Wirework Music for the Ears




About: In which I turn the thoughts from my head into objects in my hands

Where better to show off your love for music than at your ears?

I designed this gift for a music-loving friend who enjoys my wirework. One of my favorite music-related quotes from my favorite book (The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss) is, "... this (referring to music hall) is where pride pays silver and plays golden," and these golden earrings really remind me of that. With some basic wire weaving (no experience required) and finger strength (wirework is hard on the fingers...), make some gifts for your own musically talented buddies.

Step 1: Materials

  • wire (I used gold-colored copper 20 and 26 gauge wires -- those numbers can be changed, but just be sure to have one thick and the other thin type wire)
  • pliers
  • optional: special earring hooks (sterling silver or gold, if you have sensitivity issues)

Quick overview: steps 2-5 are on the bass clef (black background of my desk since the gold doesn't stand out as much on white) and steps 6-9 are on the treble clef (white background because the rose gold I used stands out in white). Then step 10 goes over attaching earring hooks and finishing up.

Step 2: Bass Clef: Cutting Wire and Looping Ends

For the bass clef, begin with cutting out your wire. You need two pieces of thicker wire and then just weave with your entire spool of thin wire -- no need to cut out a specific length. For the 20 gauge thick wire that I used, I needed about 4.5" long pieces to make a 1" tall bass clef.

Once you've cut out your two pieces of thick wire, curl up one end of each piece into loops. Make one end's loop smaller than the other (for stylist effect; asymmetry at the ends usually looks good for this). Position them so that the smaller loop is on the right of the larger loop as shown in the third image above before winding the end of your thinner wire around the base of the loops as shown in the fourth image.

Step 3: Bass Clef: Weaving

The basic weave used in the bass clef is the same used in the treble clef too. Essentially, you alternate between weaving around both pieces of wire and only one of the wires.

After you wrapped the thin wire around both thicker wires (in the previous step), wrap the thin wire twice around the right (as in "left vs. right", not "correct") thicker wire. Then wrap the thinner wire twice around both thicker wires. Wrap the thinner wire twice around one of the wires (same one as before) and again, around both thicker wires twice as well. Continue on until you've hit where you think the first dot on the right of the bass clef should go (around 1/2" for me). After you've woven to that point, curve the wire slightly as a bass clef does at the pointy end.

Step 4: Bass Clef: Dots on the Right

To make the dots on the right, you could use beads and such but I chose to just make loops with my wire (didn't have nice golden beads to suit the wire). Bend the right thicker wire backward and curl it down and up to form the loop. Once that loops is formed, continue weaving your wire like before. Weave until you hit where you want your next dot to go, and bend the right wire into another loop.

Continue weaving straight after the two dots; I know it should be curved, but it's easier to weave on straight pieces of wire as opposed to curved pieces. You curve the thicker wires after you have woven them together.

Step 5: Bass Clef: Center Curl

To curl the bass clef at the center, pinch your wire as shown in the first picture above and pull the ends of your wire into a curve. Curl the right wire into a loop like this before inserting the end into the loop formed with the left wire previously. Fully close both loops (carefully!) and you're done! Take your time to fully arrange the curves of your bass clef to your preferences.

Then it's time for the treble clef! Prepare for treble (heh).

Step 6: Treble Clef: Cutting Wire and Beginning the Weave

For the treble clef I cut out two pieces of 5" thick 20 gauge wire and just wove with my 26 gauge wire still attached to the spool like before.

Again, curl one end of each piece into a loop. One of those loops should be bigger than the other, and the smaller loop should be arranged to the right of the larger loop as shown in the second image above. Wrap the thinner wire around both pieces of wire at the tops of the loops.

Then begin weaving with the same weave style as described in step 3 for the bass clef. In the fourth picture above, you see that I wrapped around both wires twice and then around the right wire twice, but in the final version I decided to wrap around the LEFT wire twice (so change the wire that gets wrapped around once in this picture). Once you've woven around 1.5" (a little bit longer than how tall you want the treble clef to be), curl the straight wire into a slight S shape as shown in the fifth picture above.

Step 7: Treble Clef: Looping the Top

I experimented a bit before deciding that this was the way to make the most elegant (at least in my opinion) loop for the top of the treble clef:

Bend your wire down and to the RIGHT at where you want the top of the treble clef to be, as shown in the first image. Then push the bent down region to the left so that you get what's shown in the second image. Continue weaving as much as you think you'll need for the central loop.

Step 8: Treble Clef: Central Loop

Use your fingers to curl the woven wire into the center loop. Do this little by little: weave a bit and curl it, then weave some more if necessary and continue curling until you have all the woven parts that you need.

Once you've woven enough, insert the wire ends behind the S shaped initial curve and up as shown in the third image above. Then pull the wire ends all the way up and to the right so that you get what's shown in the fourth image above.

Step 9: Treble Clef: Finishing Up Wire Ends

To finish up the wire ends, I decided to add some swirls to the center. Curl the right thicker wire upward and to the left like shown in the first image. Then curl the left thicker wire up and around the right wire loop like in the second image (hard to see, but the wire going up is the left wire and the wire going down is the right). Cut the left wire short and fully curl it into a complete loop around the right wire as in the third image. Then cut the right wire short too and fully close it into a loop.

Treble clef is complete!

Step 10: Earrings Hoops: Finished

I couldn't use the same wire to make complementary hooks since my friend has sensitive ear lobes, but if you'd like a tutorial on how to make them yourself, go to my other tutorial here (earrings in second picture above) and scroll down to step 7. Attach your ear wires and you're good to go!

As always, feel free to leave comments, questions, and suggestions below. Enjoy, my friend. :)

Metal Contest 2016

Runner Up in the
Metal Contest 2016

Maker Olympics Contest 2016

Participated in the
Maker Olympics Contest 2016

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Participated in the
Makerspace Contest



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    13 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Great detail in the instructions, they are very pretty earnings.

    1 reply

    2 years ago

    These are beautiful. :) I like how you illustrated the images on how to finish off the treble clef to show which way it's supposed to go.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thank you! Even I found the pictures confusing so thought clarification would be helpful for others. :)


    Reply 2 years ago

    Thank you for your beautiful comment. :)