Why you should make your own earwires jewellers!!!

Making your own earwires is totally easy, and adds an extra bit of character to your handmade jewellery. This is the first in (hopefully) a series of tutorials that will share a bit of what i’ve figured out through trial and error, and through reading mags / books on jewellery making…

What you’ll need:
  • sterling silver wire (preferably) or craft wire if you’re just learning. 20 gauge is the best for ear wires, but 22 will suffice (and is sometimes even better for people with sensitive ears / small piercings)
  • needle nose pliers
  • flush cutter
  • hammer & anvil (or hammer and something hard to hammer on)
  • a thick pen / ring mandrel

that’s it!

Now, cut two lengths of wire – you’ll learn to ‘guess’ the length depending on the style of ear wire you want to make, but for our purposes, 2in (5cm) will do. Trim both ends so that you get a good square cut – you don’t want any sharp bits!

Grab the end of one wire and make a little loop – do the same for the other wire.

Now, holding them firmly, bend the wires over something – a ring mandrel, a nikko pen (my fave) or use a wigjig. When doing this, make sure the open ends of the loop are facing the same way – which way this is, is up to you. I prefer to leave the loop open at the front.
Now using a hammer and anvil …
FYI my tools aren’t all jewellery tools – my flush cutters are electrician’s wire cutters, my hammer is a panelbeaters hammer and my ‘anvil’ is a sledge hammer head that has been polished back. Thanks to my boyfriend Josh’s trade tools knowledge, means I don’t have to spend a packet on tools!)
…hammer your ear wires lightly and evenly – this takes practice… Hammer them a bit more towards the ‘front’ of the ear wire and less towards the ‘back’ (the bit you poke through your ear). This will give them a nice contoured look. You may need to adjust the shape as hammering tends to make the metal expand a bit out.

You can skip the hammering stage completely if you use hard or half-hard wire, but I like the contouring look, and getting out some frustration by hammering!

Voila! Your ear wires are done! Now fix your fave beads or other creation onto your earwires and you have created something 100% handmade!

Reasons to make your own earwires:
  1. it’s cheaper than buying them made
  2. you add an extra ‘handmade’ element to your jewellery – nice to include in your item description
  3. you gain some extra jewellers ‘cred’ – you’re actually hand-making your jewellery as opposed to just assembling it!
  4. it’s really fun, and you have control over your ear wire style – you can make them as simple or as ornate as you like – some of mine have little swirls, others have a double curl at the front, and it adds to the style of the earrings i’m making.
Hope you enjoyed my first tutorial! I’ll be adding some more as I get time to put them together.

About angelenefay

This entry was posted in artisan, etsy, hand made, handmade, jewellery, jewelry, wire, wire work. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Why you should make your own earwires jewellers!!!

  1. Leah says:

    fantastic tutorial, thanks so much!

  2. REread says:

    cool … I will have to give it a go … need an anvil though!

  3. cityprole says:

    Excellent and simple! Been thinking about this-I’ll have to buy an anvil, but worth it for other things too! Thanks!

  4. lyptis says:

    Awesome tutorial Ange! What a Great idea!!I didnt know it was really quite simple, looks good!:)

  5. beautifully explained! After all these years designing jewellery, i just should have a go at making my own earwires.thanks for sharing, Ange.

  6. Robyn says:

    Fantastic tute Ange – you make it look so simple, makes me want to attempt it right now!…. just to buy me an anvil and a hammer first…

  7. Gillian says:

    Really Fabulous Tutorial Ange :)Thank you so much for sharing… I’ve learned heaps 🙂

  8. carmel says:

    A very well written tutorial-good job and thanks heaps for sharing your tips 🙂

  9. michvanetta says:

    Fantastic tutorial Ange!

  10. oh, this is great! i keep imagining the tinging sound i’ll be making as my hammer hits my anvil (or something hard).i like how you included reasons for doing this!xoxo,craftYARD

  11. Great Tutorial! Clear instructions and good pictures….anyone can follow your instructions and be sure of a good outcome.

  12. amanda23 says:

    This is great! You make it look so easy! I think I’ll try to make my own…

  13. Janine says:

    Great tutorial!

  14. Vickie says:

    excellent tutorial Ange 🙂

  15. Jo says:

    Brilliant! this is exactly what i needed to know. Now i can make the shapes I have been trying to find for my jewelry. Thank you so much for sharing:)Jo

  16. Minky Magic says:

    Fab tutorial, must give this a go!

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