Cluster Earrings

BeadforLife sent me some beautiful beads and jewelry to introduce me to their organization, but all opinions are entirely my own and I am excited to share about them with you.

Hey, friends!  Recently, I’ve been telling you a bit about a company I just heard about shortly before I went to Lucky FABB.  They’re called BeadforLife and not only do they offer gorgeous, affordable jewelry, they’ve got a message you won’t want to miss.  The premise behind this nonprofit organization is that they are eradicating poverty for women and their families in Uganda, one bead at a time.  In their own words, here’s what they do:

…we put money into the hands of women by creating global markets for recycled paper bead jewelry and Shea butter products. Money becomes savings, savings becomes hope, hope becomes opportunity and sustainable businesses are born. 


The women are taught to roll recycled paper and make beads in various shapes and sizes, then to string them together to form jewelry that’s as ethical as it is fashionable.  One way to support BeadforLife’s mission is by purchasing pre-made necklaces, bracelets, and earrings created from these handmade beads.  Some of these bracelets are as little as $5, and most of the jewelry costs less than $20.  Another option is to host a jewelry party…Mother’s Day is a perfect time to think about how you could get together with some girlfriends and buy gifts while supporting mothers and daughters on the other side of the globe.  BeadforLife also sells loose beads, which I’m really excited about, because it means I can use these special handmade beads in my own designs and creations.  It’s almost like I’m partnering with a woman in Uganda; she makes the beads, and I create the finished product…teamwork!

Here’s a quick look at a fun pair of earrings I created using these one of a kind beads…

Cluster Earrings

TIME REQUIRED: 15-20 minutes
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: moderately easy
SPECIAL SKILLS: basic beading/making wire loops
SPECIAL TOOLS: pliers and wire cutters

– 10 loose beads from BeadforLife
– 10 head pins
– 6 jump rings
– 2 ear wires
– 1 partridge in a pear tree…not really…just making sure you’re reading
– wire cutters, needle nose pliers

Step 1: Place each bead on a head pin and form a wire loop.  If you’re new to beading and have no idea how to do that, never fear!  I have a super-basic, really easy tutorial to teach you how to do that part with step-by-step instructions and photos.  Hop on over to that post and work on this first step, then come back when you’re ready to move on to step 2!

Cluster Earrings

Step 2: Separate your beads into two groups of five.  Because they’re handmade, each bead is totally unique, so I just tried to make sure each earring had a few bigger beads and a few smaller ones so that they’d look pretty even.

Step 3: Make a chain of three jump rings.  Tip: when working with jump rings, always twist them open and closed rather than pulling the ends apart.

Cluster Earrings

Step 4: Open the jump ring at the bottom of your chain and attach your largest bead.


Step 5: Open the middle jump ring and attach two more beads.  I chose the two that were next largest in size.

Cluster Earrings

Step 6: Attach the two smallest beads to the top jump ring.

Cluster Earrings

Step 7: Add an ear wire.

Cluster Earrings

Then, repeat steps 3-7 to create the second earring.  When you’re done, you’ll have a gorgeous pair of cluster earrings that make not only a fashion statement, but a statement about empowerment, independence, and a better life for women and their children on the other side of the world.

Cluster Earrings

What do you think?  I love them.  I love the unique look of each bead; they are as unique as the women themselves who rolled them by hand.  And I love feeling like a part of something bigger than myself.  Something that’s making a positive difference in the world, helping to educate women, and eradicating poverty for families.  Thanks so much for letting me share about them with you today.



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  1. These earrings are beautiful. I have been looking at different paper beads thinking about getting some. This is a great cause to support. Glanced at the Bead for Life site. I’d really like to try their soap and chap stick. Great gift idea too.

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