Spiral Wire Earring Jackets (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg.

Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

These spiral wire earring jackets can quickly transform a plain pair of stud earrings into gorgeous dangle earrings.

Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

The earring jacket has a wire loop at the top, which you slide onto the earring post behind the stud.

It’s a cool way to make an earring wardrobe more versatile!

Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

To use them, simply thread the wire loop onto the post of your stud earring.

Then insert the earring post into your ear piercing, and attach the earring clutch to the end of the post as you normally would:

How to Wear Earring Jackets - Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

How to Wear Earring Jackets:

Here are two different ways to wear an earring jacket.

In front of the earlobe:

If you slide the earring jacket directly behind the ball of the stud earring, and then insert the earring in your ear, the full earring jacket design will be on the outer side of your earlobe:

How to Wear Earring Jackets - Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Behind the earlobe:

But if you insert the stud earring in your ear first, then add the earring jacket behind your earlobe, the bottom of the earring jacket design will show below your earlobe:

How to Wear Earring Jackets - Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Either way, it’s a lovely look!

Supplies:

  • A pair of stud earrings.
    I used these earrings:
    Stud earrings for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg
  • 18-gauge wire, soft round – 2 pieces, each 5″ (127mm) long.
    I used Artistic wire:
    Wire for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg
  • Sharpie marker – for marking your wire.
  • Wire cutter.
  • Cup bur, jewelry file, or knife-sharpening stone – for smoothing and rounding your wire ends.
  • Round nose pliers.
  • Flat nose pliers.
  • Ring mandrel or other cylindrical item that’s about 3″ (76mm) in circumference – to shape your wire into a circle.
    (If you don’t have a ring mandrel, you might use a prescription pill bottle, a piece of PVC pipe, a wooden chair leg, a round bottle of nail polish, etc.)
  • Nylon, plastic, or rawhide hammer – for flattening and work-hardening your finished earring jackets.
  • Jeweler’s steel block (or other smooth, hard hammering surface) – for hammering your finished earring jackets.

How to Make
Spiral Wire Earring Jackets:

We’ll start by cutting two pieces of wire, each 5″ (127mm) long.

Cut wires for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Use your cup bur, jewelry file, or knife-sharpening stone to smooth and round your wire ends:

Smoothing ends of copper wire - Rena Klingenberg

On each wire, use your Sharpie marker to make a mark that’s 2″ (51mm) from one end of the wire:

Marking wires for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll make one earring jacket at a time.

Pick up one of your wires, and use the tips of your round nose pliers to grasp the wire on the mark you just made:

Start shaping the wire for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now use the fingers of your other hand to press the wire ends straight downward, making a small horse-shoe shape in the wire:

Bending wire for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Use your flat nose pliers to squeeze the wires together, just below your round nose pliers:

Shaping the loop for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now your wire should look like this, with one long side and one short side:

Wire for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Next we’ll form the wire into a circle.

Lay the loop end of your wire across the widest part of your ring mandrel (or other item you’re using as a mandrel):
Shaping wire into a circle for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Then use your fingers to wrap your wire tightly around the mandrel, forming the wire into a circle.

Your wire will spring back a bit, so that it winds up like this:

Shaping wire into a circle for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Your wire should look like this:
Wire shaped into a circle for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll twist the wire loop so that the entire piece of wire will lie flat.

Use your flat nose pliers to grasp the loop of your wire.

The longer end of your wire should be toward the tips of your pliers, and the shorter wire end should be toward the jaws of your pliers.

Keeping the wire loop tightly in your flat nose pliers, twist the circular part of your wire upward until the entire piece of wire (the loop and both wire ends) are in one flat plane:

Flattening the wire for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now your wire should be completely flat, with both wire ends side-by-side, like this:

Flattened wire circle for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll make an open wire spiral with the longer wire end.

If you’re new to making open spirals, or have had trouble with them in the past, see my easy 3-minute video, How to Make an Open Wire Spiral.

Start by using the tips of your round nose pliers to make a small hook in the longer end of the wire.

Then keep moving your pliers along the wire, making a small curve each time you move the pliers:

Making the open wire spiral for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Your open wire spiral should end up looking like this photo on the left (below).

Then gently pull the shorter wire end away from the spiraled wire end, so you’ll be able to grasp the shorter end with your pliers (photo on the right):

Wire with one open spiral for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll make a much smaller open wire spiral in the shorter end of the wire.

Start by using the tips of your round nose pliers to make a small hook in the shorter end of the wire.

Then keep moving your pliers along the wire, making a small curve each time you move the pliers:

Making the smaller wire spiral for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Your first earring jacket is finished!

Make the second one the same way you made the first one:

Finished pair of earring jackets for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll hammer the earring jackets to flatten them out (they’re usually a bit warped after all the wireworking), and to work-harden them which makes them sturdier.

Hammer one earring jacket at a time, making sure you whack every part of the surface.

Then turn the wire over and whack every part of the second side:

Hammer-hardening wires for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

You can wipe off any remaining Sharpie ink from your wire with a few drops of rubbing alcohol on a scrap of paper towel.

Your earring jackets are now ready to put onto your stud earrings!

Finished earring jacked on stud earring - Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Here are the finished spiral wire earring jackets in action:

Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - 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. That’s interesting that you’re showing this tutorial, Rena, because recently I’ve taken a few of my earrings off of their ear wires and slid them behind either pearl or gold studs for extra support and stability, and also because I like the way they look like that.

    These are really pretty earrings! 🙂

  2. I love this simple, clever design that adds so much to a plain stud!

  3. This is so cute yet so easy, and I have everything I’d need to make them already.

  4. Thanks for sharing, one can’t believe how easy it is to give some post earrings that extra wow-factor.

  5. Sheila Meador says:

    Very nice idea to give you more variety with earrings. This looks great!

  6. Making these for myself TODAY!

  7. Oooh! I can see some wire wrapping on those jackets! Lots of possibilities with this great idea!

  8. Such a cute and versatile idea, Rena! Especially as a travel accessory when packing is tight. Always amazed at your wire skills.

  9. Rena, you are so creative and generous. Thank you once again for sharing your ideas.

  10. I have long hair, and always feel like my stud earrings go unnoticed. I only have one jacket for them, and have been looking for more. This tutorial is so excellent, I think I might even be able to manage it! Wondering if Artistic Wire comes in a silver color?

  11. Thanks, Susan! Yes, Artistic wire comes in spectrum of colors including a few silver versions (stainless steel, silver plated, tinned copper, etc.). You could even make several pairs of earring jackets, each in a different color. 🙂

  12. Thank you so much for your lovely comments on these earring jackets! <3
    Have fun making and wearing them! 🙂

  13. Hey that is a great idea,I would never have thought to do that.

  14. Kathy says:

    What a great idea! I tend to not wear studs because they’re just so small and I’m not! Lol! This will get me to wear them more often!

  15. Such a great idea, I love it!

  16. Rena: What an awesome idea! I absolutely love these earring jackets! I’m planning on making some this week for myself and my sisters and daughter in law. Thank you so much for this!! I absolutely adore your tutorials!!!

  17. Great idea! I’m a studs kind of gal so this is something I would have fun wearing when looking for something different.

  18. So clever! Such a simple way to add pizzazz to any pair of studs. And the tutorial is just perfect. I love it!

  19. I love these! What a clever idea.

  20. Janet says:

    This is my favorite tute ever! Thanks. I made some and was really pleased with the outcome.

  21. Thank you, Janet, I’m honored that it’s your fave tute ever! And glad to hear how well your earring jackets turned out. 🙂

  22. Rena, it’s always great to get a new design from you. I’m not big on studs and this may be a way to improve the designs.

  23. Heather Hennessee says:

    Fun idea and they would make a great gift!

  24. These are really pretty. I might even be able to make a pair with your great tutorial. Thank you for sharing it. Cathy

  25. These are such a great idea, and very unique! They’re great inspiration – my mind is already swirling around with variations on these to try out. Thanks for sharing them!!

  26. Thank you for this wonderful tutorial.

  27. Stephanie says:

    I absolutely LOVE these earrings! Your tutorials are phenomenal and so easy to understand. Thank you so much.

  28. It gives simple earrings a new look! They will be a Great Seller! You could add ear cuffs with the spiral wire with beads or a center spiral wire between the ear cuff and earring spiral with loops on each end too attach them together. Thanks for the ideas!!!

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