Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Inara earrings/tutorial post

Completed earrings!
Disclaimer: I do not own any sort of rights to the character, Inara, who was developed by the wonderfully amazing Joss Whedon. Also, I am a small potatoes blogger who does not and will not be asked to do product endorsements or site advertisements in the near future. I am a hobby jeweler and costumer. All opinions and mistakes are mine. 

So those earrings only took me a night! I am so proud of myself for actually pulling off (mostly.. sorta.. kinda?) screen accurate with artistic liberties taken earrings for the training house costume. For those of you who have seen the movie and squinted at the screen shots, you know that there really isn't ever a clear shot of her earrings.

Or at least, I can't tell what the earring bases are. The most I could see was a fluer-de-lys design near the top.

Here is the materials break down and techniques for those who actually do find the blog and are interested in how I made these.

I started out with an oval laser cut out filagree from Rings-things.com that I got about a dozen of two years ago as part of my Xiang-Hua cosplay. I still had ten of them left over, so I figured that I should recycle them. After about half an hour of patient positioning and gluing on Swarovski flat back Xilion flat back rhinestones (found here!) in three various sizes (3-3.2 mm, 4-4.2 mm in siam, 7 mm in light siam), you get the following:

Before dangles
The reason why they are asymmetrical from the top and the bottom is mostly due to the fact that the positioning of the dangles prevents me from gluing the two that are at the very top at the bottom. I actually didn't anticipate on this happening and didn't have enough rhinestones for both earrings. I just left it at that.

Just a quick note for those who haven't worked with this particular jewelry cement before... It oozes. Because of the way the tube is designed, as soon as you indent it in slightly, the pressure will keep the glue coming out. One way is to use a light touch when you want glue to come out and use a tooth pick (or a spare head pin, in my case) to apply the glue to the teeny tiny rhinestones. Or take a piece of scrap paperboard and get enough glue on there to work with, and apply pressure on the sides to restore the aluminum tube into shape.

While the E6000 was setting, I started working on the dangles. The main dangle was made using 6 9mm siam Swarovski teardrops (here) and 3" brass eye pins. I had to use my wirejig to add the "infinity" loop to the head pin. I got my Centaur wire jig from WigJig. Not going to lie, this thing is pretty awesome. I wish I had more time to play around with it on most days. The little gold beads were left overs from another costume. I think they measure about 3mm, and they aren't really screen accurate, but I like to add a bead topper to clean things up a little bit. The smaller dangles were 4mm Czech fire polished round beads that I had in my kit. You can also find these at rings-things.com.

Close up of how the head pins were looped around using a WigJig wirejig
After assembling all of the smaller pieces, it wasn't that much time to assemble everything together. The one last thing I really have to do is find a pair of posts to use with these earrings. I don't wear earrings often despitehavingsevenpiercings and I don't like dangles. Plus the kidney wires have the earring too low in comparison to the screen shot.

So that's that. Sorry about the long post (and the hipster-tastic instagram photos), but I was excited about these. This costume is one of the harder ones of hers to emulate because of the pattern and the damn overskirt drape (COMING SOON I PROMISE). I hope whoever else is looking for help and inspiration finds this post useful. 


  1. so i am also trying to duplicate the Inara Training House skirt/outfit for upcoming albuquerque costume contest for Serenity benefit (EqualityNow july 14). Using a simplicity pattern for children costume Egyptian skirt 2329 to get the shape right. Will be very interested to see what you do!

    1. Thanks for the comment, Geneva! I'm currently working on the other costumes and staring at the pile of chiffon that will turn into the over skirt soon. Let me know how the pattern worked out, and good luck on the costume contest!