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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bottle Cap Earrings

A number of months ago in a bead magazine I saw a tiny picture of bottle cap earrings set in peyote stitch bezels; as I recall, the ad was for a class taught at a bead show I could not afford to go to. There was no indication of who the designer/instructor was, so I could not contact her and ask to buy a set of instructions.

But it was an awesome idea -- I love earrings, bottle caps, and seed beads. The first step was to pick a pair of bottle caps. I have a big jar of them:
But most don't have the bright colors I was looking for. Mr. Beadgirl solved the problem, however, by coming home one day with a few bottles of Izze's watermelon soda -- perfect!

The next step was starting the bezel to go around the bottle cap (I would attach it to a background later, holding the cap in place):
The trick was to figure out how many beads would fit around the crown of the cap (I got lucky on the first try -- 84 beads for the first two rows of peyote), and how to handle the expansion of the circumference to keep the beading relatively flat. A standard way to increase in peyote is to add two beads instead of one at various points, but I can never get it to look right. Instead, the bezel in the photo appeared to use larger and larger beads to handle the increase. After three tries I found the right sequence -- four rows of size 15 beads, two rows of delicas, two rows of slightly larger delicas, and a row of size 11 czech beads.

Next I used pliers to turn up the edges of the caps to get a flattish surface and drilled holes into the edges:
The holes allowed me to sew them onto my background (ultrasuede), so that the bezels would not be the only things holding them in place.
I then placed the bezels on the caps and sewed around the circumference through the fabric and the beads of the last row. I then trimmed away the excess fabric, being careful not to cut the stitches:
I used a whip stitch to attach another circle of ultrasuede to the back, sandwiching a jump ring at the top, and then used the peyote stitch to add one last row of czech beads. I added the ear wires and I was done!
They are quite large, but light weight and comfy.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! I love these Izze caps and your solution to beading around them. Watch out though they can be very addictive and soon that jar will turn into a tub or two or three.
    Happy creating,