Wire Helix Earrings (Tutorial)
by Rena Klingenberg. © 2003-Present Rena Klingenberg. All Rights Reserved
In this wire helix earring project we’ll create gracefully spiraling earrings that are lightweight to wear.
This is how they look when being worn:
Each earring is made with a single piece of wire.
This a lovely design for people who like earrings to be big and interesting – but not heavy.
Loops at the bottoms of these earrings can accommodate any type of dangle you like.
- 2 pieces of 20 gauge round soft or half-hard wire, each 18cm (7.1″) long.
I used soft copper wire.
- 2 dangle elements.
I used 2 faceted orange briolette beads, size 8mm x 10mm (0.32″ x 0.39″).
- 2 small jump rings that will fit through your beads (or whatever you use for the dangles).
I used antiqued copper jump rings, in 6mm (0.24″) size.
- Wire cutter.
- Cup bur / wire rounder – to smooth and round the wire ends.
- Round nose pliers.
- Flat nose pliers.
- Chain nose pliers.
- Sharpie marker – for marking your wire, and also to use as a mandrel.
- Small piece of #0000 steel wool, for final smoothing of the ear wire end of the earrings.
How to Make
Wire Helix Earrings:
Cut 2 pieces of wire, each 18cm (7.1″) long.
Use a cup bur / wire rounder to smooth and round the ends of your wire:
On each wire, use a Sharpie marker to draw a mark that’s 5cm (1.99″) from one end of the wire.
Each wire should be marked like this:
Now we’ll make the earrings one at a time.
We’ll use the Sharpie pen as a mandrel to make spiraling wire (helix).
Lay one of your wires across the Sharpie pen, with the marked spot on the wire centered on the pen:
In one hand, hold the pen and the wire together.
Your thumb should be right on top of the marked spot on the wire:
Now start winding the long end of the wire tightly around the pen, leaving an even gap between each wrap:
Continue wrapping the wire around the pen until you run out of wire:
Slide your wire off the pen.
It should look something like this:
Now we’ll turn the long, straight end of the wire into an ear hook.
Use the tips of your flat nose pliers to grasp the straight end of the wire.
Note that the Sharpie mark you drew on the wire is beside the tip of the pliers:
Still grasping your wire with the flat nose pliers, bend the straight wire end upward, so that your wire looks like this:
Now use the widest part of your round nose pliers to grasp the wire, right where you just bent the straight stem upward:
Bend the straight wire end firmly over the plier jaw, away from the spiral end, with the straight wire end pointing downward:
Your wire should look something like this:
Now we’ll make a small bend at the tip of the earwire end of the earring, to make it easier to insert the earring into the ear piercing.
Use the tips of your flat nose pliers to grasp the tip of the straight end of your wire:
Now gently bend the tip of the wire end away from the spirals:
. . . so that your wire looks like this:
It’s time to finish off the spiral end of the wire by creating a small loop that will hold one of the dangles.
Near the tips of your round nose pliers, grasp the tip of the spiral end of your wire:
. . . and roll that wire end into a small loop around one jaw of your pliers:
Your small wire loop should look like this at the end of your spiraled wire:
Now use the tips of your round nose pliers to grasp the wire loop and center the loop on its wire stem:
Your small wire loop should look like this:
Use the tips of your flat nose pliers to grasp your small wire loop.
Then bend the “neck” of the small wire loop at a 90-degree angle, so that the loop will point directly downward then the earring is worn:
Now your wire should look like this:
It’s time to attach your dangle to the bottom of the wire earring.
I used these faceted orange briolette beads:
. . . and these antiqued copper jump rings:
Use your flat nose and chain nose pliers to twist open one of your jump rings, so that you use it to connect your dangle to the small loop at the bottom of your wire earring:
Then use your flat nose and chain nose pliers to twist the jump ring securely shut again.
Now make the second earring the same way as you made the first one.
Use a small piece of #0000 steel wool to do the final smoothing of the earwire end on each earring.
Your finished Wire Helix Earrings may look something like this: