Heart Earwires (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg.

Heart Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Romantic and artistic, these heart earwires are fun to make for yourself or as a gift.

Heart Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Heart Earwires – tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

You can wear them plain, or with beads or other dangles:

Heart Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Supplies:

  • Two pieces of round soft or half-hard wire, in 20 or 21 gauge. Each piece of wire should be 13 cm (5.12″) 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 20 gauge copper wire.
  • Wire cutter.
  • Cup bur, jewelry file, or knife-sharpening stone to smooth and round wire ends.
  • All purpose marker (such as a Sharpie) for marking your wire.
  • Flat nose pliers.
  • Small piece of #0000 steel wool to smooth the end of your earwire.
  • Optional: Beads and headpins or other items to create dangles to hang from the hearts.
  • Optional: Jeweler’s steel block and plastic or nylon hammer for hammer-hardening your finished earwires.

How to Make
Heart Earwires:

We’ll start by cutting your 2 pieces of wire 13cm (5.12″) long.

Now we’ll smooth and round both ends of each wire, using a cup bur, jewelry file, or knife-sharpening stone:
Smoothing ends of copper wire for Heart Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Next, we’ll use a Sharpie or other marker to make three marks on each wire as shown below.

The blue lines represent the marks you’ll make:
Marking wire for Heart Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now each of your wires should look like this:

Marked wire for Heart Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll make one heart earwire at a time.

First, grasp one of your wires with the widest part of your round nose pliers as shown below.

Notice that one of the marks you made is just to one side of the plier jaws:
Where to bend the wire for Heart Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now bring the wire end that has your 5cm and 3cm marks tightly around the top jaw of your pliers, forming the wire into a U-shape:

Making the top curve of the heart for Heart Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now your wire should look like this; the U-shape you just made with your pliers will be one of the curves at the top of your heart:

Curved wire for Heart Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now use the tips of your flat nose pliers to grasp your wire right next to your 5cm mark:

Bending wire for the bottom of the heart in Heart Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now bend that wire end straight downward, making a bend that’s a little sharper than 90 degrees; the 5cm mark should wind up in the center of the bend.

Now you’ve made half of the heart shape, and your wire should look like this:

Half of the heart for Heart Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

It’s time to make the open wire spiral that forms the top curve for the other half of the heart.

With the tips of your round nose pliers, grasp the tip of your 5cm wire segment (see the arrow pointing to it in the photo above).

Curve this wire into an open spiral.

(If you’re new to making open spirals, see my easy 3-minute video Make an Open Wire Spiral.)

Keep forming your spiral until the top curve of your spiral is about even with the top curve of the other half of your heart:
Making the spiral for Heart Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now your wire should look like this:

Heart Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’re going to make the earwire part of this project.

Using the tips of your flat nose pliers, grasp your wire right beside the mark, as shown below:

Bending the wire upward for Heart Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now bend that wire so that it points straight upward at the top of your heart:

Heart Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

At this point you may need adjust your spiral to make it a more even size with the curve on the other half of your heart:

Adjusting the spiral in Heart Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now your wire should look like this:

Heart Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Using your round nose pliers, grasp the last remaining mark on your wire – with the mark right in the center of the widest part of your pliers:

Bending the earwire part of the Heart Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now gently bend both sides of the wire straight downward at the same time, so that your wire forms a nice U-shape around the pliers jaw:

Heart Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

With the tips of your flat nose pliers, grasp the tip of your earwire and make a slight bend:

Shaping the end of the wire for Heart Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now use your piece of fine steel wool to thoroughly smooth, round, and buff the end of your earwire.

Make sure there’s no roughness or sharp end since this wire will be inserted in your ear piercing:

Smoothing wire end for Heart Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now let’s hammer-harden your heart earwire.

Place the earwire part on your steel block, and hammer it thoroughly on both sides with your plastic, rubber, or nylon hammer:

Hammer hardening Heart Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now place the heart part of your project on the steel block, and hammer both sides of it:
Hammer hardening Heart Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Your finished heart earwire should look like this:

Finished Heart Earwire - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

And now it’s time to make your second earwire to match the first one!

Then you can remove your remaining Sharpie marks from your wires with a few drops of rubbing alcohol on a scrap of paper towel.

Heart Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

If you want, you can easily add beads or dangles to the bottom of your heart shape.

Simply slip your dangle over the earwire, around the curve at the top of the heart, and down to the bottom of the heart:
Adding a bead to Heart Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Here’s how the finished earrings look with bead dangles:

Beads added to Heart Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Then you can slide the dangles off again and change them out for different ones.

Or you can wear the earrings plain:

Heart Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Heart Earwires - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Heart 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, youโ€™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. These are so cute!! How long do they take to make?

  2. Thanks, Kat! The first one takes the longest, while you’re learning how to make it. But once you’ve made a couple of them, you can probably whip out an earwire in 5 minutes or so, including the time to file the wire ends and steel-wool the tip of the earwire.

  3. Wow, these are gorgeous Rena! I am really excited to try them out. I’ve been pulling out all my heart beads and ideas in preparation for Valentine’s!

  4. These are stunning. Great tutorial. Hugs, Marty

  5. Rena, again, thank you for making your tutorials so easy to follow!! I love the way you show every step so clearly. Even some of us long timers like to see each step clearly laid out. You do the best job I’ve ever seen!! Thanks!

  6. Rena…What a great design and tutorial! All your step-by-step tutes are wonderfully clear. You are so generous in sharing your skills and imparting your ideas. Thank you!

  7. SO Cute!!! I love all your pictures! It makes it seem so easy! thank you! am now a follower..

  8. Wow, I love it!! So excited about making some of these for me to wear!! And maybe for friends and family, too, as Valentines gifts. Thanks so much Rena! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. <3 <3 <3 'em!!

  10. Love these, Rena! As usual, you have laid out everything in this tutorial for everyone to be successfulโ€ฆwith the clear photos and precise measurements. I still struggle a bit with getting two components to be consistently made. Probably because I don’t measure wire and record them enough. Going at a piece of wire with tools in each hand is sadly more my style.

  11. Robin Miller says:

    Thanks so much for the tutorial. They are beautiful! Great idea!

  12. You make it look so easy, and such a beautiful outcome. Well done, and thank you for sharing your work.

  13. Thank you all so much for your kind comments on this project! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d love to see what you make with this tutorial!

  14. OMG those are super cute!!

  15. I love hearts and your tutorial one of the best I’ve seen!

  16. I love seeing your process! What a great tutorial! The earrings are adorable!

  17. Love these earrings.

  18. Rena, these are so “clean” looking and just in time for Valentine’s Day. I’d love to make them with copper core craft wire (Parawire etc). Even though this wire is “coated” is it safe to use this material for pierced earring findings? Thanks for sharing your talent and ideas!

  19. Thank you, Gail! ๐Ÿ™‚ I would contact the manufacturer of the wire you’re thinking about using, and ask whether they recommend it as safe to use in ear piercings.

  20. Im in love with these earrings I have something simple silver ones, but the copper is so much prettier! I actually have a bunch of copper wire and I was wondering what to do with it. Thanks for the idea

    Maria

  21. These are the cutest earwires.

  22. These are so cute and would be a fabulous gift! Thanks for sharing your wonderful tutorial!

  23. This is adorable! I love it.

  24. Great, easy to follow tutorial for working with wire! Pinning for many future references :). So glad to find your site!

  25. Very nice! I am excited to give these a shot (it will be my first wire project of this type).

  26. Beautiful! And the tutorial was cleanly done so I think I might almost be able to make a pair!

  27. Love these, thanks for the tutorial! They’re perfect not only for Valentines but really any time of the year. Just pinned!

  28. Great tutorial! You make this look so easy. Love anything that has a heart on or in it.

  29. Love these ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Your earwires are so pretty and the tutorial is great. Pinning.

  31. These are lovely! Question – why do you have to hammer harden them?

  32. Thanks for asking, Kristina & Millie! We want our finished wire jewelry to be sturdy and strong, and not easily bent out of shape. That can be an issue, particularly with thinner gauges of wire. So if you use a nylon, plastic, or other non-metal hammer to pound your finished wire jewelry piece all over, you’re “work-hardening” the piece, making it sturdier and stronger. ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. These are simply lovely! Such a detailed tutorial too!

  34. Susan Baker says:

    Rena, those are perfect, and I have been wondering what to do about valentines day. My grandmother made some heart beads for me and now I have some ear wires to match. Thanks very much.

  35. These are beautiful!! Thank you for sharing!

  36. Wow these are so pretty and what a great tutorial you provided!

  37. Wonderful tutorials…all of them! Will add these heart-shaped ear wires to my collection. Thank you.

  38. Beautiful, Rena! I’m going to try making them in red, pink and purple craft wire for the month of February.

  39. These are so cute Rena! Can’t wait to make these. To repeat myself….you have the BEST tutorials out there!! THANK YOU!

  40. I’m new to this newsletter, and I can’t believe how wonderful it is – thanks so much for this amazing tutorial, Rena!

  41. Wow! I may have found a new hobby! Thanks for sharing!
    Chris

  42. I appreciate seeing the tutorial on this… and you explained it well. Thank you for sharing this. ๐Ÿ™‚

  43. So pretty and a fabulous tutorial.

  44. What an awesome tutorial, I might just have to give it a try!!
    Denise

  45. Those are beautiful and could be worn all year, I love that!! Pinned it!

  46. They are so pretty

  47. These are beautiful. You are so creative. One day I will learn to make jewelry.

  48. Jann Olson says:

    Super cute and great tutorial! Thanks for sharing it.
    hugs,
    Jann

  49. Love these earrings and excellent tutorial!

  50. This is the clearest, best explained tutorial I have ever seen! And it’s of my favorite thing–hearts. Thank you so much for sharing.

  51. Those are beautiful!!! I would love to try and make something like this in the future!

  52. Very pretty earwires. The design is so clean and simple, yet has a lot of impact.

  53. I absolutely love these! What an easy and unique idea for DIY earrings!

  54. These are super cute and versatile! Love that you can add things to personalize them…something different every day even.

  55. Again my first newsletter and I am really excited. So pleased I joined. Your instructions are well explained and easily understood. Love the other comments and ditto to all of them from me.

  56. I love when your newsletter arrives. You are so creative and kind to share your ideas. I will have fun making these heart earwires for all of my friends. Thank you!!!

  57. lori iselin says:

    I love all your projects, and I am still in beginner stages, you explain everything so well. I was just wondering if you could also put the inches in too. I don’t know cm and it is very hard for me to get things right when measuring.

  58. Lori, thanks for letting me know you have difficulty with millimeters and centimeters.

    The reason I often use metric measurements in my tutorials is because they’re simpler and more accurate with the sometimes tiny measurements in jewelry. You may have noticed that many jewelry components are measured only in metrics – such as beads (4mm, 8mm, etc.). I try to include both metrics and inches in my tutorials, but sometimes I forget to include both.

    Do you have a ruler that has inches on one side and metrics on the other? If so, you can use the metric side of the ruler. It should show about 30 centimeters (cm) on the metric side. The tiny lines between each centimeter are millimeters (mm). There are 10 millimeters in each centimeter.

    Alternatively, you could also use an easy online tool that converts centimeters or millimeters to inches. Simply go to Google, and type in a search for “centimeters to inches” or “millimeters to inches”. This will show you a box where you can enter the metric measurement and immediately see the conversion to inches.

    I hope this helps, Lori! I do encourage you to get familiar with the metric side of your ruler, since so many jewelry components are measured with that system. If you don’t have a ruler that shows metrics on one side, you can easily find one in any store that has school supplies or office supplies (Walmart, dollar stores, etc.).

  59. What is the diameter of your round nose pliers at the base? Mine must be smaller because my earring seems off just a bit compared to yours.

  60. Hi Deb, thanks for asking! Here are the specs for my round nose pliers (Wubbers Classic Round Nose):

    Total Length of Pliers: 6.5 inches
    Width of the Jaw at the Tip: 1.5mm
    Length of Jaws from Tip to Box Joint: 25mm
    Box Joint Dimensions: 8.0mm Deep by 13.75mm Wide by 19mm Long

    I hope this helps! ๐Ÿ™‚

  61. I could also benefit from mirror image directions, my brain gets confused easily. Love these, tho!!

  62. oh, duh, I get it! Just flip the second one around before you bend the ear wire part!

    PS. Lori, try a seamstress tape….inches and cm both together, and easy transport, too.

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