Make Custom Jewelry Findings: 9 Inspiring Ear Wire Designs for One-of-a-Kind Earrings

11 Apr 2011

Tammy Jones editor Jewelry Making Daily
 
Tammy Jones is the
editor of Jewelry Making Daily.

Making your own findings is one of the easiest ways to add unique style to your jewelry-making designs, and for some reason, it's an idea that many jewelry makers often overlook. I was making earrings by the handfuls one afternoon years ago when I realized that I only had one ear wire left. Not one pair, but one. Somewhere along the way I'd lost its mate. Double blow! Not only was I out of the findings I needed, I had an orphaned one (in pricey gold, even) that would likely go to waste.

 
Can you tell which ear wire was the lone bought one and which one I made?
But then I had a little epiphany. I did have gold balled head pins, and the ear wire I had was a pretty simple design with a ball on the end. . . . Just as I realized that I could probably make a good match for the lone ear wire, it also struck me that I could make all of my ear wires, all the time, and never run out again. And then I realized how much money it would save me. (You know how there's a bright light and angels sing when someone gets a brilliant idea on TV? It was just like that.)

Once I realized how easy and cost-effective it is to make my own earring findings, I stopped buying manufactured ear wires in favor of making my own. The possibilities truly are endless; ear wires can be just about any shape or style, as long as they go through the ear easily, hang properly and balanced, and don't fall out. That allowed my creativity to soar, thinking of new ways to make earring findings that are as unique as the baubles I hang on them.

Creating your own ear wires makes each earring you make truly your own and truly handmade, from tip to tip. It's so easy that it's ideal for beginners, but it's also an extra special touch that will elevate even an accomplished jewelry maker's earring designs. Here are some of my favorite takes on unique ear-wire designs, created by jewelry-making experts who also extend their creativity all the way to the findings.

These first three are ones I've made myself, just simple or swirled extra-long ear wires inspired by the longer ones on the market recently.

   

Jewelry Making Daily's Facebook friends, Catherine Chamberlin and Jason Caryl of Simply-Catherine.com, inspire me with the unique ear wires in their earring designs. Here's a sampling: 

   
Earring designs by Simply-Catherine.com

Flipping through an advance copy of Handmade Wire Findings recently, these three unusual ear-wire designs caught my eye:

   
The fiddlehead ear wires are perfect for long, contemporary earring styles with simple embellishments. Kidney ear wires provide a bit more security than standard French ear wires to help prevent earring loss. The circle post ear wires show that handmade earring findings aren't just for dangle earrings.

Pre-order your copy of Handcrafted Wire Findings: Techniques and Designs for Custom Jewelry Components, and you'll learn how you can save hundreds of dollars by making your own custom findings, including clasps, jump rings, ear wires, connector links, bails, and more--plus you'll be able to make exactly what you want, as many as you want, in the metal that you want.

 
This basic resource is a must-have for jewelry makers who want to give their designs a little added style. I love how some of the findings designs coordinate, so you could make earrings with ear wires that coordinate with the clasp of your bracelet. Clever work by Step by Step Beads Editor-in-Chief Denise Peck and former Editor Jane Dickerson! You'll also get a primer on jewelry-making techniques such as basic wirework, texturing metal, fusing silver, and adding patinas.

After you see the more than thirty wire-findings projects in Handcrafted Wire Findings, you'll wonder (like I am, now) why you haven't been making your own custom jewelry components all along. And you'll never run out of ear wires again! Can I get an Amen?


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Handcrafted Wire Findings Techniques and Designs for Custom Jewelry Components

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Want to cut the cost of hand-making jewelry? Handcrafted Wire Findings has the solution! With this book, making custom findings will not only be fun but will also save you money.

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Comments

on 11 Apr 2011 12:50 PM

AMEN!

Tammy, Thank you for using our ear wires in your wonderful article!  We really appreciate the mention.  When you create your own ear wires or other components for the first time, you will probably feel a little judgmental or overly-critical of yourself.  Once you take off, it may feel like you are swimming in an ocean of new possibilities...and you are!  You have taken your art to the next level of creativity!  The sky's the limit!  Happy crafting everyone, from Jason and Catherine @ Simply-Catherine.com

on 12 Apr 2011 4:09 AM

Congratulations ...

You have a wonderful ability to create, whatever you put your eyes is beautiful ...

Very good ...

Hug.

grammajojo wrote
on 16 Apr 2011 10:40 PM

I've been making my own copper ear wires because they are not that easy to find just yet, in my area anyway. My question is:  have any of you had a problem with your customers being allergic to the copper?  I read an article on it and wondered if I wouldn't be better off using the stainless wires which have much less reactions to them.

theresa3589 wrote
on 17 Apr 2011 5:42 PM

In answer to grammajojo's question about copper ear wires: I use copper ear wires (purchased and handmade) and wear them often. If a customer asks when purchasing a pair of earrings I tell them I wear them often and have never had a problem but that I don't have sensitive ears. I ask them them to let me know if they have any problems because I've been curious about that, too. I've never had anyone contact me to tell me that they could not wear them.

roxiesMom wrote
on 28 Aug 2011 10:18 PM

You can be so creative making your ear wires.  I often make mine to reflect the earring.  Triangle shaped earrings can have triangle ear wires etc., or oval spirals for oval shaped earrings.  It's alot of fun to create your own ear wires.

tvnuk88 wrote
on 23 Sep 2011 8:14 AM

Handcrafted Wire Findings is an awesome book! It's a great way to learn to make your pieces stand out by adding your own findings, and you will find that it really doesn't take that much extra time to make a big difference.