All About Ear Wires: Dozens of Tips and Techniques to Make Unique Handmade Earrings

2 Nov 2011

A jewelry-maker friend recently asked me about a good resource for ear wires, and I teased her about buying rather than making her own. She does amazing work in bronze clay (as well as pottery clay) and makes her living creating art and art jewelry with her own two hands--but she won't make her own ear wires.

 
Bonus project: Make your own kidney ear wires, not one but two ways!
First she protested that she didn't know how, and I told her I'd show her. She then complained that she didn't have time. I told her it was almost instant, just a couple turns of the wrist. I won that argument! Ha!

It really is quick and easy--and money-saving smart--to create your own ear wires. Plus, once you've learned the basics about shaping the curve of the ear wire, balling the ends of the wire (if you choose to do so), and how to ensure you have created balanced ear wires that will allow the earrings to hang well, then you can get creative and make uniquely shaped ear wires to give your handmade earrings a little extra earring zing and style.

 
Here are some of our best wire earring findings tips and instructions to get you started making your own ear wires.

A handmade ear wire can be as quick and simple as a well-placed curve in a humble balled head pin, and you can make your own balled head pins with a micro torch and sterling silver wire.

Making your own ear wires also allows you to get creative with their basic shape, making them extra long or angular. It's important to create the bend correctly and in just the right place to achieve balanced ear wires or your earrings won't hang properly.

 
Once you've got the basic down and you've even gotten a little snazzy with the shape, you're ready to create your own eye-catching ear wires and earrings. I think you'll be inspired by some of my favorite unique ear wires.

Ear wires can be too flimsy to support your earrings and hold their shape if the wire gauge is too thin; on the other hand, wire that's too large will be harder to work with (especially for creating unique and pretty designs) and could be uncomfortable in the ear. Learn which gauge of wire is best for creating ear wires (as well as head pins, jump rings, and more)--plus my favorite tip for creating the perfect curve in an ear wire--from Step-by-Step Wire Jewelry Editor Denise Peck.

 
Brush up on wire jewelry-making in general with these ten great wirework and wire jewelry tool tips . . . and then how about ten more?

Finally, to make professional-looking wire jewelry, you have to pay attention to the details. That includes properly finishing your wire jewelry: filing wire ends smooth, making consistent wire loops, making perfect flush cuts on wire ends, and closing jump rings seamlessly.

Now that you've made all those wire earring findings (right??), you're ready for wire earring projects. Grab our new 10 Fabulous Wire Earring Projects eBook and get started!


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Comments

nttp wrote
on 19 Dec 2011 11:14 AM

hi, i have alot of kidney wires for earrings,i would like  to know is there any special things you do to make earrings with them? thank you nettie,merry christmas,

TammyJones wrote
on 3 Jan 2012 3:10 PM

Hi Nettie, I hope you had a Merry Christmas too! I love kidney ear wires because they allow you to turn just about anything with a hole in it into a fun dangly earring. By just adding a jump ring or threading a thing onto a head pin and making a loop at the top to hang from, you can make earrings out of single beads, coins, buttons, small stones, acorns, pieces of old hardware and pocket watches, glass and ceramic pieces, wire designs, and hundreds of other things. The possibilities are endless!