Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Free Tutorial - Papillon Earrings

Hello everyone!

I think it's time for another in-depth tutorial - this time, my Papillon Earrings!

Mariposa butterfly wire wrapped earrings

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Note: this tutorial is protected by an International Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence. This means that you are free to post this wherever you like as long as you give proper Attribution (that is, to me, Jet Kosanke, and my website,, it may not be used commercially (you're not allowed to make money off it, that is, sell this tutorial to other people for money), and you're free to make changes to it as long as you also share it under these same restrictions (that is, you still give Attribution to me, you don't sell it, and you allow it to be shared freely.) For more information, click the Creative Commons link at the end of the tutorial.By the way- NonCommercial doesn't mean you can't sell works you make using this tutorial. If you make a necklace, bracelet, or whatever using this tutorial, feel free to sell it- however, you may not mass-produce it, and the Attribution part still applies, that is, you still have to attribute the design to me.If you're unsure if what you want to do is allowed, just ask me! I'm really pretty laid back about things like this :) I'd rather share my knowledge and discoveries for free so others can learn than charge money for my tutorials. With all that said, on to the good stuff! :)

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Click on any image to view a larger version.

Materials (for 1 earring):
  • Dead soft 20 gauge wire - 3 inches
  • Dead soft 26 gauge wire - 50 inches
  • 40ss Swarovski flat back rhinestones in Crystal Volcano color (3)
  • 40ss rhinestone Montee settings (3)
  • short scrap of 20 gauge wire (color doesn't matter, we'll be using it as a mandrel)

1. Cut a 3 inch length of 20 gauge wire.

2. Use your chain nose pliers to make a tiny little curl in one end of the wire. The tinier the better!

3. Flatten  the curl you made in the last step so that the wire end is touching the tail end and there's no gap (or very little gap) in the center of the little coil.

4. Use your flat nose pliers to grasp the curl, and then wind the wire around the little curl, turning as you go. Be patient and methodical here, don't rush it. Tiny movements and bends are best.

5. Stop coiling when the spiral is about the same diameter as the rhinestones (really you can coil to your heart's content and make the spiral as large or small as you want, I just like the way it looks when it's the same size as the rhinestones)

6. Bend the tail of the spiral straight up.

7. Make another bend, about a quarter of an inch above the bend in step 6.

8. Use your round nose pliers and make a loop with a tail sticking out to the side.

9. Wrap the tail around the straight part of the wire two or three times. Take your time here, keep a light touch with your pliers, and bend bit by bit.

10. Cut a 6 inch length of 26 gauge wire. Use your round nose pliers to make a loop, but leave the tail sticking out for a moment.

11. Slide the tail of your 26g wire into the loop in the spiral dangle.

12. Wrap the tail of the 26g wire around itself a couple of times to create a sturdy connection.

13. Set the spiral aside for now. Take your scrap of 20g wire and begin wrapping it with 18 inches of the 26g wire.

14. Slide the coil off the 20g scrap wire. Make three more coils- you want to make two coils 1 3/4 inches long, and two coils 1 inch long (uses about 12 inches of 26g wire).

15. Set the coils aside, and pick up the spiral dangle with the 26g wire attached. Slide a montee onto the thinner wire.

16. Slide on two more montees.

17. Make a wrapped loop at the top, and try to position it so that the montees are really nice and snug together.

18. Cut a 13 inch length of 26g wire. Slide it through the horizontal channel of the first montee. Slide it through to the middle of the wire. You want equal halves of wire, one coming out each side.

19. Slide on one of your short coils from earlier onto the wire we added in the last step. After you've strung the coil on, pass the core wire through the horizontal channel of the middle montee, and pull tight!

20.  Repeat on the other side, making sure you're using the shorter length of coils.

21. Add the top halves of the wings the same way.

22. We have to do something with the two pieces of wire sticking up, so I like to use the tails to wrap three or four times around the top of the top half of the wing, right next to the crystal. Then I trim the excess. Repeat on the other side.

23. Mostly done, all that's left is to use your fingers to shape the two segments of each wing into a pleasing arrangement.

Add an earwire and you're done!

Creative Commons License

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial! If you use it to make something, please leave me a link in the comments; I would be thrilled to see it!

Don't forget, my Custom Ring Giveaway ends tomorrow! It's super easy to enter, just one comment is required :)

'Til Next Time!

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