Jewellery

How to make earrings

This issue we are going to look at the simple steps at making dangle earrings. You can move on from here to so many variations that no two pairs of earrings will ever be the same.

tools to make earringsYou will require some basic tools to make this pair of earrings. A pair of side cutters, a pair of chain nose pliers and most importantly are the round nose pliers. If you do not have these we sell the two pliers on our web site and you may even find the cutters in Hubbies tool box.

how to make earrings step 1Now for the supplies, you will need two 50 mm long head pins, we have used our sterling ball end head pins, though you may have fancy end ones or flat head pins the choice is yours. A pair of earring hooks and a selection of beads.

For this demonstration we are using 22 gauge head pins, this wire is stronger then 24 gauge but also harder to manipulate you may find it easier to do the loops with 24 gauge to start with.

how to make earrings step 2We are going to make double dangle earrings. The first step is to thread a bead onto your head pin. We have used our Turkish sterling silver heart beads and are sure you can find a cute little bead for your bottom dangle also. The heart bead is appx 5.5 mm long so you will not want a bead much larger than this as then you will not have as much length for your top dangle.

how to make earrings step 4Time to cut the wire with enough length remaining to make your loop. Though most will say to leave 1 cm we prefer to leave 8 mm. Another clever way of measuring this is to use a 8 mm bead, thread it over the heart bead cut the wire and then remove the 8 mm measuring bead. Keep the excess wire handy for later.

how to make earrings step 3Now you will need to bend the wire to a right angle. This can be tricky as your bead will want to move around. We do not use pliers for this step though many people find it easy with chain nose pliers. We like to get our bend as close to the bead as possible to make a closer loop, to do this place the bottom of the head pin on the flat of your thumb while bending the wire over.

how to make earrings step 5Time to make a loop using your round nose pliers (RN). If you need to you can mark your pliers with a marker so you make the same size loop each time. Grasp the wire with your RN the end of the wire should sit as flush to you RN as possible with very little jutting through. Now holding onto the RN with your palm facing away from you. Begin to turn a loop, it may help to practice on a spare piece of wire first. You will need to let go and re-grasp the head pin about 2/3rds through the turn, just sit the RN snugly back into the loop and continue turning. Make any adjustments you think you need to, firstly with the RN to close the loop and then use your chain nose if you need to centre the entire loop as it may be a bit off to one side.

how to make earrings step 6how to make earrings step 7Now to use the left over wire from when you cut the head pin earlier. You want to turn this wire into an eye pin. Measure 8 mm on a ruler and grasp with your chain nose (CN) pliers. Using your fingers bend the wire to a right angle. You can also use the 8 mm measuring bead here. Thread the bead on the wire and stand on the table top with the bead on the bottom and the hard surface preventing the wire from goin through the bead. Fold the long part of the wire over to make a right angle.

how to make earrings step 8Make a loop like you did earlier. This loop is actually easier to make as you have no beads to get in the way. Now you have a hand made eye pin ready for your top dangle.

how to make earrings step 9Now for the fun bit. You get to thread your beads on making sure that you have 8 mm of head pin left spare or room for your 8 mm measuring bead to fit on. We have used an 8 mm gemstone bead with Karen hill tribe silver bead caps and a couple of lovely 4 mm Swarovski bicones though the choice is yours. Have some fun playing around until you find the combination that best pleases you.

how to make earrings step 10This is the trickiest move as you try to bend the spare wire for your loop. Often the beads move or the whole wire decides to bend, perseverance I am afraid is the answer here. Sometimes it works to use a table edge to bend the wire against, try a few ways and see which works for you. Then when you have your right angle make your loop as before and you are ready to repeat these steps for your second lot of components.

how to make earrings step 11To join the two dangles together and then to your earring finding you need to open a couple of the loops. Dont pull the loop out wide undoing it, instead move it forward with your CN pliers keeping the circular shape. When you close the loop this way it will still be nice and round.

how to make earrings step 12Attach the two dangles together and then attach these to an earring finding of your choice. You may want to use ball or fancy studs, French hooks or kidney wires as our sterling silver fancy ones here. There you go you now have a charming pair of dangle earrings and we bet you are dying to go and make some more. What great personal gifts they make, you can capture some of yourself in your designs yet they don’t take much time to make.

jewellery pliersA tip, if your head pins are bent you can straighten them with your fingers and a cloth or use a pair of Nylon jaw pliers. Straightening does harden the wire so don’t over do it. If you find you mark the wire when making loops etc then try coating them with some tool magic which can be found in our tools and books catalogue.

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