ECT TV Episode 11: How to Make Earrings with Chain, Wire & Beads

ECT TV Episode 11This week I’ll teach you how to make a funky pair of earrings with wire, chain and beads.

Here’s the video episode:

Wire is great!

Once you get comfortable with working with wire the sky is the limit with what you can make!

Today I’ll show you a tutorial that uses just a little wire, but you can make other designs with it to make similar earrings when you feel comfortable.

My Systems:

I refer to this post about being creative and bipolar in which I tell you my system for dealing with have a ton of ideas and what I refer back to when I am feeling blocked for ideas.

The Tutorial:

how to make earringsThis tutorial is great because I’ll show you the basic instructions, but then there is so much more you can do to customize the earrings.

Try working with the wire and creating different shapes and see what you come up with!

how to make earringsTools and Materials:

  • 2 matching beads
  • 20 gauge, half-hard round wire
  • 2 headpins (or make your own with wire – I’ll show you how)
  • 2 earring wires (or make your own)
  • Chain
  • 4 – 4mm jump rings
  • Wire cutters
  • Round nose pliers
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Bent nose pliers
  • Nylon or rawhide hammer and steel block (optional)

A note about beads:  Remember, these are earrings, so be thoughtful about the weight of the beads you choose.  Other than that, any beads you want to use are great.

The beads I am using in this tutorial (and also the beads in the video) are from Happy Mango Beads.

From the video, I used:  Rainbow Fluorite Round Beads 9-10mm.

In these photos I used:  Green Round Tabular Recycled Glass Beads – Indonesia 10mm

Step #1

how to make a head pinFirst, we’ll make the head pins.  If you want to use pre-made headpins, that’s fine. Just skip these steps.

Cut 2 pieces of 20 gauge half-hard wire about 3″ long.

Step #2

how to make a head pinMake sure both ends are cut with a flush cut.

(Here’s a tip for making your loops uniform.)

Hold the wire in round nose pliers.  The wire should be at the top, but not poking through.  You should be able to run your finger over the wire.

Step #3

how to make a head pinTwist your wrist away from you while wrapping the wire around the pliers.  Go as far as your wrist will twist.  Then readjust the wire in the pliers and complete the loop.

how to make a head pinStep #4

how to make a head pinhow to make a head pinhow to make a head pinHold the loop you made in chain nose pliers.  Then start spiraling around the original loop you made by pushing the wire up, readjusting and pushing up again.

I like to go around twice.

Step #5

how to make a head pinUsing chain nose pliers, bend the wire up so it’s straight above the spiral.

That’s your headpin.  Repeat for your second headpin.

Step #6

How to Make EarringsNow we’ll make bead dangles with our headpins.

*For a more detailed video tutorial on how to make a bead dangle, see ECT Episode 5.

Slide a bead onto a headpin.

Step #7

How to Make EarringsHow to Make EarringsHold the headpin just above the bead and wrap the wire toward you and then between the pliers and the bead.

Straighten the loop so it’s straight above the bead.  You can do this either by rolling back with the round nose pliers while you still have them in the loop or by removing the round nose pliers and using chain nose pliers to straighten them.

Step #8

How to make earringsHow to make earringsWrap the tail at least 2 to 3 times and trim off any excess wire.

Make a second matching bead dangle.  Set them aside.

(In the photo I have the loop at the top perpendicular to the spiral.  Actually for these to hang correctly, it should be the same as the spiral.  You can fix this just by twisting the loop with your pliers.)

Step #9

How to make earringsCut 2 pieces of 20 gauge half-hard wire to about 2″.

Step #10

How to make earringsLoosely find the middle of the wire.

Step #11

How to make earringsPlace your round nose pliers in the middle of the wire and bend it.

Step #12

How to make earringsHow to make earringsBend the wire around one barrel of the pliers to create a loop.

Step #13

How to make earringsHow to make earringsHow to make earringsFollowing the steps in step #2 and #3 make a loop on each end of the wire.  When you are forming the loops, make sure the middle loop is facing you while you’re wrapping.

Repeat for the second wire.

Step #14

How to make earringsOptional step (the wire should hold its shape without this)

Using a rawhide or nylon hammer, gently hammer the wire pieces.

Step #15

How to make earringsHow to make earringsCut 4 pieces of chain about 1″ each.  It’s less important of the length and more important that they are all equal.

Step #16

How to make unique earringsAttach 2 chains with a 4mm jump ring.  And then attach the other two chains together with a 4mm jump ring.

Step #17

How to make unique earringsHow to make unique earringsOpen the loops on the wire piece you created earlier.  Add one end of each of the chain to each loop.  (Open them like you would open a jump ring.)

Repeat for the other earring.

Step #18

How to make unique earringsAdd the bead dangle with a 4mm to the loop in the middle of the wire.

Repeat for the other earring.

Step #19

How to make unique earringsAdd an earring wire to each earring at the 4mm jump ring at the top.

How to make unique earringsHow to make unique earringsCustomize these earrings:

  • Use any beads you like;
  • Add a couple bead dangles;
  • Make the chain longer or shorter; or
  • Make different shapes with the wire across the bottom.

How to make unique earrings


Ready to get creative & make jewelry?

Check out my Rediscover Your Creativity & Make Jewelry eCourse!

Rediscover Your Creativity through Making Jewelry

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