Easy Fancy Earwires (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg.

Easy Fancy Earwires Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

This easy, fancy earwire design is frequently used in handmade jewelry, and it’s good to know how to make this style for yourself.

Easy Fancy Earwires Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Easy Fancy Earwires Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

These earwires are quick to make and add a lovely, graceful touch to earrings.

Easy Fancy Earwires Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Supplies:

  • Two pieces of wire, each 7cm long.

    Depending on the size of your ear piercings, you can use 18, 20, or 21 gauge wire – preferably hard or half-hard wire.

    Your wire should be a metal that’s suitable for use in piercings – such as sterling silver, Argentium silver, gold-filled, copper, brass, etc. (I would not recommend using coated craft wire in ear piercings.)

    For more info on choosing wire gauges and metals for pierced ears, please see my Earring Wire Guidelines.

    For the earwires you see on this page, I used 20 gauge copper wire.

  • Wire cutter.
  • Cup bur, jewelry file, or knife-sharpening stone – for rounding and smoothing wire ends.
  • Sharpie marker.
  • Ruler that can measure centimeters.
  • Round nose pliers.
  • Flat nose pliers.
  • A small piece of #0000 steel wool for additional smoothing of the wire end that will be inserted in your ear piercing.
  • Optional: Jeweler’s steel block and hammer (plastic, nylon, or rawhide) for hammer-hardening finished earwires.

Easy Fancy Earwires Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

How to Make
Easy Fancy Earwires:

Let’s start by cutting your 2 pieces of wire – each 7cm long:

Copper wires for Fancy Earwires Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Next, use your cup bur, jewelry file, or knife-sharpening stone to round and smooth both ends of each of your wires.

We want them to be really smooth so they’ll go safely through your ear piercings:

Smoothing ends of copper wire

Now we’re going to use a Sharpie marker and ruler to make two marks on each earwire (shown by the blue lines in the image below).

These marks will show us exactly where to bend the wire:

Measuring wire for Fancy Earwires Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

We’ll make one earwire at a time.

We’ll start by making the curve at the top of the earwire, which we’ll shape by using our Sharpie marker as a mandrel.

So place your wire across your Sharpie, so that the mark that’s 3cm from the wire end is centered on top of the marker:
Fancy Earwires Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Place your thumb on top of the wire’s 3cm mark, to hold it firmly against the Sharpie.

Use the fingers of your other hand to bend the wire ends downward:

Shaping top of earwire for Fancy Earwires Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now your wire should look like this; notice that our 3cm mark is in the center of the curve we just made:

Bending earwire for Fancy Earwires Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now use your round nose pliers to grasp the other mark on your wire (the one that’s 1.5cm from the other wire end).

I’ve used my Sharpie to mark my pliers where I want to make this bend, so I can make exactly the same size bend in all the earwires I make during this jewelry session:

Bending earwire for Fancy Earwires Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Use your fingers to push the wires upward on each side of the pliers.

Keep pushing until your wires touch each other:

Bending earwire for Fancy Earwires Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now your wire should look like this; notice that our 1.5cm mark is in the center of the bend we just made:

Bending earwire for Easy Fancy Earwires Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Use the tips of your round nose pliers to grasp the tip of the wire that’s closest to your 1.5cm mark:

Bending earwire for Easy Fancy Earwires Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Roll that wire end into a tiny loop; you should be rolling it away from the rest of the earwire:
Bending earwire for Fancy Earwires Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now use your flat nose pliers to grasp the other end of your wire, right at the tip:

Bending earwire for Easy Fancy Earwires Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Make a tiny bend at that wire end:

Bending earwire for Fancy Earwires Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now your wire should look like this:
Bending earwire for Easy Fancy Earwires Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Repeat the above steps to make your second earwire.

Use your steel wool for a final smoothing of the wire ends that will be inserted in your ear piercings.

Then remove your Sharpie marks from the earwires using a small scrap of paper towel dampened with rubbing alcohol.

(You can also remove the Sharpie mark from your round nose pliers with rubbing alcohol.)

I recommend hammer-hardening your finished earwires, using a steel jeweler’s block (or other smooth, hard surface) and plastic, nylon, or rawhide hammer:

Hammer Hardening - Easy Fancy Earwires Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Your finished earwires should look something like this:

Easy Fancy Earwires Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Here’s how this fancy earwire looks as part of a finished earring:

Easy Fancy Earwires Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Easy Fancy Earwires Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Easy Fancy 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, 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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  • Marty says:

    These are fabulous, and such a great tutorial. Thanks tons. Hugs, Marty

  • Linda says:

    Wonderful tutorial! Thanks for sharing!

  • Heather says:

    Great tutorial! Love the extra detail…. Thanks so much for sharing it! Enjoy your weekend! 🙂

  • Linda says:

    Great tutorial as usual. Thanks for sharing. Linda

  • Allison says:

    This is something that I’ve wanted to do for a while but there is something that always gets lost in the tutorials I’ve seen (even in books I’ve taken from the library). Your tutorial is dead on and I’m actually excited about the idea of trying it (and buying a hammer and block – woo!)

  • thanks for sharing! awesome tutorial and will really come in handy 🙂

  • You make that look so easy and beautiful!! Thank you!

  • Natalie says:

    Thank you for another awesome tutorial! I am subscribing right now!

  • PhyllisC says:

    What does hammer-hardening mean? Great Tutuorial! Thanks

  • jayne says:

    Thank you for the wonderful tutorial! Excellent detail… you have a knack for instruction. I am looking forward to rying this very soon!

  • Cat Slavin says:

    Elegant and very simple. I can do this! Thank you!

  • Pam says:

    Hi Rena: I’m wondering if it’s okay to use copper for ear wires? So Many people have sensitivities, is it a good idea and does it even work? I don’t have pierced ears, btw.

  • Dorothy says:

    Thank yu so much for all your help. I am a beginner am very thankful that you take your time to teach us.

  • Janet f says:

    So fabulous

  • Fabia says:

    Great tutorial. I’m going to try it and hope it turns out like yours!

  • Beverly says:

    Question…don’t know why I’m confused about this but you mark the wire at 1.5 cm and 3 cm?

  • Beverly, thanks for asking! You’ll make two marks on the wire. One mark is 1.5cm from one end of the wire. The second mark is 3.0cm from the other end of the wire. I hope this helps, and please just let me know if it’s still confusing! 🙂

  • Loura says:

    Great tutorial, thank you so much! First time I’ve made my own earring findings!

  • Loura, that’s awesome! I’m so glad to hear this tutorial worked so well for you. 🙂

  • Angela says:

    Rena –
    Thank you so much for the wonderful tutorials! I am especially grateful for this one – you’re always so straightforward and clear!

  • Thank you so much, Angela! 🙂

  • How many times do you hammer a piece to make it flat . I tried and it just broke . I really like all of the things you made . Thank You very much

  • Hi Nan, thanks for asking! I recommend that you use some wire scraps to practice your hammering. It’s the best way to discover your “sweet spot” of hammering! 🙂

  • Hi Rena, I love your tutorials! They are always easy to follow but I was wondering about the copper wire. I use a copper colored coated craft wire because I don’t want ears to turn green. Any suggestions? And why should you not use coated wire?
    Thanks!
    Kristineq

  • Hi Kristine, thanks for asking – and thank you for your lovely compliment on my tutorials! I would just feel better contacting the coated wire manufacturer to make sure it’s OK for piercings (i.e., the coated wire doesn’t cause skin allergies or any other issues).

  • Carmen says:

    Hi Rena!

    Thank you for your tutorial! These the first, and still my most favorite, earring wires that I learned to make. Tried and true! I did want to mention that I add a time saver to this. I cut one long 14cm wire instead of 2 – 7cm wires and then bend the long wire in the middle. Then I make my earrings two at a time and they come out identical. I leave them together, go ahead and do all other process necessary. I even leave them together and run them through the tumbler. They come out so nice and shiney. When I’m ready to use them, I simply cut them apart, tweak the small curl just a little and take care of any rough ends with my file. I usually make up a bunch and leave them all attached to one another until I need them. It really saves me a lot of time and I get to watch a good Netflix movie too!

  • Carmen, thank you so much for your lovely comment and the strategy for making 2 identical earwires!

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