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Picture of Make a Quick and Easy Ear Wire
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In this instructable, I'll be showing you how to make simple ear decorations that fit well with a fantasy or steampunk theme. This simple, easy to make piece is different, exotic, and can be modified in any way you'd like. The base frame takes less than 20 minutes, and decorating the wire shouldn't take too much longer. Anyone with a little experience working with wire can do this project.
It’s actually pretty easy to make these ear cuffs and to make them look nice, but if the first one you make doesn’t look great, that’s ok, you can always just make another one, they’re so easy and quick to put together. They do not require your ear to be pierced, and can be very comfortable to wear if made properly.

there are a few styles:
*simple swirl
*swirl with middle cuff
*front (with cuffs)
the decorations I've used:
*plain
*wire wrap
*charms
*chain

We'll be making a simple swirl in the main part of this instructable,but I will also cover adding cuffs and beaded charms.
 
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Step 1: Things you'll need

Picture of Things you'll need
Pictured are the tools I use to make all of my ear wires, but you can make do with:
* pliers
   - Round-nose (super-useful for making loops and curves)
   - Flat or needle nose pliers, for holding things.
   - Wire Cutter to cut wire.
   - I recommend at least one other pliers, I'm using another round nose

* wire of some kind. 20-25 gauge works best for the base, this wire is 20gauge.
* optional: beads for charms, a thinner wire for wrapping, chain, etc.

Step 2: The lower part

Picture of The lower part
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First, we'll make the lower swirl, and fit it to the ear.
1. cut off a good amount of wire.
    10-15 inches should be enough for most designs. But if you'll be doing something complicated, you'll probably want to cut more.\

2. make the lower part of the wire.
     I find that a simple swirl looks good most of the time, but you can do whatever you'd like.

3. Hold your work up to your ear in the position you'd like it to sit, and bend the tail of the wire around under your earlobe, and behind the ear.

    Warning! It's important to make sure the wire doesn't pinch your earlobe, because if it does at all, the wire will be uncomfortable to wear for longer periods of time.

Step 3: Adding cuffs in the middle

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Optional Step:
If you're going to add a cuff in the middle, you'll want to have done a few simple ones first and gotten the hang of the general feel for making them. Making a cuff in the middle generally looks great, but can be a bit tricky to get right.

1. With the wire behind your ear, grab hold of it about where you'd like your cuff to be.

2. Bend it into a thin loop that reaches a little past the edge of your ear.
     This is really the tricky part, as you'll need to get the right length, and the right look. having a longer loop here is better, but not too long!

3. Bend it back to continue going up your ear.
     Do steps 1-3 as many times as you'd like cuffs.

4. Take them off the ear and adjust them with a roundnose pliers to curl around how you'd like.
    If the cuffs are too long and you'd like to shorten them, you can add curls with your roundnose pliers by grabbing one wire and twisting to make a sort of z shape.









Step 4: Making the top part

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1. With the wire held up against your ear, bring the tail up over the top where you'd like it to sit.
    Warning: Again, make sure this doesn't pinch your ear. Leave a smallish amount of space between the ear and the wire, just to  be sure.

2. Form the top part of the piece.
    Try to do something similar to your bottom part, but smaller or otherwise slightly different.
    If you're adding charms, this is a good place to make a loop to attach them to.

3. Fit it on the ear, and adjust with fingers or pliers, preferably in the mirror, to make the piece fit and look perfect.
    this photo was taken before adjusting, but it shows the general look of the piece.

Step 5: Adding Decoration - charms and beads

Picture of Adding Decoration - charms and beads
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Optional step:
Adding charms is a great way to decorate your piece. whether you're using charms already made, or beaded ones you're making yourself, it's a fun and simple way to add the perfect look to any ear wire.

to make a charm from beads:
  1. Thread your beads onto a flat or eye pin. if you don't have one handy, you can make one out of thin wire.

  2. Make a loop using roundnose pliers, making it as small as possible.

  3. wrap the tail once around the wire underneath the loop, then cut it as close as possible, wrapping any tail left by pushing with a pliers.
     You now have a beaded charm!

To attach charms:
   1. get and open a jump ring, and slide the charm onto it through the loop. 

   2. find a loop on your piece where you'd like to attach beads, and thread that through your jump ring as well.

   3. Close the jump ring and enjoy!

Step 6: Conclusion

Now you should have a great-looking and comfortable ear wire, that took almost no time to make. Once you've done a few simple ones, try playing around with the design - you can do almost anything with wire, so get creative! if you have piercings in your ears, you can attach regular stud earrings by chain to make a punk look, or you can add gears, copper beads, and more to make a steampunk feel. Because the wire is made specifically for you and by you, you can do whatever, so long as it's comfortable on your own ear.

Please leave a comment on how to help me improve this instructable, and I'll certainly attempt to help!

love swirls! nice intructions, great work :)

hardlec2 years ago
Have you ever used this technique to hold a bluetooth in place?
CotR (author)  hardlec2 years ago
No, I've never owned a bluetooth headset, but I don't see why you couldn't adapt it to work.
hardlec2 years ago
Have you ever used this technique to hold a bluetooth in place?
silverton903 years ago
Thank you for this Awesome project! my girlfriend doesn't wear earrings of any sort, (she hasn't pierced her ears either) and this is Perfect! thank you So much for posting this instructible!
i do have a question though, do you need to have her around for making it the correct size for her ear? or can i make it to my own size and when i present it to her "fit" it to her ear?
thanks in advance =)
CotR (author)  silverton903 years ago
If your ears are about the same size, your wire is relatively soft, and the design you're doing isn't too complicated, it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

However, the more 'off' the fit, the more uncomfortable it'll be if she wears it for long periods of time. That's why i try to always make it with the person it's made for there to fine-tune it.

I hope that helps,
~Cotr
THRE34 years ago
Excellent. I love making stuff for my girlfriend and this just made its way to next on my list of ideas for her. :)
Thank you.
Kiteman4 years ago
Cool, I think you've just solved the problem of what to make for my sister's Christmas present (you missed her birthday by a few weeks...).