Beaded Hoop Earwires (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg.

Beaded Hoop Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Each of these earrings is made from a single piece of wire – it’s a hoop and earwire all in one.

Beaded Hoop Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Beaded Hoop Earwires – tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

I added small glass dagger beads to these earrings, but you can design them with any beads you can string onto the wire.

Beaded Hoop Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Alternatively, you can omit the beads and make these into lovely plain hoop earrings:

Plain Hoop from Beaded Hoop Earwires (Tutorial)

Supplies:

  • Two pieces of round soft or half-hard wire, in 20 or 21 gauge. Each piece of wire should be 16 cm (6.3″) long.
    Be sure to use a type of wire that’s safe to use in ear piercings (see my Earring Wire Guidelines).
    In this tutorial I used 21 gauge copper wire.
  • A small collection of beads that will fit on your wire.
    I used small glass dagger beads in gold and purple – 5 beads on each earring:

    Beads for Beaded Hoop Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • Wire cutter.
  • Cup bur, jewelry file, or knife-sharpening stone to smooth and round wire ends.
  • Ring mandrel for shaping hoops and earwires.
    Or you can use any hard cylindrical objects (dowel, PVC pipe, pill bottle, marker, lipstick tube, etc.) – one with a circumference of about 8 cm; and one with a circumference of about 4.25 cm.
  • All purpose marker (such as a Sharpie) for marking your wire.
  • Flat nose pliers.
  • Chain nose pliers.
  • Small piece of #0000 steel wool to smooth the end of your earwire.

How to Make
Beaded Hoop Earwires:

We’ll start by cutting our two wires – each 16cm (6.3″) long:

Wires for Beaded Hoop Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now on each of your wires, use your marker to make a mark that’s 5cm (2″) from one end of the wire:

Mark your wires for Beaded Hoop Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

The 5cm end of your wires will become the earwires, and the 11cm end of your wires will become the hoops.

Use your fingers or nylon-jaw pliers to straighten the 5cm part of your wires.

Leave the natural curve in the 11cm part of your wires.

Now we’re going to work on one earring from start to finish, and then make the second earring.

Use your cup bur, jewelry file, or knife-sharpening stone to smooth and round the end of your wire that’s closest to your 5cm mark:

Smoothing ends of copper wire

Use the tips of your flat nose pliers to hold your wire, right next to the mark you made on it:

Beaded Hoop Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Bend the wire at a 90-degree angle, so that the mark you made is now in the middle of the bend:

Beaded Hoop Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now your wire should look like this; the short straight end will be the earwire, and the long curved end will be the hoop:

Beaded Hoop Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now pick up your ring mandrel (or whatever you’re using as your 8cm-circumference mandrel), and wrap the long, curved end of your wire around the widest part of it to form the wire into a complete circle.

Your circle should have a wire tail a few cm long.

Keep the straight, shorter end of your wire pointing upward:

Shaping the hoop for Beaded Hoop Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now your wire should look like this:

Beaded Hoop Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

String your beads onto the hoop part of your wire:
Stringing beads onto the hoop for Beaded Hoop Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now your wire should look something like this:
Beaded Hoop Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Place your hoop back around your mandrel and gently shape it up, without damaging your beads or kinking your wire:

Beaded Hoop Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Holding your hoop firmly in this shape with your fingers, slide your wire off the end of your mandrel.

Now we’ll secure the hoop’s shape by wrapping the tail of the hoop wire around the straight earwire stem.

(If you’re new to making this type of wire wraps, see the technique in my easy 3-minute video How to Make a Wrapped Wire Loop.)

Use your flat nose pliers to hold your hoop near the top, and use your chain nose pliers to wrap the hoop’s wire tail about 3 times around the base of your straight earwire end:

Making wire wraps for Beaded Hoop Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

When you’ve finished your wraps, use the flat side of your wire cutter to snip off the remaining tail of your hoop wire end.

Use your chain nose pliers to squeeze down the end of your wire wraps so it won’t poke or catch on anything.

Now your earring should look like this:

Beaded Hoop Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll turn the straight end of our wire into an earwire.

First we’ll bend the wire stem slightly backward, so that when we make the earwire curve it will stand up nicely instead of drooping forward.

Hold the earring so that the wire hoop faces you and the straight stem points upward.

Just above the wire wraps you made, grasp the wire stem with the tips of your flat nose pliers.

Use your flat nose pliers to bend the straight wire stem backward, at about a 30-degree angle.

Now your wire should look like this:

Beads for Beaded Hoop Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll use our ring mandrel (or your smaller mandrel) to shape the earwire.

Pick up your ring mandrel (or whatever you’re using for your 4.25cm-circumference mandrel):

Ring mandrel for shaping earwire on Beaded Hoop Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Beginning with the tip of your wire stem, wrap the wire around ring size 3 on your mandrel.

Wrap the wire as far around the mandrel as you can:

Shape earwire around the mandrel for Beaded Hoop Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Slide your earring off the mandrel, and grasp the tip of your earwire with the tips of your flat nose pliers.

Make a slight bend at the tip of the earwire:
Bend tip of earwire for Beaded Hoop Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now use your fine steel wool to thoroughly sand, buff, and polish your earwire ends so they’ll be smooth and comfortable in your ear piercings:

Smooth earwire ends with steel wool for Beaded Hoop Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Your finished earring should look something like this:

Finished Earring from Beaded Hoop Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now make your second earring, the same way you made the first one.

Beaded Hoop Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Beaded Hoop Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Beaded Hoop Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Want to Learn the Basics of
Designing Your Own Wire Jewelry?

Design and Make Artistic Jewelry Components Class In my Design and Make Artistic Jewelry Components video class, you’ll learn how to get great ideas for wire jewelry designs – and then follow my easy system for turning those ideas into successful pieces of jewelry.

By the end of this online video class, you’ll be designing and making your own artistic earwires, clasps, connectors, and pendant bails.

You’ll also learn my tips for making wire jewelry more easily, with more professional looking results.

 

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Comments

  1. Love, love, love this earring style ! Thank you for posting this….. it inspired me to revisit some projects from my past.
    I have done similar earrings using this technique, and a few variations.
    One variation adds a latch-back to the earring.
    Leaving a longer wire tail, after the three wraps above the hoop, I bend it into a catch for securing the ear wire. It is especially helpful for customers who are concerned about losing their favorite earrings.
    Another variation has double hoops, created by wrapping the hoop wire around the mandrel twice for equal sized hoops ; or around two different sized mandrels for a layered look. These look great with pearls on the smaller hoop and gemstones or crystals on the larger one.
    I also sometimes put a matching, or coordinating bead on the wire just above the three wraps, before shaping the ear wire.
    My favorites have pearls paired with filigreed silver beads on copper wire.
    Keep the inspirations coming…..

  2. Rena, LOVE the beaded hoop earwires! Also love your newsletters -you are a GREAT inspiration with your comments and stories. Thank you for loving what you do and doing what you love.

  3. Very pretty!

  4. Very nice. I love all the details. Thanks for showing us step by step. It is gorgeous.
    Patty

  5. These are gorgeous, Rena! Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. I’m always amazed with how you make me think: I can do this!!! 🙂
    Love these and thanks!

  7. Love these earrings! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Thanks for sharing this detailed tutorial, they look beautiful!
    Gonna pin it for future reference!

  9. These are so pretty! Love the beads. Thanks for sharing!

  10. These earrings are beautiful and I could see myself wearing them every day. I’m just too intimidated to try jewelry making myself.

  11. This is a great tutorial. The earrings are so pretty. I really like the beads you chose.

  12. Theresa Valentein says:

    Wow, I have been reading your tutorials and I Love them. I have had a creative block, but this has really got me excited again. Can’t Wait to get back to making jewelry! Thank You!!

  13. Nita Karpf says:

    Your tutorials are simply fabulous and so clearly laid out. Thank you ! Nita

  14. Thank you all so much for your lovely comments! 🙂

  15. I love working with wire and making things with one piece is the most fun ever! Rena, these earrings are simple and stunning. I had purchased some Czech glass green daggers and never found a project for them..now I do. Your tutorials are the best I have ever seen…there is simply no way to fail! Thank you again!

  16. I really love those earrings. Thanks for sharing!

  17. omar meyer says:

    Rena, en realidad eres una gran inspiración para los Orfebres y Joyeros, ya que con Tus trabajos nos llevas a crear diseños muy propios. Gracias por la oportunidad que nos brindas al mostrar estas Obras en Tu pagina. OMAR

    Translated from Spanish:
    Rena, you really are a great inspiration for goldsmiths and jewelers, because with your work you are taking us to create our very own designs. Thanks for the opportunity you give us to show these works to your page. OMAR

  18. Thank you for your lovely comment, Omar! I’m so happy that it’s helpful for you! 🙂

  19. What a great base design that looks great without much effort. I’m going to try these tonight. I love hoops and need a quick base for my earrings. These are perfect. Thanks Rena!

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