Wire Ear Cuff with Changeable Dangles (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg.
Wire Ear Cuff with Changeable Dangles - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

These changeable ear cuffs would be fun to sell (or to give as gifts) with a selection of dangles to wear on them.

Wire Ear Cuff with Changeable Dangles - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

You can wear a single ear cuff on one ear – or make a pair to wear at the same time.

Wire Ear Cuff with Changeable Dangles - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

This style is a nice alternative for people who don’t wear pierced earrings.

Wire Ear Cuff with Changeable Dangles - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Or for people who like to wear more ear adornments in addition to their earrings!

Supplies for One Ear Cuff:

  • 1 piece of 20-gauge round soft wire, 4″ (10.2cm) long.
    I used Artistic Wire / Craft Wire.
  • Ruler – to measure where to mark your wire.
  • Regular black Sharpie marker (or other all-purpose marker) – for marking your wire.
  • Ultra fine tip Sharpie marker – to use as a mandrel.
  • Wire cutter.
  • Wire rounder / cup bur, jewelry file, knife sharpening stone, or emery board – to smooth and round your wire ends.
  • Round nose pliers.
  • Supplies for dangles to hang on your ear cuff – jump rings, charms, chains, beads, headpins, etc.

A Note About These Ear Cuffs:

Although many ear cuffs are made to wear interchangeably on either ear, this particular ear cuff design is made to fit specifically either a right ear or a left ear:

Left ear and right ear - Wire Ear Cuff with Changeable Dangles - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

The long side of the ear cuff wraps around the back of the rim of your ear; the short side of the ear cuff wraps around the cartilage inside your ear:

Wire Ear Cuff with Changeable Dangles - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Both left and right ear cuffs are made exactly the same – until it’s time to bend them around your Sharpie mandrel.

That’s when you choose whether to make a left ear cuff or a right ear cuff.

How to Put on an Ear Cuff:

The easiest way is to put the ear cuff around the top of your ear, and then slide it down to the area where you’d like to wear it:

How to put on an ear cuff - Wire Ear Cuff with Changeable Dangles - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

The short side of the cuff should wrap around the cartilage inside your ear, and the long side of the cuff should wrap around the back of your ear.

Gently bend the ends of your ear cuff to get a secure, comfortable fit for your unique ear.

How to Make a Wire Ear Cuff
with Changeable Dangles:

Cut your 4″ (10.2cm) piece of wire.

Now we’ll round and smooth both ends of this wire, using a wire rounder / cup bur (or jewelry file, knife sharpening stone, or emery board):

Smoothing ends of copper wire - Rena Klingenberg

Next we’ll make two marks on our wire so we’ll know exactly where to bend it.

Lay your wire against your ruler, and use your Sharpie to make these two marks on your wire (the blue lines represent where you’ll make your marks):
Marking wire for Wire Ear Cuff with Changeable Dangles - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll bend the wire on the two marks we just made.

The instructions for each step are below this photo:
Wire Ear Cuff with Changeable Dangles - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • Photo 1:
    Use the tips of your round nose pliers to grasp your wire, right on the 0.75″ mark you made on the wire.
  • Photo 2:
    Now bend both wire ends straight downward.
  • Photo 3:
    Now use the tips of your round nose pliers to grasp your wire, right on the 1.25″ mark you made on the wire.
  • Photo 4:
    Bend both sides of the wire straight down.

Now your wire should look something like this:

Wire Ear Cuff with Changeable Dangles - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

It’s time to make the small loop at the top of the ear cuff.

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

Wire Ear Cuff with Changeable Dangles - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

. . . and roll that wire end into a small loop:

Wire Ear Cuff with Changeable Dangles - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Your wire should look like this:

Wire Ear Cuff with Changeable Dangles - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll make an open wire spiral with the long straight end of the wire.

(If you’re new to making open wire spirals, see my quick video, How to Make an Open Wire Spiral.)

Use the tips of your round nose pliers to grasp the tip of the long end of your wire:
Wire Ear Cuff with Changeable Dangles - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll curve the wire into an open spiral.

The instructions for each step are below this photo:

Making an open spiral for Wire Ear Cuff with Changeable Dangles - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • Photo 1:
    Roll the wire end into a tiny hook (which will end up becoming the center of the open spiral).
  • Photo 2:
    To grow the open spiral, keep moving your pliers a tiny way along your straight wire, making a small curve in the wire each time you move your pliers.
  • Photo 3:
    Continue to move your pliers along your straight wire in tiny steps, making a curve with each step, until you’ve built an open spiral that’s directly across from the small loop you made in the other end of your wire.
  • Photo 4:
    Now your wire should look like this.

Use your round nose pliers to tweak your wire a bit, to make the small loop and the open spiral each touch the straight wire that runs across the middle of your ear cuff:

Wire Ear Cuff with Changeable Dangles - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Your wire should look like the image below.

Look at the “wings” that stick out on each side of your ear cuff. You should see one short wing and one long wing:

Wire Ear Cuff with Changeable Dangles - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now it’s time to bend our wire around our mandrel (our ultra fine point Sharpie marker).

This step is where we choose whether to make the ear cuff fit the left ear or the right ear (as shown in the image below).

If you lay your wire across the Sharpie with the short wing on your left, you’ll make an ear cuff to wear on the left ear.

And if you lay your wire across the Sharpie with the short wing on your right, you’ll make an ear cuff to wear on the right ear:

Left ear vs. right ear - Wire Ear Cuff with Changeable Dangles - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Once your make your choice of left ear or right ear, it’s time to bend your wire around the Sharpie mandrel.

The instructions for each step are below this photo:

Shaping the ear cuff for Wire Ear Cuff with Changeable Dangles - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • Photo 1:
    Place your thumb on top of your wire. Your thumb should cover the small loop and the open spiral.
  • Photo 2:
    With the fingers of your other hand, bend the “wings” of your ear cuff as far as you can around the Sharpie mandrel.
  • Photo 3:
    Now remove your wire from the Sharpie, and use your round nose pliers to give the ends of your ear cuff more of a curve.
  • Photo 4:
    Now your ear cuff is finished.

How to Attach Dangles
to Your Ear Cuff

You can wear your ear cuff unadorned, or add changeable dangles like charms, hoops, chains, beads on headpins, etc.

Simply thread them onto the open spiral at the bottom of your ear cuff like this:

Adding a dangle to Wire Ear Cuff with Changeable Dangles - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Wire Ear Cuff with Changeable Dangles - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Wire Ear Cuff with Changeable Dangles - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Wire Ear Cuff with Changeable Dangles - 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.

 

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 59 comments

Subscribe without commenting