Peruvian thread earrings are made by wrapping a small copper wire around a larger copper wire. Thread is woven between the smaller coiled wire to create a web of colours in the centre. When completed, the earrings are one-of-a-kind pieces. The technique is simple but may take some practice. After a bit of practice, a pair of earrings can be made rather quickly.
Cut 14-gauge copper wire into two 12-inch long pieces with a pair of wire cutters. Twist one piece of wire to form a teardrop or egg shape. Cross the ends of the wire at the top but do not twist them around. One end of the wire must be longer than the other. Use this piece as a guide to make an identical shape with the second wire.
Twist a 4-foot long piece of 24-gauge wire around one of the teardrop-shaped wires. Wrap one end of the wire around the hook end of a quilting safety pin. Insert the quilting safety pin into the holes of a ½-inch conduit hanger. Place your finger over the 24-gauge wire and hold it on the pin. Turn the end of the pin to begin wrapping the wire. Continue until you reach the end of the wire. Repeat with a second 4-foot piece of wire.
Slide the pieces of coiled wire onto the teardrop-shaped wire pieces. Gently tug the coiled wire to make very small spaces between each coil. Twist the ends of the teardrop pieces. Use a pair of needle-nose pliers to press together the twisted ends on each piece.
Select two colours of embroidery thread. Pull apart the thread to separate the strands. Tie the first colour of thread to the top of one of the teardrop-shaped wires. Tie several knots to ensure that it does not come loose. Pull the thread to the centre of the bottom of the teardrop between the two centre coils. Place the thread between the first set of coils to the right of the knot. Pull the thread to the bottom and place it between the coils to the left of the centre coils. Continue wrapping the thread in this manner until you reach the knot. Tie several knots to hold it in place. Repeat on the second teardrop.
Tie the second colour of thread around the knots at the top of a teardrop. Pull the thread down and place it between the middle coils on the bottom and bring it up to the right side. Place the thread between the coils halfway down the side. Pull the thread to the bottom and put it in the coils to the left of the centre coils. Pull the thread back up and place it in the coils to the right of the thread. Continue until the bottom half is covered with the second colour. Pull the string up on the backside of the earring and tie it to the knots on the top. Repeat on the second teardrop-shaped wire.
Trim the ends of the thread with a pair of scissors. Place clear nail polish or glue over the knots and allow it to dry.
Form a loop with the shorter end of the copper wire at the top of the teardrop. Use a pair of needle-nosed pliers to twist the wire. Wrap the longer end around the wire several times beneath the loop. Trim the excess wire with wire cutters. Repeat on the second teardrop-shaped wire.
Place an earring wire into the loops of both pieces and use the needle-nosed pliers to close the loop. Your Peruvian thread earrings are complete.
Things you need
- 14-gauge copper wire
- Wire cutters
- 24-gauge copper wire
- Quilting safety pin
- ½-inch conduit hanger
- Needle-nose pliers
- 2 colours embroidery thread
- Clear nail polish or glue
- 2 earring wires