by Rena Klingenberg.
Freeform wirework contrasts with sparkly crystal beads in this fun wire earring project.
The curly wire on these earrings is made with finger loops.
This is a lovely, artistic day-to-evening style.
- 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:
- A pair of earwires.
Mine are made with copper wire, from my French hoop earwires tutorial:
- Wire cutter.
- Round nose pliers.
- Flat nose pliers.
- Sharpie marker – to mark your pliers.
How to Make Finger Loops
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:
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:
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:
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:
Without stopping, continue to rotate your index fingers until your right index finger is on top:
Now your finished finger loop should look like this:
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:
(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:
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:
Roll that end of your wire into a loop:
Now your wire should look like this:
String one of your crystal beads onto your wire:
Make a finger loop in your wire above the bead. Then add a bead above the finger loop you just made:
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:
Add as many finger loops and beads as you wish.
Then cut your wire so that you have a 17mm straight wire tail:
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:
Now roll this wire into a loop:
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:
Your finished earring dangle should look like this (you can see the hanging loop we just made, at the left side of this photo):
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.
Your finished earrings may look something like this:
Want to Learn the Basics of
Designing Your Own Wire Jewelry?
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.