Everyone who's ever had ears has thought about decorating them in some fashion since the dawn of time...
In this tutorial I'm going to show you how to make something you can decorate your own ears with, or make wonderful gifts for friends, inventory for your jewelry business. Whatever floats your bedazzled boat!
Wire. I used roughly 3" of .925 dead-soft 22guage wire for this tutorial ( per earring ). If you don't have nickel allergies you can use typical craft wire.
Round nosed pliers
A ruler to measure your wire.
"dangles" I used a pair of crystal hearts for the purpose of this tutorial but you can use other materials, so long as they are similarly drilled. Briolettes, Drops and the like.
Bastard files ( yes that's their proper name. Stop giggling over there.)
Flat pliers aka "chain nose pliers"
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Step 1: Assemble Your Supplies & Parts.
- Round Nosed Pliers
- Chain ( flat) Nosed pliers
- & Wire Cutters.
Measure out 6" of wire & cut with your wire cutters
Measure again to 3" and cut again.
This'll give you two 3" pieces of wire.
Then Grab your Dangles of choice. Here, I'm using a pair of Crystal Hearts.
Step 2: First Bend
Take your dangle and string your wire through the hole about 1/3rd of the wire's length. ( 1" - 1 & 1/2")
This 1" -1& 1/2" segment will be what we will coil up around the 1& 1/2" to 2" "hook" portion later to secure the dangle/drop.
Bend this portion with your fingers, careful to avoid too much contact with the drop. We need this to have some wiggle-room for the next step.
Step 3: Second Bend
Here's where we really start to give the pliers a work out.
Carefully grasp the Long End of your wire ( the part that will be our hook ) with your Flat Nosed Pliers
Apply pressure to the Short End with your fingers to meet the Long End somewhere in the middle.
Lightly bend until it looks like picture #1.
The end result will look something like pic #2.
Step 4: First Loop
Grasping both wires slightly below the point of overlap from the previous step, we'll begin to loop the Short End around the Long End.
This is dead soft wire I am working with so I just used my fingers to do most of the loops, only really bringing in the Flat Nosed Pliers to hold my two wires steady at their intersect.
Sometimes, your wire doesn't want to loop neatly and you may need to pinch it with your pliers ( pic #3 ) to get the loops to stack neatly and look nice.
Loop it until you run out of the Short End wire & make any adjustments you think you may need with your Flat Nosed or Round Nosed pliers.
The end result should look something like pic #4.
Step 5: Shaping the Hook.
From where your loops end, Bend the Long End wire at a 90 degree angle using your flat nosed pliers.
I do not have a ring mandrel or an earring jig but golly those would have both been helpful.
Oh well, pinky swear it. ( Pic #2 )
The whole point really is to get it round enough. Nobody really looks at the earring wire & goes " Wow, what a great semi-circle." & it's through your ear most the time anyway. Don't fret if it's not a perfect circle.
(No, not the band, you stop that this instant.)
The end result should look like pic #3.
Step 6: Deburring Your Wire & Finishing Touches
With your Flat or Round nosed pliers, take a wee bit of the very end of your Long End of wire and give it a little swoopty-doo. For reasons.
Take your file and gently go over the tips of your wire to deburr the edges from being cut with your wire cutters earlier.
This step you could do at nearly any time in the process, to be fair, but I wait until the end just incase I bork it up royal and don't make it this far. It happens!
Repeat all these steps one more time and you'll have a pair of simple wire wrapped earrings!
Practice makes perfect and eventually you'll be cranking them out as fast as I can.
( 10-15 minutes a pair. Once you get the hang of it you can practically sneeze through the process! )
Enjoy your new, elegant earrings that you made all on your own!