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Tutorial Tuesday – Fun With Decorative Buttons, Part 2

by on November 5, 2013

We have a special treat for this Tutorial Tuesday – Lisa is sharing her method for making awesome earrings with decorative shank buttons and 20 gauge wire! In this tutorial, Lisa shows us three different ways to make button earrings – The first way is with a button with a horizontal shank; it’s probably the easiest. The second way is with a button with a vertical shank; it’s still pretty easy, but there are a few extra steps in the middle. Lastly, Lisa shows us how to add beads and fancy wire loops.

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You Need:

  • Two decorative shank buttons
  • 20 gauge jewelry wire
  • Earring findings
  • Beads (optional)
  • A ruler
  • A Sharpie marker
  • Round-nose pliers
  • Chain-nose pliers
  • Flat pliers
  • Wire cutters (if none of your other pliers have cutters)
  • Bail-making pliers (optional)

How to make earrings out of buttons with a horizontal shank:

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1. Measure two 4″ pieces of your 20 gauge wire. Straighten the wires by running them between your fingers a few times.
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You will be using either the round-nose pliers or the bail-making pliers for the next step. If you are using round-nose pliers, lightly mark the halfway point of each length of wire. If you are using bail-making pliers, consult step 2 in the next section.

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2. Grasp the wire on the marked point with the round-nose pliers.

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Push the ends of the wire back until they are about parallel to each other.

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3. Push the two ends of the wire through the button shank. The ends should cross each other as pictured.
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4. Take one end and push it up. Repeat on other side.
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5. With your chain-nose pliers, grasp one end and tuck it into the shank.
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Grasp the end of the wire, and continue pulling through. You have formed a loop around one side of the shank.
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Repeat on the other side.

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6. With your round-nose pliers, turn a loop at the end of one of the wires.

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Repeat on the other side.

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7. With your chain-nose pliers, open the loop on the earring finding. Attach it to the large wire loop and close the loop on the earring finding.

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Finished!

How to make earrings out of buttons with a vertical shank:

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1. Cut two 6-inch lengths of wire and straighten them between your fingers.

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2. If you are using round-nose pliers, follow step 2 of the previous set of directions for marking and bending the wire at 4″.

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If you are using bail-making pliers, hold both pieces of wire at 4 inches.

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Bend until both ends are parallel.

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3. Pinch the shorter end between your thumb and forefinger and bend at approximately a 45-degree angle.

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Since the earrings will be mirror images of each other, lay the pieces out as pictured so you can keep them straight before doing the next few steps.

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4. Insert the long end of the wire into the shank.

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Insert the short end into the shank.

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5. Grab the loop and push down. The ends will naturally curl up as you push down.

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6. Cross the two wire ends under the bottom of the shank by pushing the bottom wire up and the top wire down (so they are pointing 180-degrees from where they were).

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7. Holding the short end with the chain-nose pliers, bring it up and insert into the shank.

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Pull the short end all the way through. It is important to hold the top loop when you pull the end tight.

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8. Insert the long end into the shank (it might be a tight fit).

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Pull all the way through. Remember to hold the top loop when you pull the end tight.

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9. Turn a loop in the short end with the round-nose pliers.

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10. Turn a loop at in the long end with the round-nose pliers.

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11. Grasp the loop on the long wire with the flat pliers and roll into a coil.

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12. Open the loop on the earring finding with the chain-nose pliers and attach to the top of the wire loop. Close the loop on the earring finding.

Finished!

Making button earrings with beads and fancy loops:

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1. Cut two 5-inch lengths of wire and straighten with your fingers.

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2. Bend both pieces in half.

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3. Push the two ends of the wire through the button shank. The ends should cross each other as pictured.

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4. Push both wire ends up.

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5. Hold the end of the wire and insert through the top of the shank. Pull tight. Repeat on other side.

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6. Turn a loop at the end of each side with the round-nose pliers.

 

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Add an extra half-turn to each loop.

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Add a few extra bends in the one side.

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7. Cut a piece of wire approximately 1.5″ long.

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8. Turn a loop in one end with the round-nose pliers.

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Put a bend at the top of the loop.

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9. Open the loop with the chain-nose pliers.

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Attach the button charm and close the loop.

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10. Add beads.

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11. Make a 90-degree bend with the round-nose pliers.

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12. Turn a loop. (there may be some excess, depending on the size of your beads)

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13. Cut off the excess, if any.

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Open the loop on an earring finding and attach to the completed loop.

Finished!

Variations:

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Don’t miss a single riveting tutorial! Bookmark our tutorial page and check back on Tuesdays for new ones.

Is there a tutorial you want to see? Leave a comment!

From → Tutorials

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