The Ultimate Resistor Earrings




About: I like to tinker. I'm a co-founder and active participant of my local hackerspace: Hack42 in Arnhem, the Netherlands. You can also find me on under the name Moem.

This is a fun project, completed at Hack42, to make as a gift for yourself or someone else. These earrings are geeky, stylish and shiny, and they can be as colourful as you like. The hoops are made from the rings that keep the platters in harddisks apart, so you may need to slaughter an old computer to get some, or ask a friend for an old, broken hard disk they may have lying about. If you need some help taking the hard disk apart, here's a good start.

While it's a cool (and environmentally friendly) idea to reuse the resistors, this will usually not work for this project, because the legs are usually too short on resistors that have been used before. So you will probably need unused ones.

If you have never soldered before, this project is a pretty good place to start. And in that case, you may find these instructions (PDF) useful.

In any case, think of your safety:

- Solder may contain lead. Lead is poisonous. Wash your hands after soldering.

- Soldering irons get hot. The general rule here is that if it smells like chicken, you're holding it wrong.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials and Tools

What are you going to need? Here's a list:

- two of the aluminium rings that can be found inside a desktop computer harddrive, keeping the platters apart

- six resistors, can be different colours or all the same, depending on your preferences and resources

- two ear hooks

- some chain with a suitable link size, or two rings, or any other way you can think of to fasten the hoops to the ear hooks

In the tool department, you'll need:

- pliers for bending and cutting wire. It's nice to have two pairs of bending pliers.

- a soldering station

- solder

Step 2: Get Started!

Now it's a simple step-by-step process. Just follow the pictures.

1) Bend the legs of the first resistor around the ring in an off-center position.

2) Bend them further so they come out on the other side.

3) Bend the wire in a U-turn around itself. Make it lie against the inside of the ring.

4) Use your pliers to tighten and tidy up the bends.

5) Cut off any ends that stick out.

6) Heat up your soldering iron and solder the U-turn shut.

7) That's it!

Step 3: Get Your Wires Crossed

Good job! Now keep it up. After soldering both ends of the first resistor, add a second one. The steps are just the same except that things get a little more finicky.

Once you have all three resistors in place, solder the wires together in the three places where they cross. This will make your earring sturdy.

Make sure there are no pointy bits that can snag on someone's hair or clothing. Clip or file them off.

If you are worried about lead in the solder, or you just want to keep
things shiny for longer, you can add a coating of blank varnish at this point.

Then it's time to add something to attach the ear hook to. I used chain links, as shown, but you may have something else that works just as well.

Step 4: Repeat for the Other Earring

And then it's time to go out on the town and turn some heads.

Who could resist such charm? (BaDUMM-tssh!)



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15 Discussions


Yeah! So cool! I must do that soon! I love this kind of jewelry, I'm obsessed with hex nuts and similar things. Nice project to use for the first time my new soldering iron. Thanks for sharing!

1 reply

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

I'm so glad you like it, and especially that you want to use your new iron to make this! Do let us know how it goes.

MoemGhost Wolf

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Who says I don't? ;-)

Actually I use whatever they happen to have at the hackerspace, and it's usually normal (with lead), because it's just nicer to work with.

Ghost WolfMoem

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

It would be cool to see the use of diodes and side mounted capacitors


4 years ago

The tails look cool the way they loop around, it's got to be hard to keep them in place and get a pair to match. I'd think a small jig and holes drilled for the tails to fit through would work for better for my old fingers. Then wrap the tails or lace them back through the neighboring hole and solder.

1 reply

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

I think that is a splendid variation! If you ever get around to doing this, I bet it would look cool.