Curly Wire & Crystal Earrings (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg.

Curly Wire and Crystal Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Freeform wirework contrasts with sparkly crystal beads in this fun wire earring project.
Curly Wire and Crystal Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

The curly wire on these earrings is made with finger loops.

Curly Wire and Crystal Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

This is a lovely, artistic day-to-evening style.

Supplies:

  • 20 gauge soft round copper wire – 2 pieces, each about 5″ (12.7cm) long.
  • Sparkly crystal beads; make sure these beads are big enough to string onto your 20 gauge wire.
    I’m using bicone crystal beads, about 3 mm size:
    Crystal bicone beads for Curly Wire and Crystal Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg
  • A pair of earwires.
    Mine are made with copper wire, from my French hoop earwires tutorial:
    French hoop earwires for Curly Wire and Crystal Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg
  • Wire cutter.
  • Round nose pliers.
  • Flat nose pliers.
  • Sharpie marker – to mark your pliers.

How to Make Finger Loops
with Wire:

Before we start making the earrings, we’ll learn how to make finger loops.

It’s an easy, freeform way to shape wire without tools:

How to make finger loops in wire - Rena Klingenberg

For learning this skill, use a piece of round soft wire, about 4″ (10cm) long.

With your right hand, hold one wire end securely between your thumb and middle finger.

Place the pad of your right index finger on the midpoint of the wire:

Making finger loops for Curly Wire and Crystal Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

With your left hand, hold the remaining wire end securely between your thumb and middle finger.

Place the pad of your left index finger on top of your right index finger – with the midpoint of the wire sandwiched between your index fingers:

Making finger loops for Curly Wire and Crystal Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

You’re going to rotate your index fingers in one smooth move that takes less than 2 seconds.

(Notice that we’re starting with your left index finger on top – and that we’ll end up with your right index finger on top.)

Now start rotating your index fingers as shown below.

As you rotate your fingers, the wire will start to curve and form a loop where it’s sandwiched between your fingers:

Making finger loops for Curly Wire and Crystal Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Without stopping, continue to rotate your index fingers until your right index finger is on top:

curly-wire-crystal-earrings-18-w

Now your finished finger loop should look like this:

Making finger loops for Curly Wire and Crystal Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Practice making a few more finger loops before you start making the earrings.

You should be able to do the entire finger loop motion in one smooth rotation that takes less than two seconds.

How to Make
Curly Wire & Crystal Earrings:

Using a Sharpie marker, make a mark about halfway down the jaw of your round nose pliers.

This mark will enable you to make the top loop on both of your earrings the same size:

Mark your pliers - Curly Wire and Crystal Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

(You can easily remove this mark from your pliers later with a dab of rubbing alcohol.)

Now it’s time to cut your two pieces of wire, each about 5″ (12.7cm) long:

Cutting wire for Curly Wire and Crystal Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

We’ll make one complete earring before starting the second earring, so set one of your 5″ wires aside for now.

Start by using the tips of your round nose pliers to grasp one end of your first wire:

Making a small loop for Curly Wire and Crystal Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Roll that end of your wire into a loop:

Making a small loop for Curly Wire and Crystal Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now your wire should look like this:

Wire with small loop for Curly Wire and Crystal Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

String one of your crystal beads onto your wire:
Adding a crystal bead for Curly Wire and Crystal Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Make a finger loop in your wire above the bead. Then add a bead above the finger loop you just made:

Add a finger loop and bead - Curly Wire and Crystal Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Continue making finger loops, adding a bead after each loop. You can make your loops uniform, or in a variety of sizes and spacing if you like:

Making Curly Wire and Crystal Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Add as many finger loops and beads as you wish.

Then cut your wire so that you have a 17mm straight wire tail:

Making Curly Wire and Crystal Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

With this straight wire tail, we’ll make the loop that will hang this earring onto its French hoop earwire.

Use your round nose pliers to grasp the tip of your straight 17mm wire end.

The wire end should be aligned with the mark you made on the plier jaw:

Curly Wire and Crystal Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now roll this wire into a loop:

Curly Wire and Crystal Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Use the tips of your round nose pliers to straighten the neck of this loop, so that the loop is centered like a lollipop above the wire:

Straighten the loop - Curly Wire and Crystal Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Your finished earring dangle should look like this (you can see the hanging loop we just made, at the left side of this photo):

Curly Wire and Crystal Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now make your second earring dangle using the same techniques – but make it slightly different from the first one, so the finished pair of earrings will be more interesting.

Then twist open the loops on your earwires, attach your earring dangles, and twist the earwire loops shut.

Attaching earwires - Curly Wire and Crystal Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Your finished earrings may look something like this:

Curly Wire and Crystal Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Curly Wire and Crystal Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg
Curly Wire and Crystal Earrings - 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. oh these are so fun and love all the sparkly swirls!! I will have to make a pair of these for Kristina!

  2. These are really cute, Rena! I don’t do a lot of wirework, but I would make these because they’re freeform and fun.

  3. Beautiful design! I love how you have made them differently for added interested. Free form is so much more fun than a plan!

  4. Can’t wait to try these fun earrings! Thanks for another great tutorial Rena!!!

  5. Very useful information, Rena. Keep it coming!

  6. Great tutorial and beautiful earrings. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Great tutorial!

  8. I’m totally sending this to my sister. She is always looking for things to make and I want a pair!

    Janene

  9. Rena, these are so pretty. I’m so grateful you share tutorials, and I have to find the time to make some of them.

  10. Thank you so much, Linda! I hope you enjoy making and wearing these. 🙂

  11. Hello beautiful! This looks so amazing. Pinned.

  12. These are sooo pretty! Thanks for sharing!

  13. These are so cute. Thanks so much for sharing these.

  14. Maretha Hines says:

    Beautiful earrings. I’m beginning to become more interested in making jewelry using wire.

  15. Saw it, learned it, did it. Bam….they are beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

  16. Thanks so much for letting me know, Janet! I appreciate it! 🙂

  17. These looks so fun to make and especially now that the holiday season is coming. Thank you so much!

  18. Another Winner! Thanks Rena!
    As I was watching your video, I picked up a lonely piece of 28 ga. brass and lo-and-behold! I totally ROCKED it..and…ON THE VERY FIRST TRY! IF YOU CAN IMAGINE THAT! !! The neighborhood is now all here!:CHAMPAGNE is flowing freely, rockets are bursting in the air! Someone has released 567 THOUSAND SILVER & TURQUOISE BALLOON shaped like the Hope Diamond. ..IT’S MADNESS. ..

    …oh, hey… all, ummm, did I tell you I can do the finger loops? Hummm, uhhhh, yep, got them on the first try… errr..see ya around…K?
    Need to catch up with everyone from the. ..”HOOD”….lol

  19. LOL Teri! Thanks for letting me know – I’m thrilled to hear that it worked out so well for you. Rock on! 🙂

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