Elegant Steampunk Earrings (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg.

Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

One of the fun things about Steampunk style is that you can take it in so many different directions.

Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

In this tutorial, we’ll make earrings with a more elegant Steampunk twist.

Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

I love the upscale feel the sapphire-colored Czech glass beads add to the antiqued brass colors in this project.

Supplies:

  • A stash of small Steampunk cogs and watch parts.
    You can find these from various sellers on etsy.com, with searches for:
    “steampunk cogs”
    “steampunk gears”
    “steampunk watch parts”
    “steampunk clock parts”.
  • Two focal Steampunk items, to dangle at the bottom of your earrings.
    For one earring I used a donut-shaped calendar component from a wristwatch.
    For the other I used a small, lightweight clock key.
  • A few colorful beads.
    I used two different pairs of Czech glass beads in sapphire blues.
  • 2 small or medium jump rings, to attach the focal components to the bottom of the earrings.
  • A pair of earwires.
  • 2 pieces of 20 gauge round soft wire, each 3.5″ (89mm) – to make a pair of eye pins.
    I used 20 gauge Artistic Wire in Bronze color.
  • Wire cutter.
  • Round nose pliers.
  • Flat nose pliers.
  • Chain nose pliers.
  • Nylon-jaw pliers – for straightening your wire (optional).
  • Crimping pliers – for squeezing down your cut wire ends (optional).
  • Jeweler’s steel block and plastic, nylon, rubber, or rawhide hammer (optional).

How to Make
Elegant Steampunk Earrings

We’ll start by making a pair of eye pins.

We’ll make one eye pin at a time.

Cut a piece of wire, 3.5″ (89mm) long:

Cutting the wire for Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll straighten the wire, using your nylon jawed pliers (or your fingers) to straighten each wire.

Hold one end of the wire firmly with your flat nose pliers, and pull the entire length of wire through the nylon jawed pliers (or your fingers), pulling the wire straight and tight as you do so:

Straightening the wire for Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Next we’ll make the eye loop on one end of the wire.

We’ll want all the loops on your earrings to be a uniform size, so use a Sharpie marker to draw a line about halfway down one jaw of your round nose pliers:

Marking pliers for Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Use your round nose pliers to grasp the tip of one end of your wire.

The wire should be resting on the Sharpie mark you just drew on the pliers:

Making the eye pin loop for Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now roll the wire end up into a loop around one jaw of your pliers:

Making the eye pin loop for Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Your wire should look like this:

Making the eye pin loop for Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll straighten out the loop we just made, so it will be centered instead of leaning to one side.

Use the tips of your round nose pliers to grasp the top of the loop you just made, and bend the wire stem until the loop is centered at the end of the wire:

Making the eye pin loop for Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Your wire should look like this:

Making the eye pin loop for Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Your first eye pin is finished.

Make the second eye pin the same way as the first one:

Handmade eye pins for Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Place one eye pin at a time on your steel jeweler’s block.

Use a plastic, nylon, rubber, or rawhide hammer to pound the entire length of both sides of the eye pin, to flatten, straighten, and work-harden the wire:

Hammering finished eye pins for Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now it’s time to assemble the earrings.

We’ll make one at a time.

Get out your stash of Steampunk cogs, gears, watch parts, etc.:

Steampunk cogs, gears and components for Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Also get out your colored beads:

Czech glass beads for Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

. . . and your focal pieces to dangle at the bottom of your earrings:

Steampunk focal elements for Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

String your beads and Steampunk components onto your eye pin:

Stringing components on the eye pin for Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll make a wrapped loop at the top of the eye pin, to finish it off.

Slide the beads and components down to the bottom of the eye pin.

Then use the tips of your round nose pliers to grasp the stem of the eye pin, right above the top bead or component:

Making a wrapped wire loop for Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Bend the wire stem over your pliers, making an angle that’s slightly wider than a 90-degree angle:

Making a wrapped wire loop for Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Your wire should look like this, with a bit of wire stem below the wire angle:

Making a wrapped wire loop for Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Use your round nose pliers to grasp the wire tail, right at the beginning of the bend you just made.

Your wire should be resting on the Sharpie mark you drew on your pliers:

Making a wrapped wire loop for Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Wrap the wire tail around one jaw of your pliers in a complete loop:

Making a wrapped wire loop for Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Your wire should look like this:

Making a wrapped wire loop for Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll wrap the wire tail around the stem below the loop you just made.

Use your flat nose pliers to grasp the wire loop:

Making wire wrapped loop for Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

. . . and start wrapping the wire tail around the stem below the loop.

How to Make Professional Looking Wire Wraps:

DON’T push the wire tail around the wire stem.

Instead, keep the wire tail pulled taut, and wind the wire tail firmly and evenly around the wire stem.

Making wire wrapped loop for Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

As the wire tail gets shorter, you may need to use your chain nose pliers to grasp the end and continue wrapping the wire tail around the stem:

Making wire wrapped loop for Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

When you’re out of room to make any more wraps on the wire stem, your wire should look like this:

Making wire wrapped loop for Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Use a wire cutter to trim off the excess wire tail.

Cut as close as possible to the end of the last wrap you made:

Making wire wrapped loop for Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Then press down the remaining end of the wire tail.

You can use either chain nose pliers or the round slot of crimping pliers for this purpose.

Here I’m using crimping pliers to squeeze down the end of the wire tail:

Making wire wrapped loop for Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Your earring should look like this:

Component for Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll attach the focal dangle component to the eye pin of your earring.

Use chain nose and flat nose pliers to twist open a jump ring.

Then thread the jump ring through the focal dangle element, and also through the eye pin of your earring.

Then use chain nose and flat nose pliers to twist the earring shut again:

Attaching focal elements to Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now make the second earring the same way as the first one:

Attaching focal elements to Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now get your pair of earwires:

Earwires for Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Use your chain nose pliers to twist open the loop on your earwires:

Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Then thread one earwire loop through the wrapped loop at the top of your earring.

Use your flat nose and chain nose pliers to twist the earwire loop shut again.

Your finished Elegant Steampunk Earrings may look something like this:

Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Elegant Steampunk Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

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