ECT TV Episode 71: Introduction to Making Earrings

Intro to Making Earrings

Today I have a special edition of Emerging Creatively Tutorials TV (ECT TV)!  Introduction to Making Earrings!

In this episode you’ll learn everything you need to know to get started with making earrings plus a simple earring tutorial.

Watch the video:

 

Wire:

The generally accepted gauge of wire for making earring wires is 20 gauge.  Since you’re making your own earrings if that feels too thick for you you can always try 22 gauge and experiment so that you feel comfortable.

You may use other wire when creating earrings that are other gauges as well.

Metal:

If you have sensitivity to metal in your ears, for your earring wires you may need to use sterling silver.  (You probably want to practice making earrings wires with less expensive wire before switching over to sterling silver.)

If you don’t have any allergies to metal, you probably can use any wire.

Alternatively, you can simply purchase earring wires at your favorite supply store.  Again, if you have metal allergies, look for sterling silver or you may be able to use surgical steal earring wires.

Beads:

The main concern when you’re making earrings is the weight of the earrings.  You don’t want anything too heavy that will pull on your ears and be uncomfortable.

If you’re making earrings for yourself, you can make them as heavy as you like, but still be careful not to make them too heavy.

If you’re making earrings for someone else, make them as light as you can.

That being said, using large heavy beads isn’t the best idea for earrings, but use your own judgment.  That goes for anything else that you might add to your earrings.

Simple Earrings Tutorial

Next I’ll show you how to make a simple pair of earrings.  First you’ll find a step-by-step tutorial to make your own earring wires.  They’re pretty simple to make, but you don’t have to make your own earring wires. You can buy they already made at a jewelry supply store.

Earring Wires

Tools and Materials:

  • 20 gauge half-hard, round wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Round nose pliers
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Sharpie or other marker to bend around
  • Jewelry file
  • Rawhide, nylon or hard plastic hammer and steel block (optional)

Step #1

Earring Wires

Cut 2 pieces of wire approximately 3 inches long.  It doesn’t matter exactly how long they are, just that they are exactly the same length.

Step #2

Earring Wires

Flush cut both ends of each wire.  To make a flush cut use the back of most wire cutters toward the work (or what you’re leaving behind.)

Step #3

Earring Wires

Now we’ll make a loop on one end of the wires.  You learned how to make a loop in the “3 Tips” as well. Hold the wire in round nose pliers. The wire should be at the top of the pliers, but not poking through.  Use the tip of your round nose pliers because we just want to make a small loop.

Step #4

Earring Wires

Earring Wires

Twist your wrist away from you while wrapping the wire around pliers.  When you have twisted as far as your wrist will allow, readjust the wire and pliers and complete the loop.  Repeat for the other wire.

Step #5

Earring Wires

Bend the wires around a Sharpie or other pen or marker to form a hook.  I find it helpful to do both wires at one time so they’re the same.

The end with the loop will be shorter than the other end.

Step #6

Earring Wires

Earring Wires

Earring Wires

Use chain nose pliers to make a bend in the wires approximately at the same spot as the loop on the other side of the hook.

Step #7

Earring Wires

Trim off any excess wire making a flush cut.

Step #8

Earring Wires

Use a file or burr cup to file the end of the wire so it’s not sharp but rounded.

Step #9

Earring Wires

Harden the earring wire with a nylon, rawhide or hard plastic hammer.  This step isn’t absolutely necessary, but will make your earring wires sturdier.

Earring Wires

Now we’ll make a bead dangle to place on the earring wires to make a simple pair of earrings.

Simple Earrings

Simple Earrings

Tools and Materials:

  • Bead
  • Headpin
  • Wire cutters
  • Round nose pliers
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Bent nose pliers

Step #1

Simple Earrings

Slide a bead onto a headpin.

Hint:  Check to see if your bead will stay on the headpin or if the stopper on the headpin is smaller than the hole in your bead.  If it slides off, you can either add a smaller bead like a seed bead first and then your larger bead or make your own decorative headpin that will hold the bead on.

(You can find free tutorials on my website for decorative headpins such as knotted headpins or spiral headpins.)

Step #2

Simple Earrings

Hold the headpin approximately ¼ inch above the bead in round nose pliers.

Step #3

Simple Earrings

Wrap the headpin around your round nose pliers to form a loop.

Step #4

Simple Earrings

Simple Earrings

Simple Earrings

Simple Earrings

The loop will be off-center.  To center it hold the loop in chain nose pliers and wrap around one time while pulling the bead out straight.

Step #5

Simple Earrings

Simple Earrings

Make 2 additional wraps keeping them close together and straight.

Step #6

Simple Earrings

Trim off any excess wire making a flush cut.

Step #7

Simple Earrings

Use your chain nose pliers to make sure the end isn’t poking out.

Repeat to make a second matching bead dangle.

Step #8

Simple Earrings

Open an earring wire.

Step #9

Simple Earrings

Place the bead dangle in the loop and close it.

Simple Earrings


Ways to customize these simple earrings:

 

Dangle Earrings

Add extra bead dangles to your earring wires.

Paper Bead Earrings

Use fun beads!  (These are paper beads.)

How to Make Dangle Earrings

Add more than one bead on the headpin.  I stacked disc beads for this pair of earrings.

How to Make Spiral and Gemstone Chip Earrings

These earrings have several gemstone beads and use spiral headpins, but it’s the same basic technique.

Layered Wire Wrapped Earrings

For these earrings, I used spiral headpins and then added a couple charms to the earring wires as well.


Earrings are a quick way to express yourself and your creativity.

  • They don’t take a lot of time to make.
  • You can express your creativity when you’re actually making them.
  • Plus, they have the bonus feature that you can express your creativity when you’re wearing your one-of-a-kind creations as well.
  • (Plus the bragging rights and confidence building of “Oh, you love these?  I made them!”)

Join in for Earrings Every Day Month this September and get an inspirational email from me every single day of September to remind you to make your earrings for the day.  Plus I’ll send you links to my free earring tutorials from my blog along the way as well.

Or upgrade to Earrings eCourse and get a new earring tutorial every single day for all 30 days!  (Not the free tutorials from my blog, but new tutorials just for Earrings eCourse.)

Earrings Every Day Month


Intro to Making Earrings

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Introduction to Making Earrings

ECT TV Episode 24: How to Make Beaded Hoops {And Earring Wires}

ECT TV Episode 24:  Beaded Hoop Earrings

This week we’re making a sweet pair of hoop earrings.  I love the muted colorfulness of these beads, but I invite you to use any beads of your choosing to match your own style and self-expression.

And as a special bonus, I’ll teach you how to make your own earring wires, too!

Here’s the video:

Mentioned in this episode:

5 Day Creativity Challenge.

If you’re seeing this when I post it, I invite you to join in now!  Just do something creative for 15 minutes each day for 5 days.  You can check in at my Facebook page.

Click here to learn more.

And if you’re watching this later, you can still have your own 5 Day Creativity Challenge!  Just do something creative 15 minutes each day for the next 5 days!

My upcoming craft-a-long, Earrings Every Day!

I’m so excited about Earrings Every Day and my Earrings eCourse.  Watch for more information about both soon, but you can get on the Earrings Every Day (EED) list now and I’ll let you know when more information is available about both!



Earring Wires Tutorial:

How to Make Earring Wires

I purchased my earring wires for years (and frankly, I still do sometimes!)  Then one day I made my own and realized how easy it was (and inexpensive!)

Even if you plan to keep buying pre-made earring wires, it’s good to have this technique handy in case you’re making earrings and don’t have earring wires on hand.  Or you’re using a different metal and don’t have the right earring wires to match.

How to make earring wires by Kimberlie Kohler

Tools and Materials:

  • 20 gauge, half-hard wire.  You’ll need 3″ for each earring wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Round nose pliers
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Sharpie marker
  • File
  • Rawhide or nylon hammer and steel block or anvil

Step #1

How to make earring wires by Kimberlie Kohler

How to make earring wires by Kimberlie Kohler

Cut 2 pieces of wire to 3″ each.  (It’s more important that they’re the same length than that they’re exactly 3″.)

Flush cut each side of each wire.

Step #2

How to Make Earring Wires, Emerging Creatively Tutorials

Use the sharpie to make a mark on your round nose pliers near the tip of the pliers.  (It doesn’t matter exactly where this mark is.  You mark it so that all your loops are uniform in size.)

Step #3

How to Make Earring Wires, Emerging Creatively Tutorials

{Tip:  As you go through these steps, it’s good to make the earring wires in pairs so that they’re the same.  So do a step on one wire, then the other and so on.}

Hold the wire in the round nose pliers.  The top of the wire should be at the top of the pliers, but not poking through.  Line it up with the mark you made.

Step #4

How to Make Earring Wires, Emerging Creatively Tutorials

Twist your right wrist away from you while wrapping the wire around the round nose pliers with your other hand.

Once you have twisted as far as you can go, readjust your wrist, make sure your wire is still lined up with the mark and continue to form a loop.

How to Make Earring Wires, Emerging Creatively Tutorials

Step #5

How to Make Earring Wires, Emerging Creatively Tutorials

How to Make Earring Wires, Emerging Creatively Tutorials

Bend the wires around the sharpie.  You can do both wires at the same time so they’re the same.

Step #6

How to Make Earring Wires, Emerging Creatively Tutorials

How to Make Earring Wires, Emerging Creatively Tutorials

Using chain nose pliers, make a slight bend in the long end of the wire.  I like to do this near or just below where the loop on the other side is.

Step #7

How to Make Earring Wires, Emerging Creatively Tutorials

Use a rawhide or nylon hammer and hammer the earring wires to harden the wire so it keeps its shape.

Step #8

How to Make Earring Wires, Emerging Creatively Tutorials

Finally, file the end of the wire to smooth out any rough edges.  I like to make it rounded.

How to Make Earring Wires, Emerging Creatively Tutorials

Beaded Hoop Earrings Tutorial:

Beaded Hoop Earrings Tutorial

In a recent order from Happy Mango Beads I got these really pretty beads.  I love the colors and they’re muted, so they’re colorful without being too bright.

I invite you to try these earrings with any small beads of your choice.  Just remember to consider the weight of the beads since they are earrings.

Beaded Hoop Earrings Tutorial

Tools and Materials:

  • Small beads 4mm or seed beads.  I used Assorted Rondelle Glass Beads 4-6mm
  • 22 gauge half-hard wire (20 gauge would work just fine, too)
  • Wire cutters
  • Chain nose pliers
  • A second pair of pliers such as bent nose pliers
  • Round nose pliers

Step #1

Cut 2 pieces of wire.  I cut mine about 8″ and they were about medium sized hoops.  You may want smaller or larger, so adjust accordingly.

Step #2

Beaded Hoop Earrings

Loosely form the wires into a teardrop shape.  We’ll make sure they keep this shape later, but just loosely bend the wire now.

Step #3

Beaded Hoop Earrings

Bead each hoop, leaving a couple inches at each end of the wire.

I just measured the 2 pieces against each other to see if they were the same size.  You count all the beads and make sure the same amount is on each if you’re more of a perfectionist.

Step #4

Beaded Hoop Earrings

Beaded Hoop Earrings

Make sure the beads are close together and then twist the wire at the top twice.

Step #5

Beaded Hoop Earrings

With a sharpie make a mark on your round nose pliers about halfway.  This is so the loops we’ll make at the top of our earrings will be the same size on each one.

(Again, it doesn’t matter so much where the mark is but that you use it for both earrings so they are uniform in size.)

Step #6

Beaded Hoop Earrings

Hold one of the wires in round nose pliers, lining up the wire with the mark you made.

Step #7

Beaded Hoop Earrings

Wrap the wire around the pliers toward you and then between the twist you made and the pliers

Beaded Hoop Earrings

Step #8

Beaded Hoop Earrings

That loop will not be centered, so you have to straighten it.  You can either do this when you still have the round nose pliers in the loop and simply roll back a little.  Alternatively, you can just straighten it with chain nose pliers after you remove the round nose pliers.

Step #9

Beaded Hoop Earrings

Hold the loop in round nose pliers.  Using another pair of pliers (or just your hand if you’re more comfortable that way) wrap the wire around.  Then wrap the other wire around.

I like to go around at least a few times.  Then trim off any excess wire.

Beaded Hoop Earrings

Step #10

Beaded Hoop Earrings

Beaded Hoop Earrings

Open the loop on the earring wires you made earlier (or you can use commercial earring wires.)

To do this hold the earring wire in one hand and use chain nose pliers to open the loop by pushing straight forward.  Do not pull the loop out.  The circle should stay intact, but just be open.  (If this is new for you and you’re confused, watch the video for more clarification.)

Step #11

Beaded Hoop Earrings

Place the beaded hoop onto the earring wire.

Close the earring wire in the opposite way of opening it.

Beaded Hoop Earrings

Beaded Hoop Earrings

See you in a couple weeks!

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How to Make Spiral Earring Wires

Spiral Earring Wire TutorialAs you probably have noticed, I love making wire spirals!  So this earring wire tutorial builds on the plain earring wire tutorial from ECT TV Episode 6.

Learning how to make earring wires was almost life-changing for me.  For years and years I purchased pre-made earring wires.  Then I learned how to make them myself and it’s so much easier than I imagined!  It’s simple and so much less expensive.  Plus, you can always make earrings as long as you have wire!

Here’s how to make them!

How to Make Spiral Earring WiresMaterials and Tools:

  • 20 or 22 gauge wire (half-hard)
  • Wire cutters
  • Round nose pliers
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Jewelry file
  • Ring mandrel or other round object such as a paintbrush handle, highlighter or marker
  • Nylon or rawhide hammer and metal block

A note about wire:  The standard earring wire gauge is 20 gauge.  If this feels uncomfortable for you, you might want to go to a smaller size such as 22 gauge.  (The bigger the number, the smaller the gauge.)

Also, if you don’t have a hammer and anvil or metal block, you can still make these!

Step #1

How to Make Spiral Earring WiresCut 2 pieces of wire about 2″.  You can really make these any size you want, but I suggest 1 1/2″ to 2 1/2″ long.  Just make sure they are the same length so you can make matching earrings.

Step #2

How to Make Spiral Earring WiresMake sure that each end is cut with a flush cut.  (Need help knowing what that means?  Click here.)

Hold one end in round nose pliers.  (Click here for a tip about making uniform loops.)

Step #3

How to Make Spiral Earring WiresCreate a “P” shaped loop.  Twist your wrist away from yourself, go as far as you can, readjust the pliers in the wire and finish the loop.  Complete for both wires.

Step #4

Spiral Earring Wire TutorialsBend the wire around a round object such as a ring mandrel, marker or paintbrush handle.

Step #5

Spiral Earring Wire TutorialsRepeat for both earring wires, keeping them the same.

Step #6

Spiral Earring Wire TutorialsSpiral Earring Wire TutorialsUse your chain nose pliers to put a bend in the wire approximately across from where the loop is on the other side.

Step #7

Spiral Earring Wire TutorialsGently hammer the earring wires with nylon or rawhide hammer on a metal block or anvil.

Step #8

Spiral Earring Wire TutorialsSpiral Earring Wire TutorialsWorking off the spool (don’t cut a new piece of wire yet, just use the wire right off the spool), make a “P” loop as described above using the very tip of the round nose pliers.

Step #9

Spiral Earring Wire TutorialsSpiral Earring Wire TutorialsNow we’re going to create spiral.  Hold the loop in chain nose pliers and wrap around the original loop.  Hold the loop and push up the wire.  Readjust the wire and repeat.  Go around a couple times.

Step #10

Spiral Earring Wire TutorialsSpiral Earring Wire TutorialsBend the wire back so that it’s directly above the spiral.

Step #11

Leave a tail of about 2″ long below the spiral and cut the wire.

Step #12

Spiral Earring Wire TutorialsSpiral Earring Wire TutorialsOn the opposite side of the spiral, start a coil.  Wrap the wire around the very end of the round nose pliers.  As you wrap the coil will go off the pliers.

Step #13

Spiral Earring Wire TutorialsContinue until you use up the wire and spin the spiral on top of the coil.

Step #14

How to Make Spiral Earring WiresSlide the coil onto the earring wire.

Step #15

How to Make Spiral Earring WiresTo keep the coil/spiral on the wire and facing the way you want, use chain nose pliers to push the coil/spiral against the earring wire.

Step #16

How to make spiral earring wiresFile the ends of the earring wires (the part that will go into your ear.)  I like to round them out.

How to Make Spiral Earring WiresNow you can use your earring wires to make some gorgeous earrings!  Learn how to make simple dangle earrings in ETC TV Episode 6.

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Thirsty for more wire spiral jewelry?  Get the Spiral Wire Jewelry Tutorials eBook!

Click here.

Spiral Wire Jewelry Tutorials

How to Make Earring Wires Video Tutorial

How to Make Earring Wire

Once you see how simple it is to make earring wires, you’ll never buy them again!

It’s also great if you want to make a pair of earrings, but are out of earring wires and don’t want to run to the store.

Watch the video and learn!  🙂


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How to Make Interchangable Wire Wrapped Earrings

Interchangeable Wire Wrapped Earring TutorialsThese versatile earrings are so much fun because you can change the dangles to suite your mood and outfit.  Or if you prefer, just use some 24 gauge wire between the loops and wrap them together so that the dangles are not removable.

Some things to note:  When you wear these earrings the dangles are relatively secure, however any vigorous movements or exercise can make you lose the dangles.  I was wearing these while doing some quick and vigorous cleaning and one of the dangles fell off.  Otherwise, they will be just fine.

Interchangeable Wire Wrapped Earring TutorialsMaterials and Tools:

  • 20 gauge wire
  • Carved Bone Skull Beads (B7517) from Happy Mango Beads
  • Earring wires (or you can make your own)
  • Wire Cutters
  • Round nose pliers
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Ring mandrel or highlighter pen
  • Paintbrush or pen
  • Hammer and Steel block or anvil

Step #1

Interchangeable Wire Wrapped Earring TutorialsCut off 2 pieces of 8 inch wire.

Step #2

Interchangeable Wire Wrapped Earrings tutorialWrap the wire around a ring mandrel or highlighter pen so that the ends of the wire are equal.

Step #3

Interchangeable Wire Wrapped Earrings tutorialThen twist the wire.

Interchangeable Wire Wrapped Earrings tutorialStep #4

Interchangeable Wire Wrapped Earrings tutorialHold one end of the wire with round nose pliers and start to make a bend going in towards the middle.

Step #5

Interchangeable Wire Wrapped Earrings tutorialThen use a paintbrush or pen and start to make a large spiral.

Step #6

Interchangeable Wire Wrapped Earrings tutorialUsing your round nose pliers, continue to make the spiral until you end up with how you want it to look.  Then repeat for the other side and the other wire as well.

Interchangeable Wire Wrapped Earrings tutorialInterchangeable Wire Wrapped Earrings tutorialStep #7

Interchangeable Wire Wrapped Earrings tutorialUsing a nylon hammer on a steel block or anvil, lightly hammer the wire to harden and strengthen it.

Step #8

Interchangeable Wire Wrapped Earrings tutorialMake 4 spiral headpins.  Or alternatively you can use purchased headpins.

Here’s video on how to make the headpins:

Step #9

Interchangeable Wire Wrapped Earrings TutorialUsing the skull beads and the spiral headpins, make bead dangles.

For more on how to make a bead dangle, see this video:

Step #10

Interchangeable Wire Wrapped Earrings TutorialSlide the beads around the spiral and onto the earrings.

Interchangeable Wire Wrapped Earrings TutorialStep #11

Interchangeable Wire Wrapped Earrings TutorialAdd pre-made earring wires or make your own.

How to make your own earring wires:

How to Make interchangeable wire wrapped earringsThen you can make other dangles so you can change out the beads OR make them permanent by wrapping the loops on each earring together!

Enjoy!


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