Face-Framing Wire Earrings Tutorial

by Rena Klingenberg. © 2003-Present Rena Klingenberg. All Rights Reserved

Face-Framing Wire Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Face-Framing Wire Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

You can make these easy wire earrings from your wire scraps.

These easy wire earrings feature graceful curves that frame your face in a flattering way.

Face-Framing Wire Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

They also have lots of wonderful swingy movement!

These earrings are an especially fab style with short hair or hair that’s pulled back, so all the wires can dance freely.


  • Round wire – anywhere from 16 to 20 gauge – soft or half-hard. (This is a good project for using wire from your scrap pile!)

    Although I used mixed metals in my earrings, they’re also lovely with just one metal.

    I used 16-gauge soft copper and brass:

    Brass and copper wire

  • Wire cutter (be sure to use a cutter that’s made for heavier gauges of wire, so you don’t ruin your best cutters).
  • Round nose pliers (again, be sure to use pliers that are made for heavier gauges of wire).
  • A file, cup burr, or knife sharpening stone for smoothing off the wire ends.
  • Hammer and steel block (optional, but I think the hammering is part of what makes these earrings so fab!).

    You can also substitute another sturdy, smooth surface in place of the steel block.

    hammer and steel block

  • 2 jump rings.
  • 1 pair of earwires.
  • Flat-nose or chain-nose pliers for opening and closing the jump rings.

How to Make These
Face-Framing Wire Earrings:

Each earring needs three wire dangles – 1 short, 1 medium, and 1 long.

I used copper wire for my short and long dangles, and brass for my medium dangles.

Cut 2 wires of each size:

  • Short wires: 1.75″ (4.5 cm) long.
  • Medium wires: 2.5″ (7 cm) long.
  • Long wires: 3.25″ (8.3 cm) long.

I just let my wires keep the curve they had from being part of the coiled-up packaged wire.

But if your wires aren’t curved, you can shape them around a soup can or vitamin bottle to give them a gentle curve.

Your cut wires should look something like this:

Face-Framing Wire Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now use a cup bur, metal file, or knife-sharpening stone to smooth and round both ends of each wire:

Wire earring tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Cup bur shown at bottom; knife-sharpening stone shown at top.

We’re going to make a plain wire loop on one end of each wire.

Since we want all 6 loops to be the same size, we’re going to use a super-fine-tip Sharpie marker to mark a line on one jaw of our round nose pliers.

This line (shown on the top jaw of the pliers below) is where we’re going to place our wire for each loop we make in this project:

Mark your pliers for making wire loops

Now make a plain wire loop on one end of each wire.

(If you’re new to making plain loops, or if you struggle with making them, see my super easy 2-minute How to Make a Plain Wire Loop Video.)

Make a plain wire loop

Your wires should now look like this:

Six wires with round loops

Now hammer each piece of wire to flatten it to a nice shape.

You can do a bit of extra hammering on the straight ends, to give them a nicely rounded flare.

If your loops come open a bit during the hammering, simply use your pliers to close them again.

hammering wire jewelry

Hammering is optional in this project – but I really think it adds a lot to the finished look!

After hammering, your wires should look like this:

Face-Framing Wire Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’re going to put our wire dangles on the jump rings.

Open both of your jump rings and hang one long dangle on each jump ring:

Face-Framing Wire Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now hang your medium dangles on your jump rings – but place them so that they curve in the opposite direction from your long dangles:

Face-Framing Wire Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Hang your short dangles on the jump rings – and place them so that they curve in the same direction as your long dangles:

Face-Framing Wire Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now close your jump rings and hang them on your earwires:

Face-Framing Wire Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

I recommend wearing these earrings with the longest dangles curving around your face instead of away from it.

It’s a lovely, flattering look!

Face-Framing Wire Earrings Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

And here are the steel and copper ones I made for my sister’s birthday gift:

Face Framing Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

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  • Lynda says:

    Love these swinging earrings, Rena. Your tutorials are always so visual and clear that all levels of jewelry makers would be successful. Thanks!

  • Simple and so amazing! The color and direction variation make of this earrings a dynamic piece. Love them!

  • zoraida says:

    These are great – I pinned them on one of my boards on Pinterest.

  • Leanne says:

    Love the earrings in various colors. I’ve made very similar earrings in sterling for a while now, sometimes with three wires, sometimes with two. I’ve never started with curved wire, however – the curve always comes for me during the hammering. Do you do something to keep the curve under control?

  • Cathy says:

    This are going on my “list” of things to create after Christmas! I need to restock at the gallery where I have my work and these would be a great addition!

    Thanks for sharing Rena!

  • Beth says:

    These are super cute!!! Gonna try some tonight.

  • Christine says:

    These are so simple and pretty. I’m bookmarking this page so that I remember to make these earrings as Christmas gifts next year. Thank you for the beautiful inspiration!

  • Lisa says:

    These are so cool – it inspires me to try some earring making!

  • Erin says:

    Wow. Those are so cool! I love working with wire, but haven’t done it for awhile and I’ve never done anything this awesome. Thanks for creating such a brilliant tutorial. I’m definitely pinning this and, hopefully, coming back to it very soon!

    Thanks again!

  • tanya says:

    These re gorgeous!!! I love the colors! Thanks for sharing at One Creative Weekend!

  • Michelle L says:

    Wow, what a beautiful design. I really adore the color contrast, and the tutorial is perfect. thanks, Rena!

  • Jessica says:

    Thanks for sharing your lovely earrings. They are so pretty and unique…although I don’t think I could keep them safe from the little hands in my house!

  • Pretty!

  • These turned out great. I would buy thhese earrings if I saw them at a store.

  • kelly says:

    wow! very cool, great job!

  • Bethany says:

    These are gorgeous!! Thanks so much for sharing at Wednesday’s Adorned From Above Blog Hop.
    Debi and Charly @ Adorned From Above
    Bethany @ Whistle and Ivy

  • Marti says:

    These look great! Thank you for sharing them at SHOW-licious Craft Showcase!


  • Christine says:

    Stunning!!! I want earrings like that!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer… From Dream To Reality!

  • Thank you so much for stopping in and sharing your inspirational craft with our Crafty Showcase last week! You rock!

    We can’t wait for you to stop in and share more of your ideas with us. The Crafty Showcase is open from Friday midnight until Thursday noon!

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    Susie @Bowdabra

  • BeColorful says:

    These are similar to an earring I wore yesterday but I love that yours are one of a kind and handmade. Such an easy to follow tutorial. Thanks for sharing on BeColorful.

  • Theresa says:

    I used to have a pair of earrings like this that I adored, but I lost one. Thank you so much for such a well written tutorial, I am going to replace those pair of earrings in the near future!

  • These are beautiful. You always make such beautiful jewelry.
    Debi and Charly

  • Rena, oh, I AM soon going to take that hammer out and try your projects. So fun.

  • Siobhan says:

    These turned out perfectly and will make a great gift for my sister, whose Birthday is this week!
    ! I hammered, then burnished the wires in a tumbler before finishing. The irregular hammer marks and high polish achieved by burnishing really made them sparkle and dance in the light,
    Thank you for your inspiring ideas and advice, I discovered your site by chance and I’m delighted with your great advice and ideas on all aspects of jewellery business…it’s wonderful!

  • Thank you for all your lovely comments on this earring project!

    Siobhan, I loved hearing how your earrings turned out! Also, I have to tell you that I too made a pair of these earrings for my sister’s birthday gift – earlier this month! 🙂 Maybe I should re-name these “Sister Earrings”. 🙂

  • Pat Gray says:

    These are adorable – can’t wait to give them a try!

  • Rups says:

    I made it. It came out good.

  • Donna says:

    Rena I love these earrings. I made a few pairs for a outdoor show I had. I also wore these earrings that day. I never make more than 5 pair of anything for a show and I could have sold more easily.
    BTW one of my displays is a wire mesh trash can. I turn it upside down, place it on a cake plate that is on a turntable. The cake plate is to add heigth to the display, and the turntable ( or lazy susan) is so the whole trash can be used and easily veiwed by my customers. I get more comments on this particular display than on any of my others. I found this idea on your sight over a year ago.

  • Julia says:

    Rena, I made these and LOVE them. Talking about inexpensive materials! (I make my own jumprings and ear wires, thanks to you!)
    My neck is so short though, I ended up cutting all wires a little shorter because they were getting caught on my shoulder and clothing, and they worked out fine!
    Cannot thank you enough for all of the tutorials and inspiration you provide!

  • Michelle says:

    Pretty! I’m wondering about the kinds of wire to use. I’m good with real copper and silver, but clueless about the colored wires like the cool green brass you used. How do I choose the right kind of colored wire so the color isn’t chipped away by hammering? Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Hi Michelle, thanks for asking! The brass wire I used in these earrings is ordinary yellow brass (which sometimes has a greenish tinge, as in my photos above). It’s not coated, so there’s no outer layer to chip off.

    Examples of the types of wire with an outer color that could chip away are plated wires (such as silver-plated, gold plated, etc.); colored wires such as some of the aluminum wires; and coated wires such as craft wires.

    I hope this helps – and enjoy making your earrings! 🙂

  • Kim says:

    I love your swinging earrings they’re simply stunning! Your very talented and your tutorials are very well written. You make it look so easy to make.

    Have a great week! Kim S.

  • MariaElena says:

    Another beautiful project! Love, love the earrings. Thank you for sharing! Have a great week! Maria

  • Meaghan says:

    I really think I could save myself a lot of money if I could learn to make my own earrings. Great tutorial!

  • Bismah says:

    These are so beautiful and unique! Looks very easy to do! Shows great creativity and inspiration.

  • Cynthia Landrie says:

    So pretty! Love the mixture of metals. And, as always, a great tutorial.

  • Jill says:

    Beautiful earrings! I love those colours together.

  • Erica says:

    So cute! I have some friends who would love these 🙂

  • These are perfectly lovely- great tutorial, too!

  • Melanie says:

    These look really amazing… I actually thought they were made from bra under-wires at first… ha, shows how much I know!

  • Toni says:

    OMGRena! I love these! I always have a hard time choosing the correct width of wire. Ive so much purchased wire in my craft rm but none stay in shape for bracelets or earrings! Im working with wood pieces instead.
    Would Love to make these earrings so where would I find the correct wire or should I say what do I ask for!?! =) Thank you in advance for your assistance and sharing your ideas.

  • Thank you for the lovely compliments on this project! 🙂

    Toni, first check your existing wire supplies in your craft room to see if you have any round wire – anywhere from 16 to 20 gauge – soft or half-hard.

    I used copper and brass for these earrings, but you’re not limited to those metals.

    If you don’t have round soft wire any of those gauges, you can purchase some from whichever suppliers you’ve used in the past for your wire stash.

    Have fun making these dangly earrings! 🙂

  • Mary Z says:

    I made these tonite and they are sweet and sexy!

  • Ashley says:

    Gorgeous! I just found your site last week, and all I can say is thank you! I’ve been making earrings for several years, always with purchased findings, and have never quite worked up the nerve to experiment with wire. Seriously, the vast array of hammers, gauges, and “metalsmith lingo” is downright intimidating. But your tutorials are so beautifully done, starting to make sense(at last) to a very confused beginner.
    I still have 2 questions, though. What size jump rings are you using here? Did you make them yourself, and if so, what type/gauge of wire did you use? And is there a “perfect” hammer to use for flattening/hardening in this type of project? Thanks so much!

  • Ashley, thank you for your kind words. I’m glad to hear you’re finding so much helpful stuff here at JMJ! 🙂

    I used 10mm jump rings for these earrings. I didn’t make them myself. I would guess these jump rings are about 20 gauge, but any sturdy ones will do for this project.

    Although I used a hardware store hammer for this project (as shown above in the supply list), I usually use a dome-face chasing hammer for flattening wire (available at most jewelry suppliers who carry jewelry tools).

    If I simply want to hammer-harden a finished wire project without flattening it, I use a plastic, rubber, nylon, or rawhide hammer.

  • Mary Z says:

    I’ve been making these even though I really don’t know much about wire. The black 20 gauge I pounded/flattened loses its color to yhe silver underneath. I would like to use various color wire don’t know how to shoes wire that the color won’t come off. Can you give me a tip?

  • Audry says:

    The more I look at these, the more I’m liking them. Think I might give them a try…
    One question though – what kind of wire did you use for your earwires? Any dark grey/black metal I’ve run across has been color-coated, like one might use for wire-wrapping(aluminum or copper underneath, very prone to scratching off at the slightest touch of the pliers. Grrr!). I would love, LOVE, to be able to get away from silver-toned earwires, but I’ve never heard of a darker wire that is safe. Can you please let me in on your secret???

  • Hi Audry! My dark earwires are sterling silver that has blackened (oxidized) naturally. Where I live, metals tend to tarnish quickly in the open air – so sometimes I just leave metal components out for a few weeks and they oxidize quite nicely!

  • Mary Z says:

    Rena, thanks to you I have been playing so much with wire. I now have three hammers, one which is a textured hammer and an array of wire, aluminum all sorts of wonderful things. I even bought a wig jig, which unfortunately, I am struggling with; it’s a metal “thing-a-ma-jig” and the pegs loosen up and flop all over. If you could give me a tip on how to use it or maybe even a better one to purchase. Thank you again for opening up another aspect in the world of jewelry making.

  • That’s fantastic, Mary Z – and lovely to hear. Just imagine the tools and supplies you’ll be playing with a year from now. 🙂

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