Fresh Baked Designs

Adventures in jewelry making

Earring Frame Tutorial September 22, 2020

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 2:34 pm

Since I posted yesterday, I was kindly “poked” to create a tutorial for these earring frames. I did see a tutorial on line, but darned if I can find it again…so I decided to try my hand at it. I would request that if a few of you give this tute a tryout, please give me some feedback. Much appreciated.

Supplies needed:

18 gauge wire, any soft wire will do. I used silver plated craft wire, but copper would be gorgeous!

Wire cutters, ruler, fine tipped marker, chain nose pliers, nylon jaw wire straightener, round nose pliers, bench block or other firm surface.

Step 1: Cut two pieces of wire the same length. Flush cut each end.

You can see that I cut these at 4 1//2 inches. These frames will be smaller than the ones I made in yesterday’s post. You can adjust the length to suit your desired finished frame size. These could be so cute made much smaller, maybe in 20 g. wire.

Step 2: Use the round nose pliers to make a closed curl at each end of the wires. Be sure the curls face each other.

Step 3: Measure the center of each wire and mark with a sharpie. I don’t show this step…oops! But for these wires, it was at the 1 and 7/8 inch mark.

Step 4: Use the chain nose pliers and bend the wires in half. They can be a little wonky at this point.

Step 5: Use the nylon jaw wire straightener to gently squeeze the bend together. The goal is to make this bend as pointed as possible. Again, a little wonkiness is okay.

Step 6: Use your fingers to gently spread the wire ends apart to make a V shape, while keeping the points nice and closed.

Step 7: Now the fun part… go on a treasure hunt and find something around your house to use as a mandrel. I ended up starting with a glue stick, but it didn’t give me as rounded a shape as I wanted, so I switched to a thicker paint bottle. You have noticed that I am doing each step to both wire frames. This gives me the best chance to have the frames as identical as possible. So, in this shaping step, I held both frames together as I pushed and shaped the wires around the bottles.

Step 8: This is also important…work harden the wire. It’s wonderful to use a soft wire for all the above steps, but you’ll want the frame stiffer as you work your beading magic. Using a leather mallet on a hard surface will do the trick nicely. It will work harden (stiffen up) the wire, without changing the shape. Now, that said, if you did want to add some dimension and texture to the wire, by all means, go ahead and use a hammer. That would be beautiful!

So, there you are… All ready to decorate a hundred different ways, from simple to sublime!

Give me feedback, please. Send me photos. I’d love to hear from you!

NEW UPDATE: These are more modest earrings designed with the earring frames made in this tutorial. They come in at 2 1/2 inches in length and are stunning when the cobalt blue glass is back lit by the sunlight!


11 Responses to “Earring Frame Tutorial”

  1. jewelsofsayuri Says:

    Such a beautiful frame. I too have found glue sticks and patina bottles really useful to shape wire.

  2. Melody Fahey Says:

    Oh, I hoped you would include directions for attaching the beads too.

  3. Laurette Says:

    I really enjoyed this tutorial. I haven’t done anything with wire in quite a long time, but this is simple and easy enough and I don’t have to pull out all of my tools from storage to make these. I would be interested in seeing all of the different variations people come up with. Thank you for your time, energy and desire to create this tutorial and sharing with all.

  4. Hope Smitherman Says:

    I love these! Thanks for sharing such a clear tutorial of how to make them. I’m going to share this if you don’t mind!

  5. thejoemoose Says:

    A very delightful tutorial! I made a pair of frames on 20 gauge wire and they look like classical lyres. Inspiration strikes!

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