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Ashleigh's Earrings

Instructions for making Ashleigh's Earrings out of jewelry wire, beads and WigJig jewelry tools:

I try to name earrings either based upon what they look like, what they remind me of, or how I got the idea for the earring design.  These particular earrings remind me of an Easter dinner in Frederick, MD, where one of our friends, Ashleigh, was wearing designer earrings similar to these.  Her earrings had been cast out of a single piece of metal.  My challenge was to connect a larger piece of metal for the body of the earring with a smaller piece of metal for the ear wire post.  For the earrings at right, the body of the earring is 18G sterling silver jewelry wire and the ear wire post is 20G sterling silver jewelry wire.  The connection is made with a loop in the earring body and by wrapping the thinner, 20G wire around the body several times.  This is an advanced beginner's jewelry making project.

Ashleigh's earrings made out of jewelry wire, beads and common jewelry supplies using WigJig jewelry tools.
Ashleigh's Earrings

  Jewelry Supplies:

Jewelry Tools Required:


  • Round Nose Pliers
  • Fine Step Jaw Pliers (Optional)
  • Flush Cutter
  • Chain Nose or Bent Chain Nose Pliers
  • Any WigJig jewelry tool
  • 3 metal pegs
  • 3 ounce can (I used a small can of mushrooms)
  • Cup Bur or nail file
  • 20 minutes of free time

Jewelry Making Skills Required:

Step-by-step instructions for making earrings out of jewelry wire and common jewelry supplies:

Step 1:  Cut and straighten two pieces of 18G jewelry wire three inches long.  Cut two pieces of 20G 1/2 hard sterling silver wire three inches long.

Step 2Make a loop in one end of both pieces of 18G wire.  The loop must be just large enough to fit over a peg for the jig you use.  (I used Fine Step Jaw Pliers to make a loop for the WigJig Delphi jewelry tool.)  

Step 3:  Place the loop you just made on the first peg on the jewelry making jig and bend the jewelry wire against the second peg as shown at right.  In this case you are using the WigJig jewelry tool to make both pieces of 18G jewelry wire identical.   

Step 3 to instructions for making earrings using jewelry wire bent on WigJig jewelry tools.
Step 3 on WigJig Delphi
Jewelry Tool

Step 4:  Remove the 18G jewelry wire from the jewelry making jig and using a small (3 ounce) can bend the wire around the outside of the can.  Hold the jewelry wire at the end and at the bend made on the second peg shown at right.  Press both these points on the wire tightly around the can. 

Step 4 to instructions for making Ashleigh's Earrings using jewelry wire and common jewelry supplies.
Step 4

Step 5:  Now, using round nose pliers, bend the initial loop back so that it becomes an "eye" loop, centered on the 18G wire as shown at right. 

Step 5 to instructions for making earrings uisng common jewelry making supplies.
Step 5

Step 6:  Using your round nose pliers, make a "U" shaped bend in a 3 inch segment of 20G 1/2 hard sterling silver jewelry wire.  Leave about 3/4 inch of wire on one side of the bend and about 2 1/4 inches on the other side.


Step 7:  First open the loop in the 18G jewelry wire.  Now with that loop open, begin wrapping the 20G wire around the 18g wire between the loop and the bend at the second peg.  See the figures at right for how this should appear.  You need to make sure that the part of the 20G wire that will become the post for the earrings will end in the center of the loop.  For the first earring, this will not be important.  For the second earring, you need to remember that the finished earrings should be mirror images of one another.

Step 6 to instructions for making earrings using jewelry wire and beads.
Step 6


Using common jewelry making supplies to make earrings on WigJig jewelry tools, Step 7.

Step 7

Close up of Step 7 to instructions for making earrings with jewelry wire and common jewelry tools.

Step 7 Close-up

Step 8:  Continue to wrap the 20G jewelry wire.  Wrap the long 20G wire segment leaving the short segment until last.  When you get to the point where the loop in the 18G wire would be, you need to leave a gap in the wrap to allow the loop to close.  If you look closely at right, you will see this gap.  Wrap once or twice around the inside of the loop, leaving about 1/2 inch of free wire.  When completed, the piece should appear as shown at right.

Instructions for making earrings using common jewelry making supplies Step 8.
Step 8

Step 9:  Complete the wrapping of the 20G jewelry wire.  Leave a post of 1/2 inch and wrap the shorter wire segment completely.  Cut off any loose end and tuck this loose end with chain nose or bent chain nose pliers.  Straighten the post so that it is perpendicular to the body of the earrings. 

Step 9 to instructions for making earrings with jewelry wire and WigJig jewelry tools.
    Step 9

Close up of Step 9 to instructions for making earrings using jewelry wire.
Step 9 Close-up

Step 10:  Using a nail file or a cup bur file the end of the post smooth.

Step 11:  Make a mirror image earring to the one you just completed.

Finished earrings made from jewelry wire on WigJig jewelry tools.    Finished Ashleigh's earrings made out of jewelry wire shaped on a WigJig jewelry tool.
Finished Earrings

Alternative Jewelry Making Design:

There are several optional styles that can be employed with this basic design.  As shown at right, the wire can be terminated in a loop to hold a bead dangle.  For this particular earring, instead of a 3 ounce can, a 7/8" Super Peg was used to make the round shape, leaving enough excess wire to make the loop at the bottom used to hang a bead.

The earring body could even be made with square wire that had been twisted for a very unique effect.

Earrings made on WigJig jewelry tool using jewelry wire and common jewelry supplies.
Alternative Design

Summary of jewelry making instructions:

If you are looking for understated elegance, you may find this jewelry design to be what you want.  These earrings are simple in design and show a unique way to make an ear wire by combining 20 gauge jewelry wire with a larger guage of jewelry wire.  The earrings shown above were made with 18 gauge jewelry wire, but the same design could be used to make earrings with 16 or 14 gauge jewelry wire if you want something slightly bolder. 




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