Big Twist Earrings

This is a design I wish I had come up with, but alas, it’s not mine. I learned it from watching the Orecchini Big Twist Tutorial video by MilkyBeads Bijoux. The video is in Italian, but since she showed every step, I was able to follow along. (Orecchini is Italian for “earring.”) I actually made written instructions and a photo tutorial for my personal use, so I wouldn’t have to rewatch the video every time I wasn’t sure what to do next. However, I am hesitant to share it here for copyright reasons: one being that it’s not my design, and I don’t want my photos to get made into a collage for a DIY site.

A few months ago my boyfriend commissioned me to make a birthday gift for his cousin. Her favorite color is blue, so I chose to use silver-lined dark aqua (Toho color code #23B) seed beads, as I like that color, too. The photos don’t really show the color correctly. The beads really are more aqua than blue.


In this photo I’ve tried to correct the color of the beads.

One thing I like about this design is how flexible the completed pieces are. It’s kind of fun to bend them. 😛


I actually ended up making two pairs. I hadn’t bothered tying the string after making the initial circle of beads, thinking that would give adequate space for sticking the second layer of beads in between the beads of the first layer. Instead, I figured I would just pull the tail tightly. It worked when I did the same design using size 11 Preciosa (Czech) seed beads, but those are smaller than size 11 Toho seed beads. The inner layers ended up getting loose, and pulling the tail only helped tighten the two centermost layers. The exposed string didn’t look good. It wasn’t that obvious from far away, but I didn’t feel comfortable giving those to someone, so I kept those for myself and was more careful when making the second pair.


Side by side comparison of the one with exposed threads (left) and the one that was made nice and tight (right). The threads/gaps are not as obvious in the photos than in person, but you can click for a larger image and look closely from the 3 o’clock position to 6 o’clock.

I hope I can take the general idea and come up with my own design, as I have thought of linking several of these motifs to make a necklace.


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