Making Earwires


  • 22 gauge half hard sterling silver wire, about 6 inches
  • 2 - 4 mm or smaller beads, be careful with crystals as they tend to chip and crack (optional)
  • Small nail clippers* and sturdy flush cutters
  • A pen or pencil with about a 10 mm barrel, and a ridge on it to hold the wire (we're not fancy around here)
  • Round nose pliers
  • Flat nose pliers
  • Wire file

*you might want to have a set of clippers just for jewelry purposes... no ucky toe jam for the ears! :)

Earwire making supplies

Step 1: Take your nail clippers or flush cutters and nip off the very end of your wire. I find that nail clippers leave a cleaner straight edge but you may still need to file the end if it is rough.

Making earwires step 1

Step 2: Take your round nose pliers in your dominate hand and place the end of the wire you just clipped in them and make a full wrap around to make an eye pin.

For instructions on making eye pins and wire loops click here. (coming soon)

Making earwires step 2

Step 3: Add one of the beads you selected. This step is optional. You may prefer to not have a bead. I find it adds an extra flair to the design sometimes.

Making earwires step 3

Step 4: Now,with your dominate hand, take your round nose pliers and place them around the wire at the top of the bead. we want to "break the neck" of the wire, or add a bend in it to keep the bead in place. Very gently bend the pliers and the wire at the same time. If the wire won’t bend, move the pliers up just a bit away from the bead. This is where many crystals will crack and chip so take extra care in this step not to do that.

Making earwires step 4

Making earwires step 4a

Step 5: Now take your pen, pencil, or mandrel and place the wire on it, just under the ridged area if using a pen or pencil. The ridge will help you hold the wire in one spot as you wrap around the barrel. Place your thumb over the wire on the pencil. Begin to wrap the wire around the pencil barrel.

Making earwires step 5

Making earwires step 5

Step 6: Continue wrapping around the barrel until you get to the other side. You want to make a U shape with the wire. Then put a slight bend in the wire.

Making earwires step 6

Step 7: This is what you have so far, you may notice that the end of the ear wire bends out as your wrapping around the barrel of your pencil. This is ok, don't try to fix it while your wrapping, you can fix it with your flat nose pliers once your done.

Making earwires step 9

Step 8: Now take your flush cutters and cut off the excess wire at the end, you'll use this extra wire to make your other ear wire. Also use your nail clippers to cut off any jagged ends; you don't want to tear your ears up with a pointy ear wire. If you still have a sharp edge use your file.

Making earwires step 10

Step 9: You can now take your flat nose pliers and grasp the looped end of your ear wire. This will allow you to straighten out that bend that may have happened.

Making earwires step 9

Step 10: You can now use your pencil barrel to finish off the ear wire, if the bends aren't quite perfect or something needs to be shaped up a bit.

Making earwires step 10

And your finished pieces....

Making Earwires Finished Pieces

Return to the top of Making Earwires

Return to Jewelry Making Instructions

Return to the Home Page