Thursday, January 12, 2017

Russian Leaf Earrings - Matte Blue Grey

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Metallic Chocolate" (461)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Metallic Chocolate" (461)
  • 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads "Metallic Dark Copper Gold Luster" (DB1002)
  • 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads "Matte Blue Grey" (DB301)

As I mentioned in my post on Monday, HERE, I learned to make these by watching Jill Wiseman's YouTube video tutorial which you can watch HERE. Jill also has a free PDF tutorial that goes along with the video that you can download HERE. Although I did show you a sample of this colorway on Monday, this is the first complete pair that I've made. I made them with seven rows which makes the smallest size earrings. As I mentioned before, the smaller you make them, the better they hold their shape.


Here is a tip for making the earrings a little stiffer and it also helps to give them more of a 3-dimensional shape. After completing an earring, I weave around the inside and outside perimeter going as close as I can to the edge (but not through the accent beads). As I'm running my thread through the beads, I keep gently tugging on my thread to pull the beads closer together like a drawstring. If you try it, you'll see that doing this also pulls the earring into that pretty mounded shape. Don't pull too hard though or you'll warp the earring. If your earrings are super soft, go around twice. Using this technique, I was even able to firm up the larger sample earring below. It's still a little soft, but you should have seen how it looked before I did this. It was originally so soft that I could have folded it up.

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads "Metallic Light Bronze" (DB22L)
  • 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads "Opaque Antique Rose aka Opaque Wine" (DB1376)

I made a sample of a nine-row earring as directed by Jill's tutorial so that you can see all three sizes next to each other. Note the difference in the size of the center holes. The bottom part of all three earrings is the same size. Only the top changes when you make fewer rows.

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457)
  • 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads "Metallic Bronze" (DB22)
  • 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads "Opaque Antique Rose aka Opaque Wine" (DB1376)
  • 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads "Opaque Mulberry aka Opaque Dyed Dark Purple" (DB662)

I've finally worked out how to embellish the earrings with contrasting beads. Once you know how to add the "V" shaped outline, it's pretty easy to fill the bottom point with another color as you see in the photo above. When I have some time, I will type up the instructions for adding the accent "V" and will post it here.

While taking apart my samples, I noticed something interesting that I wanted to show you. The differences between the three earring sizes isn't all that apparent when you're looking at the finished earrings. However, take a look at the photo below and you can start to see why the shape changes so much each time you omit a row. The original size earring on the far left has all straight rows without any curves. The other two examples show that as you omit rows, the shape starts to curve on the sides. Oddly enough, when I reduced it to seven rows,  the top of the earring starts to spread open wider again. The medium size sample is actually the most curvy of the three.

You can buy Delica beads at Red Panda, Aura Crystals, Supply Emporium and Baubles & Beads.


  1. Thank you so much for the tip on how to "strengthen" these earrings. I have tried a few times to make them but mine ended up folding in on themselves so they looked more like a taco. LOL. Looks like I may give this another try.

    1. That's about how mine look too before I reinforce them.

  2. Hi Linda, thank you so much for sharing the solution for the shape and size of the earrings. I attempted to work on this design a long time ago and got a big and shapeless disappointment. I used 11/0 beads, so they are not as uniformed as delicas, this should not be a problem. Your earrings look really nice!!! Best, Raisa

  3. Agreed! Weaving around the perimeter makes ALL the difference! Brilliant! Thank you!

  4. Linda I am so glad you made these. I have been playing with Jill's design but did find them too flimsy. I did want to share with you that I found another helpful suggestion. I started in the middle of my thread therefore I did not have to weave back to finish the other side. When done with one side I simply moved my needle to the other side of my thread. Thank you for letting us know how to tighten them up. Excited to try again. -Karen

    1. That's a great suggestion, Karen. I avoid doing that though because I don't know ahead of time how much thread I'm going to need. I usually take a 3 yard piece of thread to start with and can get at least two or three earrings from it. If I started from the center of the thread, I might waste a lot of thread that could have been used to make something else. Believe it or not, I always save my thread scraps if they're at least a foot long. They're great for making samples and simple earrings.