Tuesday, November 8, 2016

How to Make Elfin Earring Wires Like a PRO

There are times when you want your handmade earrings to have a more sleek and modern look and using elfin earring wires (aka elven or almond earring wires) can do just that. It's easy to source shepherd hooks or french earring wires but finding elfin earring wires is a little more difficult so this tutorial will show you how to quickly and easily make your own. And the beauty is, you can make them in any colour or size to suit your design.

So, grab your jewellery making pliers and let's get started. Here's what you'll need:
  • Two 41mm eye pins
  • Flat nose pliers
  • A ring mandrel (or other round form to shape the earrings - a 3/4" diameter bottle works well)
  • Cup burr tool or a metal file
  • Permanent marker
  • Ruler
  • Baby wipe or methylated spirits (denatured alcohol, rubbing alcohol or similar)
Place the eye pin around the outside of the ring mandrel with the loop sitting perpendicular to the mandrel. You will need to press it firmly around the form so that it is evenly curved. Repeat with the second eye pin.
Jewellery wire being formed around a ring mandrel

Making both ear wires at the same time will help you make them the same shape.
Two cureved eye pins

Once you've curved both the eye pins, place them on the ruler and find the centre. Place a mark at this point.
Marking the bend line on the curved eye pin with a permanent marker

Grip the eye pin on the tail side of the mark....
Bending the curved eye pin at the marked position

.....and use your thumb to bend the loop side of the eye pin downwards to form the hook of the earring wire. Repeat this step with the second eye pin.
Curved eye pin after bending at the marked position

If the tail end of the earring wire is rough, file it smooth with the cup burr tool or file. You don't want the end to be sharp.

Wipe away the marker with the baby wipe and you're done!
Pair of handmade elfin earring wires

Experiment with longer and shorter eye pins and bend them at different points to make either a longer tail (photo 1) or a longer loop (photo 2). It totally changes the look of your earrings! 
Gold filigree and crystal rondelle elfin earrings
Teal-coloured enamel earrings on a handmade elfin shaped earring wire.

For yet another look, use a head pin instead of an eye pin and thread the beads on before you bend the wire around the mandrel. This is a really clean and classy look.
Cream pearl drops on an elfin earring wire.
Or try a combination of the two: thread a bead on an eye pin, curve it into an ear wire shape and then add a dangle to the bottom loop. 
Amber glass bead drop earrings on elfin earring wire.

You can even make them with 20 gauge wire instead of eye pins.  Just create your own eye pin by forming the loop at the end of the wire. Cut it to the desired length and create the almond earring wire in the same way as above. 
Gold and emerald earrings with green briolette drop.

And for a really eye-catching look, try using fun, bright coloured wire – it’s guaranteed to get your earrings noticed!

So, for a really up-to-the-minute look for your earrings, why not have a go at making your own elfin or almond-shaped earring wires - they'll add an architectural look to your designs whilst eliminating that pesky earring wire from poking into your neck.

See another project featuring elfin earring wires:
Ombré Blossom Cluster Earrings

Pin this Technique!
How to make elfin earring wires tutorial sheet.

'Til next time.....

Want to learn how to make jewellery? Click here to find my books and printable pdfs

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