Hoop & Bead Earrings (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg.

Hoop and Bead Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

These classy hoop and bead earrings are simple to make – and will quickly become a favorite to wear!
Hoop and Bead Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Although I’ve adorned these earrings with beads, they’re also lovely to wear as plain hoops without beads.

Hoop and Bead Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Supplies:

  • Two pieces of 20- or 21-gauge round wire, hard or half-hard; each 69mm (2.72″) long.

    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.

    I used 20 gauge copper wire in this tutorial.

  • 6 Beads – 2 rondels and 4 seed beads.
    To make sure you can slide your beads around the curved wire, choose rondel beads with holes that are slightly large fit on your wire.
    I used these 2 Czech glass faceted rondel beads in 8x5mm size, plus 4 seed beads in 6/0 size:
    Beads for Hoop and Bead Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg
  • Ruler for measuring and marking your wire.
  • Fine-point Sharpie marker (or other all-purpose marker), for marking your wire.
  • Wire cutter.
  • Cup bur or jewelry file for smoothing and rounding your wire ends.
  • Ring mandrel – or other cylindrical item with a diameter of about 14.07mm (0.554″) – or a circumference of about 44.2mm (1.74″) – for shaping the bottom curve of your hoops.
  • Flat nose pliers.
  • Round nose pliers.
  • Chain nose pliers.
  • A small piece of #0000 steel wool for additional smoothing of the wire ends that will be inserted in your ear piercings.
  • A few drops of rubbing alcohol on a paper towel scrap to remove the Sharpie ink from your wire.
  • Optional (but recommended): Jeweler’s steel block (or other smooth, sturdy surface) and a nylon, plastic, or rawhide hammer for work-hardening the finished earrings.

How to Make
Hoop & Bead Earrings:

The earrings we’re making here will have a finished size of 15x27mm (0.6″ x 1.06″) – including the beads.

We’ll start by cutting our two wires. Each wire will be 69mm (2.72″) long:

Wires for Hoop and Bead Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll use a cup bur, jewelry file, or knife-sharpening stone to smooth and round both ends of each wire, so there won’t be anything sharp on the ends:

Smoothing ends of copper wire - Rena Klingenberg

Now working with one of your wires at a time, use your ruler and Sharpie marker to measure and mark the 2 places on your wire shown below.

The blue lines across the wire show where to mark your wire:

Measuring and marking wire for Hoop and Bead Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now mark your second wire the same way as your first wire.

When you’re finished, your wires should be marked like this:

Marked wire for Hoop and Bead Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’re going to work with one wire at a time to turn our wires into earrings.

Get out your ring mandrel (or other object you’re using as a mandrel).

We’re going to shape the bottom curve of your wire hoop.

Place your wire across size 3 on the ring mandrel.

The 30mm mark you made on the wire should be centered across the mandrel.

Now wrap the wire ends smoothly downward around size 3 on the mandrel, making a horse-shoe shape – with the 30mm wire mark in the center of the horse-shoe curve.

Press the wire ends slightly toward each other, so that your horse-shoe is now almost a teardrop shape:

Shaping the wire for Hoop and Bead Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Remove your wire from the mandrel.

It should look like this (with the 30mm wire mark in the center of the bottom curve):

Wire after shaping the bottom curve - Hoop and Bead Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

It’s time to use your plastic, nylon, or rawhide hammer and steel jeweler’s block (or other smooth, sturdy surface) to work-harden your earring.

This will help make your earrings stronger and sturdier.

Hammer all over one side of your wire; then turn the wire over and hammer all over the other side:

Hammer-hardening wire for Hoop and Bead Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now string your beads onto your wire:

Stringing beads onto wire for Hoop and Bead Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Slide the beads around till they’re centered on the big curve of your earring:

Adding the beads for Hoop and Bead Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll make the top part of your earring.

Use your flat nose pliers to grasp your wire, with the plier jaws just above the 12mm mark you made on the wire:

Bending the wire for Hoop and Bead Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Bend the wire straight over toward the other end of your wire:

Bending the wire for Hoop and Bead Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Your wire should look like this, with the two wire ends crossed:

Almost finished - Hoop and Bead Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll make the little hook that will be the latch for your earring.

Use the tips of your round nose pliers to grasp the tip of your vertical wire end:

Making the earring latch for Hoop and Bead Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

. . . and roll that wire end downward into a neat little hook:

Making a hook latch for Hoop and Bead Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now your little hook should look like this:

Hook latch for Hoop and Bead Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Let’s take a moment to straighten and adjust your wire, so the top wire of your earring will work nicely with the little hook you just made.

You may need to use your fingers to press the long sides of your earring closer together, so that the top wire of your earring protrudes slightly beyond the hook, as shown in the photo below.

Also use your flat nose pliers to adjust the angle of your top wire so that it touches the inside of your little hook:

Finishing up - Hoop and Bead Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now use the tips of your chain nose pliers to grasp the tip of the straight wire at the top of your earring:

Finishing up - Hoop and Bead Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

. . . and make a tiny bend, so that the wire tip will point upward when the earring is worn:

Finishing up - Hoop and Bead Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Use a small piece of #0000 fine steel wool to completely smooth and “sand” the tip of your earwire so there’s nothing but smooth surfaces to go through your ear piercing.

Now your finished earring should look like this:

Finished earring - Hoop and Bead Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Remove the Sharpie marks from your earring using a few drops of rubbing alcohol on a scrap of paper towel.

Now make the second earring, the same way you made the first one.

When you’re finished, your pair of hoop and bead earrings should look something like this:

Hoop and Bead Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Hoop and Bead Earrings - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Hoop and Bead Earrings - 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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  • Loretta Poe says:

    Love this design, so simple and elegant. The fact that it is so easy to customize is really a plus!

  • Leah says:

    Thank you for the great tutorial! I am definitely going to make some of these.

  • Aruna says:

    Love the hoop earrings Rena. Your instructions are always so clear. I will definitely try them. I love the Czech glass beads you used.

  • Julia says:

    Rena, these are lovely and simple, your detailed instructions are so clear! I love Czech breads and have been purchasing them without any idea of what to make with them! Thanks once again!!

  • shaheen says:

    How pretty are these! Thanks for the tutorial.

  • Adri says:

    So simple and effective! I can’t believe I haven’t made any like this yet. Thank you Rena, you always open my creativity to new possibilities!

  • Peggy Neer says:

    How to get back into making jewelry: print this off and just do it. This is the kind of motivation I need, quick, easy and pretty. Thank you.

  • I don’t know how you manage to keep them the same size. You make it look so easy.

  • Faith says:

    Although these earrings look cute, i have found that earrings with such a wide width at the top never hang evenly. Sometimes this can be resolved by rounding the wire a bit that will be inserted into the earhole. I would also shorten the same wire for the same reason.

    Other than that. I love this idea; simple, cute, and an easy way to get rid of the many tiny stashes of only a few beads we all eventually accumulate

  • Ntina says:

    I love them! they are so cute and classy! I saw this picture and I just had to come and see the how-to! pinned!

  • Jann Olson says:

    These are such a pretty shad of pink! Thanks for sharing.
    hugs,
    Jann

  • Kristen says:

    Those are beautiful! And purple is my favorite color 🙂

  • Wendy says:

    Gorgeous! I love the color.

  • Amy Smith says:

    Hello Rena,
    I love all you wonderful designs and how you break them down to simple steps that even I can make your beautiful pieces! My question is, once I have put all that effort into making something, what should I do to polish or coat the copper wire to keep it’s natural shiny pink color and keep it looking like it just came off the spool? I would appreciate any ideas to help keep my pieces looking beautiful.
    Thank you, Amy

  • Cynthia L says:

    These are beautiful and your tutorials are so great! I know I could make these with your instructions.

  • Cyndi says:

    Thank you for sharing x

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