Rustic Copper Washer Earrings – Long & Short (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg.

Rustic Copper Washer Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

In this tutorial we’ll make a long pair and a short pair of earrings.

Long Rustic Copper Washer Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Long Rustic Copper Washer Earrings – Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

If you patina a handful of copper washers, you can make a lovely variety of earrings with them!

Short Rustic Copper Washer Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Short Rustic Copper Washer Earrings – Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

How to
Patina Your Copper Washers

We’re going to start out by giving our washers a lovely, colorful patina.

In the photo below, the washers on the left are nice and shiny right out of the package.

On the right, the washers are much more interesting thanks to their patina – which is created simply with boiled eggs:

Rustic Copper Patina - Before and After

For the Patina:

Follow my easy tutorial, Oxidize Sterling Silver and Copper with Boiled Eggs.

Important: For this project, my washers developed the color I wanted in about 15 to 20 minutes.

So keep a close eye on your washers as they oxidize!

After your patina process, when your washers are thoroughly dry, you can preserve your patina color using a clear, matte-finish spray lacquer – three light coats of lacquer on each side of the metal, drying each coat thoroughly before applying the next coat.

How to Make the Long
Rustic Copper Washer Earrings:

Long Rustic Copper Washer Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Supplies for the Long Earrings:

  • Washers – I used two 5/8″ copper washers, and two 1/2″ copper washers – all from Harbor Freight.
  • 6 jump rings.
  • 1 pair of earwires.
  • Flat nose pliers.
  • Chain nose pliers.

Making the Long Earrings:

Long Rustic Copper Washer Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

I put these earrings together starting at the bottom, and worked up to the top.

So for each earring, I used the larger (5/8″) washer at the bottom.

Then I attached the smaller (1/2″) washer to it using a jump ring.

I added two more jump rings to the top of the smaller jump ring.

Finally, I attached an earwire to the top jump ring.

Here’s the finished pair of earrings:

Long Rustic Copper Washer Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

How to Make the Short
Rustic Copper Washer Earrings:

rustic-copper-washer-short-earrings-02-w

Supplies for the Short Earrings:

  • Washers – I used two 1/2″ copper washers, from Harbor Freight.
  • 2 beads that make a nice contrast against your washers (I used laminated square paua shell beads).
  • Optional: Seed beads or spacer beads (I used black seed beads).
  • 2 headpins or pieces of wire to string your beads on.
  • 6 jump rings.
  • 1 pair of earwires.
  • Round nose pliers.
  • Flat nose pliers.
  • Chain nose pliers.

Making the Short Earrings:

Short Rustic Copper Washer Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Again, I put these earrings together starting at the bottom, and worked up to the top.

So for each earring, I strung my square bead and seed beads onto a headpin, and made a loop at the top.

(If you’re new to making wire loops, or have trouble with them, see my 2-minute video, Make a Plain Wire Loop.)

Then I attached a jump ring to one of my washers, and also strung my bead’s headpin loop onto that washer.

I added two more jump rings to the top of the jump ring.

Finally, I attached an earwire to the top jump ring.

Here’s the finished pair of earrings:
Short Rustic Copper Washer Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

These Earrings Are Even Better with . . .

Both of the earring styles we just made here would be lovely to wear with this Rustic Copper Washer & Leather Bracelet we made in an earlier tutorial here, don’t you think?

Rustic Copper Washer and Leather Bracelet Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

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Comments

  1. Sandi says:

    These are lovely with the oxidizing. I also make them but torch fire patina the washers and can get some awesome colors. Fun to make.

  2. What gorgeous earrings, Rena. Just think of all the different ways these can be made. Thank you for sharing.

  3. The earring are gorgeous. And, I’m fascinated with the patina using boiled eggs! I’m going to have to try that.

  4. I love the patina and the look of the copper washers. Do you know where I can order copper washers? Our local hardware stores don’t seem to have them. Unless I’m looking in the wrong place. I have found silver colored ones but no copper.

  5. Hi Sarah, you can buy copper washers online at amazon.com or harborfreight.com . You’ll find lots of ways to use them in your jewelry creations! 🙂

  6. beautiful earring 🙂

  7. Nancy Vaughan says:

    Hi Rena. Love your washer designs and the great patina! I find that washers have endless possibilities especially when combined with copper discs. I use them quite often and get mine at Harbor Freight, too. Three cheers for hardware stores!

    Thanks for all of the designs ideas and information you share with us. I always look forward to the next JMJ.

  8. Thank you, Nancy! That’s lovely to hear. I always love seeing your newest creative artistry!

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