Learn how to make wire earrings from scratch – even if you’re new to jewelry making! This easy tutorial on how to make jewelry is great for jewelry artists looking for a new skill or for anyone who hasn’t tried this before! You can find the full list of easy DIY earrings right here. Disclosure: this post contains commissioned links.
While I love creating wire-wrapped jewelry such as these easy wire wrapped pendants, sometimes it’s wonderful to just scale it back even more and stick just to wire.
I could have made my own earwires as well and then it would have been only made out of wire, but since earwires are cheap enough to purchase, I stuck to premade ones for this.
When you scale back to wire only, you’ll find that the designs have a unique charm. And it doesn’t have to be so complicated or pricey to do that. Your earrings will have a polished, professional result.
Back when I started making jewelry, and I wanted to learn metalsmithing, I was discouraged from doing so, due to potential harm to unborn children from the airborne metals. While I CANNOT verify if this is true or a rumor, I decided to play it safe, and so I never went on to drilling and soldering metals.
That means that when learning how to work with metal only and how to make wire earrings, I had to be creative in how I designed this. So I’m going to teach you how to make wire earrings without soldering or drilling.
I do this by configuring any loops and connectors I need into the design of the earring itself.
Why you should learn how to make wire earrings using precious metals only:
When you’re making such designs, hammering, etc, you’ll want to work with precious metals and metal mixes such as copper, sterling silver, or gold-filled wire. This is not as expensive as you might think since the project uses very little of it – I don’t think these earrings cost me more than $2 to make.
Translate that into holiday and birthday gifts (hey, it’s the perfect Mother’s Day gift too!) and you’re saving a boatload.
Since they’re sterling silver, you’d be paying at least $15 for these pre-made in-store, and that’s if they’re mass-produced.
And they don’t take very long to create.
If you’d like a cheaper practice wire, go for copper.
Precious metals are much softer and more pliable than brass or other “fake” wires. You’ll be able to hammer it into shape which adds to its appeal.
In addition, the metal is the primary focus here. You want to be putting your efforts into a good place and a quality piece.
To make these wire earrings, I used 20 gauge half-round wire. You’ll get a much wider piece with thicker wire (16 gauge might be a great place to start) but it’s also more pricey. It’s your call, of course!
Hammering your wire earrings with a chasing hammer serves 3 purposes:
- You’re hardening your wire, making it more sturdy as a final piece and securing the shape
- You’re reshaping widening your wire, making a wide, flat stick
- You’re adding some beautiful, handmade visual appeal
Now onto the tutorial on how to make wire earrings!
What you need to make DIY wire earrings:
- 16-20 gauge copper, sterling silver, or gold-filled wire
- Earwires in the metal that coordinates
- A chasing hammer
- A steel bench block
- A wire rounder or regular file
- Round nose pliers
- Wire cutters
- Recommended: a ruler
- Recommended: nylon jaw pliers (to avoid nicking your wire)
How to make wire earrings:
I apologize for the slightly less pretty than usual photos – I made these in my craft room, without proper staging, and then decided to teach you how to make wire earrings using these photos on a whim.
1. Cut two pieces of wire in the length that you’d like them to be, plus about 8mm. Use the round nose pliers to bend your wire back about 8mm from the edge at a 90 degree angle. Then, curl that 8mm section in from the top edge to form a loop.
2. File the ends of your wires using the wire rounder or file so that they’re smooth and not sharp. Place your wire bits on the bench blocks so that the loop you made hangs over the edge as pictured. Make sure that the front of the earring shows the closed side of the loop – that the opening is to the back (yep, it’s all in the details!)
Use the flat side of your hammer to flatten your wires, avoiding the loop. Keep in mind that wire moves in the direction that it’s hammered, so apply gentle, consistent pressure in the direction that you want the wire to move. Make sure to straighten your wire as you go along – you’re hardening it, so don’t wait until the end to make sure it’s straight. I used nylon jaw pliers to help adjust and straighten it as I went along.
3. Now, flip to the round side to create your texture. You’re still going to be moving the wire around more when hammering with this side, so keep that in mind. Make sure your wire is still hanging straight, and to avoid the loop.
Do this until you are satisfied with the texture – and don’t worry about the imperfections – they are quite beautiful!
4. Create a shape for your top section – I did an irregular circle, with the opening at the top. Make two identical ones – one for each earring. File the ends.
5. Hammer it like you did with your stick, making sure that the two ends overlap a bit, as pictured. Reshape it as you hammer to make sure it’s sitting in a shape you like.
6. String your stick onto the circle. Make sure that the loop on the stick is shut tight (this will be the weakest point of your final earring).
7. Your top circle will be held closed by the earwire. Attach it as pictured, so that it secures your wire circle in place3.
Your wire earrings are complete – wear them with pride and joy because this is the real stuff!
And enjoy the stunning texture of hammered silver jewelry.
How did you enjoy learning how to make wire earrings? Which jewelry making tutorials would you like to see here? Comment below!
Loved these wire earrings? Try the tutorials below: