Pearl Spiral Earrings

Pearl Spiral Earrings

This simple project is ideal for beginners - no need to solder any wire and all you will need are a few simple tools. Once you have created these earrings you will see how easy it is to make your own earring designs and how you can use the same techniques creating similar designs with other gemstones beads, while also making different shapes in the wire to customise the design. 

STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS

The earstuds we made only needed around 10cm of the silver wire for each earring, but we have included a little extra in the shopping list in case you may wish to alter the length of the earring or adjust the size of the spiral design.

We left the wire in a continuous length and only cut when we had completed the first earstud so not to waste any wire.

Start by forming the spiral, to do this use the tips of your round nose pliers to bend a small loop in the wire - this will form the center of the spiral. 

Then switch to using your  snipe or  flat nose pliers (or if you have them nylon jaw flat nose pliers, which are great as they will not mark the wire whilst you are working), hold the pliers flat over the loop (so that once formed the entire spiral will be held flat between the jaws of the pliers.

Holding the wire like this means you can gradually bend the wire a few mm at a time with your fingers and continuously shift your grip of the pliers on the wire to help form the spiral. We found this the easiest way to keep the spaces between each loop the same.

Next bend a right angle in the wire to make the stem of the earwire coming up from the spiral so that the spiral sits neatly and centrally.

Use side cutters to trim the end of the wire (we cut the stem at 6cm, if you would like the length of the earwire a little longer then feel free to adjust this to suit your style. 

Now is a good time to work harden the wire a little to make the earwire part a bit stiffer so that it keeps its shape well. 

You can do this by holding either end of the wire with snipe or flat nose pliers and holding the wire taught, twist a couple of times in opposite directions (so hold one pair just above the spiral and the other at the end of the wire).

After you have done this a few times you should feel that the wire no longer feels very soft and flexible but has more of a spring and stiffness to it. This will help the earwire keep its shape.

Now bend a wide bend about halfway up the stem of wire to go through your ears, use the very widest part of the round nose pliers to do this, adjusting it slightly if you need to make it a little wider still.

At the end of the earwire you can bend a slight tilt in the end of the wire using your round nose pliers to make it look a little more finished.

Finally, use a cup burr held in a pin vice (or your Dremel if you have one) to round the end of the ear post so that there are no sharp edges that will be uncomfortable when you put the earstud into your ear.

If you don't have a cup burr you could use a sanding stick to smooth the end of the wire.

Then make your other earring to match.

Recommended TOOLS FOR THIS PROJECT

Side cutters - to cut the silver wire

Round nose pliers - to form loops in wire

Snipe nose pliers - for opening and closing jump rings or nylon flat jaw pliers which will not mark the wire

Cup burr - to smooth the ends of wire

Pin vice - to hold the cup burr, this tool has a swivel head allowing you to use pressure whilst twisting the burr on the wire

Sanding sticks - to smooth the end of the wire so it is not sharp

Customise Your Kit

Make the design your own by using your favourite gemstone beads.

BOOKS WHICH MAY INTEREST YOU

The New Encyclopedia Of Jewellery Making Techniques - Jinks McGrath

The Encyclopedia of Wire Jewellery Techniques By Sarah Withers

Your shopping list

You can buy all the products in this collection at once by clicking the button below or add individual products by clicking the button beside each one.

Total price for all items: £6.30

Cultured Freshwater White Pearls, 7-8mm Roundish

Quantity: 2
Total price: £3.30
Additional information: matching for earrings please