Make Custom Jewelry Findings: 9 Inspiring Ear Wire Designs for One-of-a-Kind Earrings

Tammy Jones editor Jewelry Making Daily  
Tammy Jones is the
editor of Jewelry Making Daily.

Making your own findings is one of the easiest ways to add unique style to your jewelry-making designs, and for some reason, it's an idea that many jewelry makers often overlook. I was making earrings by the handfuls one afternoon years ago when I realized that I only had one ear wire left. Not one pair, but one. Somewhere along the way I'd lost its mate. Double blow! Not only was I out of the findings I needed, I had an orphaned one (in pricey gold, even) that would likely go to waste.

 
Can you tell which ear wire was the lone bought one and which one I made?

But then I had a little epiphany. I did have gold ball-end head pins, and the ear wire I had was a pretty simple design with a ball on the end. . . . Just as I realized that I could probably make a good match for the lone ear wire, it also struck me that I could make all of my ear wires, all the time, and never run out again. And then I realized how much money it would save me. (You know how there's a bright light and angels sing when someone gets a brilliant idea on TV? It was just like that.)

Once I realized how easy and cost-effective it is to make my own earring findings, I stopped buying manufactured ear wires in favor of making my own. The possibilities truly are endless; ear wires can be just about any shape or style, as long as they go through the ear easily, hang properly and balanced, and don't fall out. That allowed my creativity to soar, thinking of new ways to make earring findings that are as unique as the baubles I hang on them.

Creating your own ear wires makes each earring you make truly your own and truly handmade, from tip to tip. It's so easy that it's ideal for beginners, but it's also an extra special touch that will elevate even an accomplished jewelry maker's earring designs. Here are some of my favorite takes on unique ear-wire designs, created by jewelry-making experts who also extend their creativity all the way to the findings.

These first three are ones I've made myself, just simple or swirled extra-long ear wires inspired by the longer ones on the market recently.

   

Jewelry Making Daily's Facebook friends, Catherine Chamberlin and Jason Caryl of Simply Catherine inspire me with the unique ear wires in their earring designs. Here's a sampling: 

   
   Earring designs by Simply Catherine.

Flipping through an advance copy of Handmade Wire Findings recently, these three unusual ear-wire designs caught my eye:

   
The fiddlehead ear wires are perfect for long, contemporary earring styles with simple embellishments. Kidney ear wires provide a bit more security than standard French ear wires to help prevent earring loss. The circle post ear wires show that handmade earring findings aren't just for dangle earrings.

Pre-order your copy of Handcrafted Wire Findings: Techniques and Designs for Custom Jewelry Components, and you'll learn how you can save hundreds of dollars by making your own custom findings, including clasps, jump rings, ear wires, connector links, bails, and more–plus you'll be able to make exactly what you want, as many as you want, in the metal that you want.

 

This basic resource is a must-have for jewelry makers who want to give their designs a little added style. I love how some of the findings designs coordinate, so you could make earrings with ear wires that coordinate with the clasp of your bracelet. Clever work by Step by Step Beads Editor-in-Chief Denise Peck and former Editor Jane Dickerson! You'll also get a primer on jewelry-making techniques such as basic wirework, texturing metal, fusing silver, and adding patinas.

After you see the more than thirty wire-findings projects in Handcrafted Wire Findings, you'll wonder (like I am, now) why you haven't been making your own custom jewelry components all along. And you'll never run out of ear wires again! Can I get an Amen?

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