Greg and I spent last Thanksgiving in the desert — Yuma, Arizona, to be exact. As with any gathering of my husband’s family, a few things could be counted on in abundance: food, games and hiking. We were on our second (dry, dusty, help-my-contacts-are-stuck-to-my-eyeballs!) hike of the weekend when we headed to an amazing (um, slightly dangerous) area of abandoned mines.
But nevermind those deep, scary holes in the ground — check out the blue rocks! As we approached the mines, we found tons of colorful rocks scattered about the trail. So excited about the pretty rocks, I turned ridiculous and pocketed dozens of small rocks like a chipmunk with nuts, simultaneously handing large ones to my husband. (His hikes always end up weighted down by my treasures. That’s what he gets for having more stamina.)
I’m not so much of a stone-earring-wearing kinda girl, but my mom happens to be. So, for her birthday, I pulled out the rock collection and chose two of the tiniest rocks for earrings. They required a bunch of supplies that I didn’t have, but were otherwise a cinch!
2 small stones, roughly equivalent in size and shape
2 earring hooks
2 bead caps
Strong glue for stone and metal (I used E600) and a toothpick to apply it
A very tiny bit of wire
Wax paper (or a protected surface)
1. Decide on the orientation of your stones. Set the bead caps on the top of the stones and squeeze the caps sides to mold them around the stone (use your pliers if they don’t bend easily).
2. Set the caps aside and make a tiny loop with the wire (cancer-ribbon style). Twist the ends a couple times to secure and then trim, leaving a little bit of wire at ends. These loops will connect the bead cap to the earring hook. (Note: There must be an official jewelry-making piece that does this, but I couldn’t find it at Michaels.)
3. Pull the wire ends into the splits. Stick the loop through the hole in the center of the cap, but leave the ends behind. Imagine that the wire loop is a stick figure and the cap is a skirt — pull the skirt over the head, with the legs underneath.
4. Move the pieces onto wax paper, if they aren’t already there. Dab a bit of glue on a toothpick and then apply it to both the rock and the inside of the cap. For stronger hold, wait a couple minutes before putting the cap on the stone.
5. Make sure the fit is snug and then let dry according to directions. When it’s set, just slide the earring hook through the loop!
For fun packaging, stick the earrings in something unexpected: a playing card, a postcard, a map or matchbook.