Spiral Wire Earring Jackets (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg.

Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

These spiral wire earring jackets can quickly transform a plain pair of stud earrings into gorgeous dangle earrings.

Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

The earring jacket has a wire loop at the top, which you slide onto the earring post behind the stud.

It’s a cool way to make an earring wardrobe more versatile!

Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

To use them, simply thread the wire loop onto the post of your stud earring.

Then insert the earring post into your ear piercing, and attach the earring clutch to the end of the post as you normally would:

How to Wear Earring Jackets - Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

How to Wear Earring Jackets:

Here are two different ways to wear an earring jacket.

In front of the earlobe:

If you slide the earring jacket directly behind the ball of the stud earring, and then insert the earring in your ear, the full earring jacket design will be on the outer side of your earlobe:

How to Wear Earring Jackets - Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Behind the earlobe:

But if you insert the stud earring in your ear first, then add the earring jacket behind your earlobe, the bottom of the earring jacket design will show below your earlobe:

How to Wear Earring Jackets - Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Either way, it’s a lovely look!

Supplies:

  • A pair of stud earrings.
    I used these earrings:
    Stud earrings for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg
  • 18-gauge wire, soft round – 2 pieces, each 5″ (127mm) long.
    I used Artistic wire:
    Wire for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg
  • Sharpie marker – for marking your wire.
  • Wire cutter.
  • Cup bur, jewelry file, or knife-sharpening stone – for smoothing and rounding your wire ends.
  • Round nose pliers.
  • Flat nose pliers.
  • Ring mandrel or other cylindrical item that’s about 3″ (76mm) in circumference – to shape your wire into a circle.
    (If you don’t have a ring mandrel, you might use a prescription pill bottle, a piece of PVC pipe, a wooden chair leg, a round bottle of nail polish, etc.)
  • Nylon, plastic, or rawhide hammer – for flattening and work-hardening your finished earring jackets.
  • Jeweler’s steel block (or other smooth, hard hammering surface) – for hammering your finished earring jackets.

How to Make
Spiral Wire Earring Jackets:

We’ll start by cutting two pieces of wire, each 5″ (127mm) long.

Cut wires for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Use your cup bur, jewelry file, or knife-sharpening stone to smooth and round your wire ends:

Smoothing ends of copper wire - Rena Klingenberg

On each wire, use your Sharpie marker to make a mark that’s 2″ (51mm) from one end of the wire:

Marking wires for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll make one earring jacket at a time.

Pick up one of your wires, and use the tips of your round nose pliers to grasp the wire on the mark you just made:

Start shaping the wire for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now use the fingers of your other hand to press the wire ends straight downward, making a small horse-shoe shape in the wire:

Bending wire for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Use your flat nose pliers to squeeze the wires together, just below your round nose pliers:

Shaping the loop for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now your wire should look like this, with one long side and one short side:

Wire for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Next we’ll form the wire into a circle.

Lay the loop end of your wire across the widest part of your ring mandrel (or other item you’re using as a mandrel):
Shaping wire into a circle for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Then use your fingers to wrap your wire tightly around the mandrel, forming the wire into a circle.

Your wire will spring back a bit, so that it winds up like this:

Shaping wire into a circle for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Your wire should look like this:
Wire shaped into a circle for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll twist the wire loop so that the entire piece of wire will lie flat.

Use your flat nose pliers to grasp the loop of your wire.

The longer end of your wire should be toward the tips of your pliers, and the shorter wire end should be toward the jaws of your pliers.

Keeping the wire loop tightly in your flat nose pliers, twist the circular part of your wire upward until the entire piece of wire (the loop and both wire ends) are in one flat plane:

Flattening the wire for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now your wire should be completely flat, with both wire ends side-by-side, like this:

Flattened wire circle for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll make an open wire spiral with the longer wire end.

If you’re new to making open spirals, or have had trouble with them in the past, see my easy 3-minute video, How to Make an Open Wire Spiral.

Start by using the tips of your round nose pliers to make a small hook in the longer end of the wire.

Then keep moving your pliers along the wire, making a small curve each time you move the pliers:

Making the open wire spiral for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Your open wire spiral should end up looking like this photo on the left (below).

Then gently pull the shorter wire end away from the spiraled wire end, so you’ll be able to grasp the shorter end with your pliers (photo on the right):

Wire with one open spiral for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll make a much smaller open wire spiral in the shorter end of the wire.

Start by using the tips of your round nose pliers to make a small hook in the shorter end of the wire.

Then keep moving your pliers along the wire, making a small curve each time you move the pliers:

Making the smaller wire spiral for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Your first earring jacket is finished!

Make the second one the same way you made the first one:

Finished pair of earring jackets for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll hammer the earring jackets to flatten them out (they’re usually a bit warped after all the wireworking), and to work-harden them which makes them sturdier.

Hammer one earring jacket at a time, making sure you whack every part of the surface.

Then turn the wire over and whack every part of the second side:

Hammer-hardening wires for Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

You can wipe off any remaining Sharpie ink from your wire with a few drops of rubbing alcohol on a scrap of paper towel.

Your earring jackets are now ready to put onto your stud earrings!

Finished earring jacked on stud earring - Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Here are the finished spiral wire earring jackets in action:

Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Spiral Wire Earring Jackets - 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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