DIY jewelry

DIY: Cherokee Summer Earrings

Okay….I’m seriously an earring addict! I freely admit it!

There is one thing that I really love about myself and that is my First Nation heritage. My grandfather was half Cherokee and my grandmother was a quarter Choctaw. Occasionally, I will create something that is a nod to my heritage in color scheme and design.  These earrings echo the colors of the desert of the both the Cherokee and Choctaw reservations in Oklahoma where my grandparents traveled to on a regular basis during their younger years.

Turquoise, copper, vibrant reds, rich blacks, and soft tans combine to create beautiful color palettes for the First Nations.

Cherokee Summer 3

These earrings are quick to make and are absolutely beautiful for summer or fall. This project only requires basic jewelry making skills to create.  It should only take around 30 minutes from start to finish.

The materials should be readily available most every where.  You could probably order similar if you cannot find in your local craft and hobby stores. I purchased the seed beads from Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts. The copper coins from Walmart, and the large rings came from Michael’s. The copper spacers I have had for a good while now and do not remember where they came from.

Seed Beads

I usually do not purchase cheap seed beads due to inconsistent quality, but I was drawn to the bead mix and had to have it. I didn’t realize until I arrived home that the bead mix color name was “Cherokee”.

Tools and Materials

6/0 Seed Beads in Cherokee (Found some on Ebay and Amazon)
2 – 12mm to 15mm Antique Copper Rings
6 – 4mm Antique Copper Jump Rings
6 Antique Copper Spacer Beads
6 Antique Copper Colored Coins
8 Antique Copper Eye Pins
2 Antique Copper Ear Wires

Chain Nose/Flat Nose Pliers (I find two pair work great for jump rings.)
Round Nose Pliers
Flush Cutters

I tend to work in assembly line mode when making earrings like this. It helps me keep things in order. You may find this works for you too instead of making one entire earring and then going back and repeating all the steps over again.


Create two connectors: Slide a turquoise bead onto an eye pin and form a good sized loop, Make sure the loop you create is perpendicular to the existing loop of the pin.

Attach the smaller eye of each connector to the loop at the bottom of the ear wire and the larger loop to the large ring. Set aside.

Hooks and Hoops

Attach a copper coin to the eye of each of the remaining eye pins.


Short Dangle


Create four: Take an eye pin and thread on a turquoise, tan, red, black, copper spacer, black, red, tan, and turquoise bead, then form a loop at the end.



Long Dangle

Create two: Take an eye pin and thread on a turquoise, tan, red, black, clear, green, copper spacer, green, clear, black, red, and a turquoise bead, then form a loop.

Attach each eye pin to the large loops using 4mm jump rings.


Cherokee Summer 1

Enjoy your new earrings.  I bet these will look good in antique silver and antique gold as well.  Play around with the color palette to create your own unique look.

Until next time, stay caffeinated by peeps!

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