with the plier then use the hex nut to push it closed. It won't close completely that's why I added step three
Step three (photo four): Using your flat nose pliers gently push the ends of the jump ring together as close as possible.

Now you know how to connect the hex nuts with the help of jump rings. It can be a bit tricky at first when it won't bend around the nut as you want to, but you'll get the hang of it...
Step four: Open another jump ring and thread a hex nut on it. (Don't thread the two hex nuts that you already connected first, because then the weight will pull the new one where you don't want it to be) Then once the hex nut is on the ring, connect it to the other two. Then you'll have two hex nuts which are both connected to one main one. Use another jump ring to connect the two hex nuts which are not connected yet. The end result should look like the picture below. They are all connected to each other, none is hanging loose :)

Step five: Open another jump ring and thread one hex nut on it. Connect it to the other three. The important thing is to connect it in the middle, not on the side. Because when you start from the middle it is easier to connect the others than when you start from the outside of the triangle. In the second picture below you can see how the hex nut is connected to only one other hex nut. You will have to add another ring to it again to connect it with the other one next to it.

Step six: As I just said in step five, use another jump ring to connect the loose hex nut to the other one next to it. Then as before open another jump ring, thread a hex nut on and connect it to the outside of your row just like the others. Again it will only be connected to one other hex nut, so you will use another jump ring to connect it with the hex nut right beside it. You can see it on the bottom pictures.

Your fingers are sore? You have enough of the jump rings not going where you want them to? You're almost done! And I promise now that you know the second one will go twice as fast!
Step seven: Open another jump ring and thread your sixth hex nut onto it. Connect it to the corner to form a triangle. Again you have to use another jump ring to secure it to the hex nut next to it as seen on the pictures below.
Step eight: Guess what?? Open another jump ring!! Grab the end of your tiny chain and thread it on the jump ring.

Step nine: Then take your now finished hex nut triangle and thread the jump ring with the chain on it through a corner hex nut. Close your jump ring as shown on the picture.
Step ten: Take an ear wire and thread the little chain through its hole.
Step eleven: Open one last jump ring and thread it through the last link on your tiny chain, then thread it through the other corner hex nut.


And you are DONE!!!! (Ahem I mean with the first one!) Well done! I'm so proud of you! Feel free to jump and shout yippieeeh! ........................................
Ok enough yippieh! Now make the second one exactly as you did the first.
And now you are in the proud possession of supercool hex nut earrings which you made yourself!

Now go and rock them on the street, in the shop, at home, in church, in the club, at a wedding or where- and whenever you want!!!!
If you make them and have a blog, I'd love to see your pair! And by the way now that you know how to connect them you can make any shape you want......obviously :)
As this is my first ever tutorial, I'll gladly take your advice on making it better, or explaining better. If you're stuck don't hesitate to ask me as I'm a newbie to all of this!!! I'd greatly appreciate any advice or criticisms!!!

PS. For those of you who don't want to make them, they will be available in my shop very soon! I'll link to it as soon as they are available.
And one last thing. The awesome pictures were taken by my photographer father, you can check out his website right HERE.