How to make your own silver ear wires for jewelry
For those of you who are DIY’ers like me, you may be interested to know that 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 on how I make earwires 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
I start by going about a third of the way from the end of the pliers to grasp my end of the silver wire.
Form a loop at the end of your wire using the chain nose pliers. Your loop should look like a lower case letter b.
I like to use a ‘Bic’ brand pen as the mandrel for forming the part of the earwire 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.
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 end (or use a cup bur and your flex shaft) so that a sharp bur won’t hurt someone. I, however, like to gussy mine up a bit.
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 earwire on the left is one that I have hammered the end. The one on the right has not been hammered.
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. I don’t think smaller diameter wire is sturdy enough to hold earrings with any kind of weight and larger diameter wire may be difficult for some ladies to get through the holes in their ears.
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.
I like to use dead soft (versus half hard) wire. I think it’s easier to manipulate.
Any other questions? Ask them below.
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