For 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.
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
- Planishing hammer
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.
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.
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.
This is a visual explanation of what I was trying to explain in the last picture.
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.
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.
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.
This is the ear wire after hammering.
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.
Step 6: File the end
File the ends of your ear wires to remove any sharp edges.
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.
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?
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