November 10, 2013

In Pursuit of Suede String & Tassels

As you can see by what I post on this blog, I've recently been making jewelry with tassels.

When I found this picture of suede tassel earrings, the colors appealed to me: thin turquoise suede, ruby red beads and gold fixtures.

Anthropologie faceted fringe drops
As I tried to find materials to make these earrings, I found that the thinness of the suede is a large part of the effect these earrings hold.

So, my first move was to try to cut my thicker strings of suede in half.

I first used an X-Acto knife.. it was very difficult to cut evenly through the suede string with it.

Then I tried using sewing scissor, the sharpest scissors I could imagine.  With much fear for my fingers, I was able to cut the suede string thinner.

...But then the suede string fell apart.

Rather than waste more of the suede string, I just went to the art supplies store and bought thinner suede string.  AND, I also got some thin leather cord - and made two pairs of earrings!

My DIY Earrings.
What you need:
- The thinnest suede or leather cord you can find.
- Very thin wire.
- 2 of the same glass bead.
- 2 head pins with rounded top.
- A pair of earring hooks.
- Round-nose pliers and a wire cutter.

What to do:
1. Place each bead on a separate head pin.
2. Use the round nose pliers to close the head pin into a loop.  Make the loop a bit larger than normal - the suede string needs to go through it.
(The loop you made is pointing downwards)
3. With pliers, add an earring hook to the top of each head pin.
4. Determine the desired length of the tassels for your earrings.  The black pair above are about an inch and a half.  For the tan pair, they are over two inches.
5. Double the length you decide on and cut 3 to 4 pieces.
6. Fold the cut pieces in half and put one end through the loop at the bottom of the bead.
7. Start slowly and tightly wrapping the thin wire around the top of the folded suede.
8. Once you wrap the wire to desired thickness around the suede, cut with the wire cutters, and fold the raw edge in with the pliers.
9. Trim the ends so they are even.

That's all!

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