After I took a class to learn how to make earwires, I started thinking about what else I could make with wire and different sized mandrels. I have been wanting to make my own wire findings. I have even played around with a jig, but we’ll get to that later.
This Christmas, I made earrings for my in-laws, including my stepson’s mother. She has gauged ears, so I decided to try making earwires for gauged ears based on what I thought would work. What I came up with was a fun, swirly hoop. After making them, I thought they would also make a fun finding for earrings as well.
Thus, my swirly earring finding was born!
Here are a couple tutorials that will aid you in working with wire. Please give them a read.
- Wire 1: Basic Loop – required for a basic understanding of wire working, work hardening, basic wire tools (pliers, wire cutters), eye fatigue, etc.
- Easy Peasy Earwires – working with mandrels and tools for hardening wire.
- 18 or 16 gauge, half hard, German jewelry wire – remember, the smaller the number the thicker the wire. I used 16 gauge wire; however, this wire is pretty thick and may be a little more challenging to work with. I think 18 gauge wire would have worked just as well. Read my Wire 1 review for more information on wire and hardness.
- Side cutters
- Needle nose pliers
- Bench Block
- Mandrel – a mandrel can be anything. In this tutorial I used a finger mandrel; however, I could have used a prescription bottle or a bottle from my spice rack. Choose a mandrel slightly smaller then your desired shape, since the wire will spring out to a larger size.
You may want to make your earwire such that the eye faces forwards, perpendicular to the hook. This would allow the hoop to lay flat against the face. The way I made it the circle sometimes lays flat against my face, but prefers to face forward, showing off it’s shape.
You could also flip the finding over and attach the earwire to the larger circle, allowing it to be loose in the earwire. You could then attach beads to the outer P, which is now at the bottom. This is how I made the earwires for my stepson’s mother, who has gauged ears.
I used the same thank you card stationary from my previous project to make jewelry cards for this project. I LOVE the yellow background in contrast to the black beads.
So what do you think of my new earrings?
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