How to make your own ear wires for earrings

How to make your own ear wires for earringsFor those of you who are DIY’ers like me, you may be wondering how to make your own ear wires for earrings.  You can make your own French hook jewelry ear wires for a fraction of what it costs for you to buy them! This is my formula for how I make ear wires for the resin earrings I sell to customers.

make your own ear wires

List of supplies:

  • Needle nose or flat nose jewelry pliers
  • Chain nose jewelry pliers
  • Jewelry side cutters
  • 20 gauge wire (sterling silver or sterling silver filled dead soft)
  • Fine jewelry file

Optional:

  • Planishing hammer
  • Anvil

making earrings

Step 1:  Position wire

I start by going about a third of the way from the end of the pliers to grasp my end of the silver wire.

chain nose pliers

Step 2:  Form a loop

Form a loop at the end of your wire using the chain nose pliers.  Your loop should look like a lower case letter b.

forming wire

Step 3:  Form the larger loop

I like to use a ‘Bic’ brand pen as the mandrel for forming the part of the ear wire that sits in the ear.  I don’t know the dimensions, but it forms a nice shape.  Hold the loop you have already formed down at 6 o’clock.  Bend the top of the wire around the pen to 12 o’clock.  Start coming down the other side and continue until the wire is at about a 45-degree angle.

forming earwires

This is a visual explanation of what I was trying to explain in the last picture.

bending wire

Step 4:  Bend the end

As I’m holding the ear wire, I slightly bend it about the place ‘visually’ where the bottom of the wire is the same place at the bottom of the loop.  Cut the wire about 2 to 3 millimeters away from this bend with your side cutters.

silver french hook

At this point, you could stop here.  File the ear wire end so that a sharp bur won’t hurt someone.  I, however, like to gussy mine up a bit.

hammering silver wire

Step 5:  Hammer the end

I like to add some artistic flair to my ear wires.  I use a planishing hammer (flat face) and hammer the end on a flat surface.  (This small anvil works great for this.)  Hammering the end also makes the earring have its own ‘stopper’.  It is a little harder to fall out of someone’s ear.

hammered ear wire

This is the ear wire after hammering.

silver ear wires

For comparison, the ear wire on the left is one that I have hammered the end.  The one on the right has not been hammered.

filing silver wire

Step 6:  File the end

File the ends of your ear wires to remove any sharp edges.

resin earrings

Attach your finished ear wires to your earrings.  Wear proudly!

 

A few other notes about how I do ear wires:

I use 20 gauge wire.  While you can save money by using a smaller gauge wire, I don’t think smaller diameter wire is sturdy enough to hold earrings with any kind of weight.

I use wire that’s appropriate for the piece.  For example, if I’m making sterling silver earrings, I use sterling silver ear wires.  Since resin earrings generally cost less, I use sterling silver filled wire so that I can keep the cost down.

Like this post? You may be interested in  Resin Projects - easy paperweight tutorial

Dead soft wire, not half-hard, is what I use for ear wires.  I think it’s easier to manipulate.

If you need a good earring project where you can use your newly made ear wires, then you will like this one:  easy DIY resin jewelry

What other questions do you have about how to make your ear wires for earrings?

Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2020 Resin Obsession, LLC

8 thoughts on “How to make your own ear wires for earrings

  1. I love ball head earwires, but I can’t find 20 gauge 2 inch or 2 1/2 inch ones anywhere to make my own earwires. If you’ve scoured the internet anymore than I have, could you give me a source that you’ve found?

    Many thanks!

    Deb

    1. Deb – I see this is fairly old, but I also see that there’s no source given for the individual longer ball-type headpins that I think you are asking about here. I find them at fusionbeads (and, no, I am not affiliated with them in any way other than as an occasional customer!)
      So if you’re still looking – or for anyone else looking – here’s a link:
      http://www.fusionbeads.com/search#!-ball-head-pins-%3b%3b-productsearch&ea_d=_1_ALL
      The “thickest” they seem to have are 21 gauge but that should be fine. (Everyone has different prefs!; lots of people like 20gauge but I have trouble getting them into my pierced ears, so I prefer 22 gauge anyway; I do hammer them a bit to work-harden but they are much easier to get into my own pierced ears!).
      of course only in silver and gold plated, not in sterling, those are shorter and thinner wires – I assume due to pricing issues.
      Good luck! I hope you’ve already found a source by now, but maybe this will help someone coming along later on 🙂

  2. @Deb,

    Do a search for 20 gauge sterling silver wire. You should get a couple of options to buy it in bulk. You will then need to cut the lengths yourself.

  3. Hoping you still are available for questions…

    For wire wrapping, 20, 22 and 24 gauge, are dead soft and half hard similar or is it really better to use dead soft?

    When in rose gold for example the hardness is not specified, why isn’t it?

    Thank you so much. Your explanations are great and very useful :))))))
    Evelyne

  4. @Evelyne, I am not a wire wrapping expert. Dead soft wire is easier to work with, but may stay too soft to hold wire wrapped designs. For gold wire when it is purchased, it should state whether or not it is rose gold or gold filled. You can assume the gold filled stuff is half hard, while pure metal would be dead soft.

  5. I would like to know where to purchase these empty lockets to make the resin earings and then make the wire so they can pierce the ears.
    Also what are these lockets/empty cubes called as seen in the demonstration?
    Thank you

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