How-To Tuesday (on Wednesday): MYOLE (make your own leaf earrings)

Yes, I love to use parentheses (I use them frequently).  But let's move along to my bench shall we?

{NewNew} Tutorial of the day:  How to make your own leaf earrings.

You will need:
22 gauge sterling (or copper or brass) sheet
sterling earwire (see my previous tutorial)
heavy duty cutting shears
400 and 600 grit sandpaper
drill with bit (I use my flex shaft)
fine-point sharpie marker
dapping block and large rounded dap
hammer for dapping punch
hand file cut 2

Step 1:
Sketch an outline of the leaf onto the sheet metal thusly (yes I said thusly):

Step 2: 
Using shears cut out your shapes.  You can clean up the edges in step 3 so don't worry about perfection.  In nature leaves are all different shapes and sizes:

Step 3:
Use your hand file and then sandpaper to smooth out the edges:

Step 4:
Using your punch and block, add a nice domed shape to your leaf.  Again perfection is not the goal here.  This is handmade work people, we are imperfect at best.

Step 5:
Add your satin finish using your sandpaper.  Start with 400 and finish with 600.  I like to move the paper around in tiny circles to make a uniform texture.  Wax on, wax off.

Here is what mine looks like when I'm finished.  Almost there:

Step 6:
Drill a hole.  There are many drills, even hand drills.  I used my flex shaft but you can use a dremel or anything that can hold a skinny drill bit in it's jaws (how big should the drill bit be?  Big enough so the hole it makes will fit your earwire through it).

Step 7:
Thread your earwire through the hole and voila!  You have an earring!  I make both halves at the same time so that they come out looking similar but you can do it any way you please!  And yes, your fingers will be this dirty after working at your bench for a few hours, too.  Thanks for reading!

Stephanie Maslow-Blackman