Contemporary Brick Stitch With Fringe Earrings

An update to classic brick stitch earrings uses chain in place of beaded fringe

These beautiful earrings are an updated version of the classic Indian brick stitch with fringe earrings. They use larger galvanized silver delica beads for the brick stitch and chain for the fringe, so you spend less time stringing and more time enjoying them. They were inspired by similar earrings by designer Chan Luu.

  • 01 of 05

    Brick Stitch Earrings with Chain Tassels

    Contemporary brick stitch earrings with chain fringe.jpg
    Lisa Yang

    We love fringe on earrings. We love tassel earrings. The movement is captivating.

    Using simple brick stitch and store bought chain, you can have these earrings ready to wear in no time at all.

  • 02 of 05

    Chain and Other Materials

    Materials to make Brick and Chain Fringe earrings
    Lisa Yang

    There are two main elements to these earrings: a brick stitch triangle and fringe made of chain segments trimmed to size. 

    The chain we used is a silver-colored bar and loop chain purchased from a local craft store and 8/0 Miyuki delica beads in galvanized silver.

    We used white 6-pound FireLine thread, but any sturdy bead thread will work. You will also need a pair of ear wires and 2 closed loop jump rings.

    The number of strands of chain fringe you would like in your earrings will dictate the size of the brick stitch body. We wanted a fringe made up of 5 pieces of chain, so we made my triangle base 6 beads wide. That gave 5 bead bridges to stitch the chain to.

  • 03 of 05

    Ladder Stitch the Base Row and Add Chain Segments

    Making the base row with ladder stitch
    Lisa Yang

    Start the base row of the triangle body in ladder stitch as many beads wide as you previously calculated were necessary for your chain segments. We like to stitch my chain in the thread bridges as we make the ladder since it results in neater finished work.

    To make the ladder with the chain fringe, pick up two beads and one chain segment. Stitch through the first bead you picked up to make a circle with your thread, and pull tight so the delica beads are side by side. Go down through the second bead. You'll have completed one ladder stitch. 

    We like to go around at least one more time in each ladder stitch to make a solid base. Make sure you stitch through the bead chain when you make the next circle.

    When you are complete with your first stitch, your needle should be coming out of the bottom of the second bead. Pick up the next chain segment and a delica bead, and make another ladder stitch by stitching through the top to the bottom of the bead you just exited. When you get to the chain, be sure to stitch through the loop of the chain segment too. 

    Continue the pattern until you reach the end of the row and have attached all of your beads and chain segments. 

  • 04 of 05

    Use Decreasing Brick Stitch for the Earring Base

    Brick stitch earring base
    Lisa Yang

    The rest of the earring base is made using brick stitch. To make the triangle shape, the brick stitch decreases on one side for every row. 

    When you begin the second row, your needle should be coming up out of either the last or second-to-last bead on the rows. It doesn't matter.

    Pick up two beads and, instead of doing brick stitch into the first bead bridge, put your needle under the second bead bridge on the row. This is a decreasing brick stitch and will make the triangle shape. Make sure the first bead on the new row is secure. You may need to stitch down through it, under the bridge, and back up the second bead to fully secure it.

    Continue decreasing brick stitch for the rest of the rows until you have completed the last row with two beads. 

    Usually, we don't want the thread to show, but, in this case, it is the easiest way to finish the last bead. For the last row, pick up one bead and stitch through the bridge of the prior row. Your needle is coming out of the center of the top bead. Now, stitch the jump ring to connect the earring to the earwire. 

    We stitched through the center of a closed (soldered) jump ring and beck down through the bead, under the bridge from back to front, and back up the same bead. This is basically a brick stitch in place. Because we wanted the jump ring to be very secure. Repeat this at least 3 times.

    Finally, stitch around the other side of the top bead and under the thread bridge to begin weaving the working thread into the beadwork and tying half hitch knots to secure and end the thread.

    Add a needle to the tail and weave in the ends to finish.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Repeat to Make Another Earring

    One completed earring
    Lisa Yang

    Repeat these steps to make your second earring. Add earwires by twisting the loop open gently, sliding in the jump ring and closing the earwire loop securely.

    Add dangles to the ends of the chain if desired. Enjoy!

Tips and tricks

The hardest part of making these earrings was keeping the chain from getting tangled in the thread as we were stitching. To hold the chains out of the way, keep them tucked in the palm of the hand holding the beading work. (This is usually the opposite of your dominant hand.) Make sure you pull your stitches slowly and carefully to prevent tangles.