Rectangle Hoop Earrings (Tutorial)
by Rena Klingenberg. © 2003-Present Rena Klingenberg. All Rights Reserved
These rectangle hoop earrings add a dashing touch of geometry to your look.
They’re wonderfully lightweight and comfortable to wear.
And they’re very fast and easy to make! 🙂
- Two pieces of wire, each 11.8cm 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 earrings you see on this page, I made one pair in 18 gauge copper wire, and one in 20 gauge brass wire.
- Ruler for measuring and marking your wire.
- Sharpie marker (or other all-purpose marker).
- Wire cutter.
- Cup bur or jewelry file for smoothing and rounding your wire ends.
- Flat nose pliers.
- Round nose pliers.
- Chain nose pliers.
- A small piece of #0000 steel wool for additional smoothing of the wire end that will be inserted in your ear piercing.
- 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
Rectangle Hoop Earrings
The earrings we’re making here will have a finished size of 4cm (1.6″) long from top to bottom.
We’ll start by cutting our two wires. Each wire will be 11.8cm long:
Now we need to smooth and round both ends of our wires, so there won’t be anything sharp on the ends:
Now working with one of your wires at a time, use your ruler and Sharpie marker to measure and mark the 3 places on your wire shown below.
The blue lines across the wire show where to mark your wire:
Now mark your second wire the same way as your first wire.
When you’re finished, your wires should be marked like this:
Now we’re going to work with one wire at a time to turn our wires into earrings.
Start by using the tips of your flat nose pliers to grasp your wire at the Sharpie mark that’s 1.8cm from one end of your wire.
Your pliers should be right beside the Sharpie mark, not on top of it. (This way the mark will wind up in the center of the bend we’re about to make.)
This is how your pliers and wire should be positioned:
Now make a 90-degree bend in your wire, so your wire now has a right angle in it with your Sharpie mark in the center of the angle:
Your wire should now look like this:
Now move your flat nose pliers along to the second Sharpie mark on your wire.
Again, the tips of your pliers should be right beside the mark, not on top of it:
Now make a 90-degree bend here, so we have another right angle with a mark in the center of it:
Your wire should now look like this:
Note: If you want to string any beads onto the bottom wire of your hoop earrings, now is the time.
Now move your flat nose pliers along to the third Sharpie mark on your wire.
The tips of your pliers should be right beside the mark:
Make a 90-degree bend here, so we have another right angle with a mark in the center of it – and we also have all 4 sides of our hoop:
Your wire should look like this:
Now it’s time to make the tiny hook end of our earring clasp.
We now have two wire ends:
A short wire end that will become the earwire that’s worn in your ear piercing; and a long wire end that we’ll turn into a hook to hold the earwire closed.
First we’ll work with the long wire end.
Using the very tips of your round nose pliers, grasp the tip of your long wire end:
Now curve the tip of that wire into a tiny hook that looks like this; see how it fastens around the earwire:
Now let’s work with the short wire end (the earwire).
First, use your #0000 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, using the very tips of your chain nose pliers, grasp the tip of your short wire end:
Make a tiny upward bend at the end of this wire:
Now your earring clasp should look like this when it’s closed:
Use your plastic, nylon, or rawhide hammer and steel jeweler’s block (or other smooth, sturdy surface) to work-harden your earring.
Be careful not to hammer the tiny hook.
When you’re finished hammering both sides, your hoop earring should be nice and sturdy!
Use a few drops of rubbing alcohol on a paper towel scrap to wipe off any remaining Sharpie ink from your wire.
Now follow these same steps on your second piece of wire to turn it into a matching earring.
By measuring and marking your wire as we did in this project, you can easily make both earrings precisely the same size, every time!
I created a lovely lime green pierced ear from craft foam, so it could model how this earring style is worn; see both front and back views:
You can also string one or more beads onto your wire as you make these earrings – or wire-wrap beads to the hoop frame after the earrings are finished.