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Picture of Post Earrings From Wire and Beads
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Most of the time when someone goes about creating "post-backed" aka "stud" earrings, he or she uses a purchased finding and then glues his or her pieces onto it. But just like making earring "hooks" a bit of wire, patience, and tools will result in earrings that are truly one of a kind.

In the photos you will find some of the earrings I have created with this technique, but the variations are almost endless- and you don't even need a bead, as beads can be made from wire, too!

You will need four things for this tutorial:
Wire (around 20 gauge)
Earring Back (salvaged from other earrings or purchased)
Beads with Holes (matching or not, holes must accommodate your wire)
Wire Cutters (flush cutters are best)


One can also use the "stoppers" that come with dangle earrings sold in stores, as I have for a couple pairs shown. If you don't have access to flush cutters, make sure to file the ends of your wire so no rough edges will cut you! (always a good idea to check even when using flush cutters)

A specialty tool exists for wire ends known as a "cup burr". That would be ideal [and I'm jealous if you have one].
 
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Step 1: Step One: The Wire

Picture of Step One: The Wire
Cut a section of wire, about 8 inches long. Make sure there are no sharp points at one end, this will be the end inserted into your earlobe (or the earlobe of whomever will be wearing the completed earrings).

Choose a bead and slide it onto the wire, until about 1cm of wire is out the opposite side. Bend the wire in front of the bead at a good angle. If you really want things to be as symmetric as possible, you may wish to start the next earring right now, too.

Step 2: Step Two: Secure the Bead

Picture of Step Two: Secure the Bead
Continue bending your longer end around the bead to the back. This will secure things. Wrap it once around the short end (henceforth the "post") of your wire if you are not choosing to do a ton of wrapping around the bead. We don't want the bead to slip off somehow. If you are going to do something more complex, wrapping it around the post might not be necessary.

Depending on where you go from here, you are almost done with the first earring!

Step 3: Step Three: Continue Wrapping and Finish

Picture of Step Three: Continue Wrapping and Finish
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At this point you can get as fancy as the wire will allow, or keep it simple. For this instructable, I just wrapped it around a couple times and finished with a loop. Eight inches is a good, general starting length and will usually leave just enough extra that you are not fighting with your end. However, if you are going to make really complex or really simplistic, you may find a different amount works better for you. Experimentation and experience are key!

Check your bead is secure and your post is smooth, put on an earring back, and you're ready to go... make another earring. haha

Step 4: Variations: Just Wire; Add a Dangle

Picture of Variations: Just Wire; Add a Dangle
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I don't have any just wire pictures (I have only made 2 pair), but created some "tornado" beads (tutorial here) that give you an idea of what just wire beads could look like. When making just wire earrings, however, you will start with the bead and end with the post, instead of starting with the post-- unless you make a wire bead separately.

With that small loop left in the previous step, you could easily add a dangle and make even more complex earrings!
amacker1 year ago
set of 6 cup burrs at wigjig :)

https://www.wigjig.com/index.php?option=com_ixxocart&Itemid=2&p=product&id=340&parent=149
MojosMuze3 years ago
I really love these!! So simple and yet so pretty! Many Thanks
bluemoon63 years ago
too cute....been making jewelry for about 20 years and sell some in a local art gallery...wish more people would be interested in earrings...but they aren't...even at the gallery they want them to not cost more than $10 :(:(:(...but definitely will make some for myself...I have so many different beads...and love this idea !!
Vahyla (author)  bluemoon63 years ago
Yes, there is definitely that, people will only buy earrings if they're quite low-cost. I suppose, tons of places to get inexpensive earrings and if you wear a feature necklace, bracelet, or ring it will usually garner more attention anyway. Boo.

But sometimes we've gotta make things for ourselves, yes? =D
Very cute & clever idea. Although I would be concerned the quality if the wire might cause a skin reaction. Do you seal the post in any way?
Vahyla (author)  barefootbohemian3 years ago
I do not seal my posts. From "Elegant Wire Jewelry" by Kathy Frey (pg. 43) "Any metal will work [...] but if you have sensitive skin, stick with sterling silver or gold-filled wire." For all of the pieces I make to sell / have sold, I have used sterling silver wire. For myself, I usually use something less expensive.

Most of the jewelry making tutorials I have read online make no mention, but searching Google for "making your own ear wires sensitivity" brought up this result which is an excellent resource:
http://www.making-jewelry-now.com/earring-wire.html

Many jewelry artists make their own findings, and did not see this as being much different. I do, as mentioned, use sterling silver for the pieces I make to sell. Living with someone who has a severe metal allergy makes one more aware of that potentiality. And it is also why I prefer to use "earring stoppers" as my backs instead of actual "ear nuts."
I am definitely going to look up that web page, and check out your other resources. I myself have metal allergies (gold only, but enough to be annoying). I was in a way hoping you had some secret sealant that worked well and was at least semi-permanent so I could seal my engagement ring and be able to wear it again.
I work mainly in sterling silver, and I know some people are annoyed when the black oxidation comes off on their skin. I live in a region of the county where there is a high concentration of sulfur in the air, and silver will blacken in a matter of days, if not hours. I was wanting to try this, but the silver wire I have in stock at the moment is just too small a gauge to be able to work.
I do agree with the use of stoppers instead of ear "nuts". Many of my customers are elderly and find handling the tiny ear nuts difficult. The stoppers have more for them to grab onto.
Thank you for the great info, going to go check it out now! And again, very nice work! Good luck!
Vahyla (author)  barefootbohemian3 years ago
I have heard of people using clear nail polish but have not ever tried that personally for the posts of the earrings. I did do it on the backs once and it seemed to work okay... for a little bit.

Allergies are definitely annoying (and sometimes more than annoying, of course). I hope you find something useful in your quest. Thanks for the well-wishes!
mr.frob3 years ago
Beautiful design, very cool!
Vahyla (author)  mr.frob3 years ago
Thank you! I'm glad people like them.
sunshiine3 years ago
I like this it is very pretty! Thanks for sharing.
Vahyla (author)  sunshiine3 years ago
Thanks and you're welcome. =)
Very beautiful!
Vahyla (author)  Penolopy Bulnick3 years ago
Thank you! Hopefully it will be eye opening for some jewelry makers out there, like the first time I figured out you could make your own findings!