Then I had a brilliant (if I may say so myself) idea. I had a bunch of blank ear studs from Fire Mountain Gems. I grabbed a pair, with their back clutches. I used two thread spools to hold the studs upright (you could use a lot of things, floral foam, an eraser, even an upside down styrofoam cup). I squeezed a really big dollop of the bead in a bottle material onto the ear stud -- big enough to just hide the whole metal disc with a little "swell" over. The bead shrinks slightly when it dries. When first pumped out the bead is shaped a bit like a squashed Hershey's kiss. I left the earrings to dry for a few hours. When I came back they were dry to the touch, but still slight soft. The peak of the kiss had subsided and the "pearls" were almost half round, but they still had a slight cone shape.like little hills. I wanted perfect half rounds, so I picked up the studs by their back wire and gently "rolled" the earring on a piece of clean paper to round off tops. This worked perfectly. I left the earrings to finish drying overnight. Next morning I had a nice pair of antique gold studs.
I made a pair of copper studs, and then this morning a pair of gun metal.
The studs look good - big enough to be noticeable but not so bright they compete with other more "focal" jewelry. These are earrings to wear when you want to wear a statement necklace or brooch. I have a couple of 40% off coupons for Michaels, so I may head off there to get a few more colors. I want to make a blue pair with central black dot -- to represent my Blue Stripe karate belt.