Finding Out About Findings: Make Your Own Handcrafted Earwires, Clasps and Other Jewelry Findings

For a long time, I hesitated making my own jewelry findings. I just didn’t feel confident enough that I could make them as well as store-bought pieces. But one day recently, when I was on a creative bent, I made a few pairs of earrings. Well, when I went to look for my silver earwires, I noticed I had run out. Gasp!

wire earring findings ear wires

Earrings I’ve made with my own earwires. Top: Sunny Yellow Heart Earrings with 20-gauge silver craft wire earwires. Middle: Ice Earrings with 18-gauge silver craft wire earwires. Bottom: Rosy Chain Hoop Earrings with 22-gauge rose gold craft wire earwires. 18- to 22-gauge wire is usually best to make earwires. Photo: Michael Richardson.

First Findings
Sure, I could’ve run to my local bead shop (It’s practically right down the street from my house!) or placed an order with my favorite online store, but I was too antsy this time. I decided that these earrings just couldn’t wait to have earwires. So, I picked up a spool of 20-gauge wire, round nose pliers, flush cutters, and a Sharpie marker. I thought, what the heck, it won’t kill me to try to make my own earwires.

Granted, my first few attempts were funky at best. But as I kept working at it, rolling the wire along the curves of the Sharpie until the bends were just right, I realized how really simple it is. Now I can whip up ear wires any time I need them.

Fabulous Finding Source

While I’m on the subject of jewelry findings, I remember one issue of Step by Step Wire Jewelry that really stands out in my mind. Our Summer Preview 2007 issue had a special section of projects on how to make several jewelry findings out of wire . . . clasps, bails, ring shanks, bezels, end caps for leather cording, and earwires. It was so interesting to see the artists’ different spins on those little things that keep our jewelry together.

wire clasp jewelry findings

A toggle clasp inspired by Linda Jones’ Orbital Necklace (Step by Step Wire Jewelry, Summer Preview ’09). Made with 18-gauge silver craft wire, then hammered and textured.

You, too, can discover how much fun it is to make your own jewelry findings. Even though the issue I mentioned has been out of print for a long time, it’s now available again (along with the rest of our magazines from that year) in the 2007 Step by Step Wire Jewelry CD Collection. You’ll get the entire selection of projects, exactly how they were published back then, but in a very convenient format…right on your own computer! Check out the projects you’ve missed, such as Lisa Niven Kelly’s freeform and fun Entangled Wire Bezel, Connie Fox’s stunning Vere Donne Bracelet, Iza Malczyk’s incredible Wire Woven Bead Caps, and Gladys Botz’s colorful Japanese 2-by-2 Beaded Chain Maille Bracelet.

Have you taken the leap into making your own jewelry findings? Do you prefer making your own jewelry findings to store-bought? What kind of materials do you like to use? We’d love to hear your opinions and ideas in the comments below!

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