What is the best gauge headpin to use for 2'' dangle earrings? I'm looking for something that is thin enough to work with, but thick enough that the earrings won't bend too easily. Thanks.
The best gauge depends on the beads you're designing with. For example, most lightweight pearls require 24- or 26-gauge headpins as their holes are smaller, where handmade lampworked beads can handle 20-gauge or thicker as their hole size is larger. If you're not sure which beads you'll be using and just want to purchase a good catch-all headpin for 2-inch dangle earrings, buy 22-gauge. This gauge fits through most beads and won't bend easily.
Due to your long earring design, you'll also need to consider the headpin length as well as how you're planning to finish and attach it to your finding. If you're making a simple loop to connect the dangle to the earwire or post, a 2-1/2 inch headpin should suffice as you only need about a 1/2 inch of wire to form a simple loop. If you'll be making a wrapped loop or a more elaborate connection, be sure to use a 3-inch headpin as a wrapped loop is made more cleanly and easily if you have at least 1-inch of wire to work with.