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Last Updated on October 28, 2021 by Katherine
Do you love wearing earrings? Do you ever think about how nice it would be to learn how to make earrings for yourself? If you answered yes to these two questions, this post is going to be exactly what you need in your life.
Earrings can seem like a daunting task to learn for jewelry making because they are often smaller and more delicate than a necklace or a bracelet. Don’t let their size intimidate you. This post will show you the basics of earring making and when we’re done here, you’ll be ready to tackle the prospect of making your own pairs of earrings.
The main trick of earrings is understanding all the different styles, hooks and types of findings you’ll need to make your first amazing pair. Once you have the basics, which I’ll cover in the post, as well as where to find these things, your imagination is the limit of what designs you’ll create! Let’s get started!
Types Of Earrings
First step to learning how to make earrings is to learn the different styles and types of earrings. You might find you prefer one type of earring over another.
The most common types of earrings are:
These earrings are the lightest of the bunch, usually just a simple post with perhaps a gemstone set in or even a flower.
Drop earrings are usually just a single piece that “drops” down from the earring hook. They are the basic type of dangle earring and normally it’s just one piece that drops.
Chandelier earrings are gorgeous, they are like drop earrings, but they resemble a chandelier, so think big, wide and multiple “branches” of beads hanging off the hook.
Similar to drop earrings, dangle earrings are a single line of drop, but are usually slightly more elaborate. I like to describe these earrings as the middle ground between a chandelier style and a drop style earring.
Hoop earrings are exactly what they sound like. They feature a metal hoop in their design. Sometimes the hoop is the closure (such as with sleeper hoops) or the hoop can connect to an earring hook instead.
There are other types and other jewelry makers may highlight them. These are simply the most common and you may find other types that are like the above. It’s important to know the types because it becomes easier to search the internet for inspiration if you know what they’re typically called!
Once you decide on a type of earring, the next logical step is to decide what type of hook you’ll use. The earring hook is the piece that goes through your ear and attaches the earring to your ear. You can also buy clip-on style hooks that simply grip your ear lobe instead of threading into a piercing hole. All earring hooks come in a variety of metals, like gold, silver, rose gold and so on.
The French hook is probably the most common type of earring hook you can find. They are an open hook, curved into a “u” pattern. Sometimes there will be fancy design elements like a spring or bead on them.
Some people may refer to these as “shepherd” or “fish” hooks as well.
These hooks look like French hooks, but lever-back hooks have a piece that swings open to allow you to put the hook in your ear and then that piece will close, making your earring more secure on your ear that way.
With hoop earrings, you can find “sleeper earrings” or similar styles. These are a solid hoop that feature a split on one side where you can secure the hoop through the piercing. They are probably the most secure hook to use as you can normally sleep in these.
For example, I rarely wear decorative earrings, so I always wear my gold sleeper hooks in my ears so that my piercings don’t close up. I have no issue sleeping with these in and they are light enough to wear all the time.
It will depend upon the project, but the findings I use most often when crafting earrings are split-rings, head pins, and eye pins. These findings are used to attach the jeweled elements of your earrings to the hook. You will want to match the metal for all your findings, so use only gold findings or silver, for example.
Split rings are metal rings with a gap in them. Using pliers, you can gently pry that open and attach it to your work. I will then use the pliers to close the gap and secure the ring to my project. I use reasonably small split rings for earrings. The smaller you can find, the less noticeable they will be.
Head pins and eye pins are quite similar in that they resemble a long pin. Only the head pin has a flat, nail-like head and the eye pin is a loop. I use these to string pieces of beads that are part of the project. I will then take my round-nose pliers (see my jewelry tools post) to create a loop at the end of my work and attach it to the rest of my work using a split ring.
Wire can create beautiful designs even without the use of beads. With your jewelry pliers, you can shape wire into a variety of decorative shapes and designs. For a cool and festive idea, check out How to Make Stunning and Festive Christmas Earrings for a wire wrapping earring that uses Christmas lights!
Tips For Designing Earrings
Now that you know the basics of what you’ll be using to make your earrings, let’s look at ways you can find your inspiration.
Pinterest is a social media platform, but it’s also a visual search engine! It can offer a plethora of inspiring ideas for you to look at and design your own custom earrings. I use Pinterest frequently to find my next crafting project!
Google is usually the go-to search engine for everyone. There is a reason everybody knows the term “google it”. Google is the largest search engine in the world and most bloggers who are implementing a SEO (or search engine optimization) strategy usually have the goal of appearing on page 1 of a google search! Google is also useful for people who aren’t trying to rank their blog though. I enjoy using the images search to find inspiring earrings and other jewelry pieces.
Sketch Out Your Design
I always recommend planning out your design for any craft you want to do. You can simply create a rough sketch on a piece of paper to decide how you want your earrings to look.
Lay Out Your Design
With jewelry making, sometimes I forgo the sketch and simply lay out the pieces for my earring project on a flat surface.
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Where to Find Your Earring Supplies
Now that we’ve covered some things you’ll want to consider when creating your own earrings, let’s briefly talk about where you can buy these things. I buy most of my jewelry-making supplies at three places, but there are many other options, so this is just my personal experience.
As I live in Canada, I rarely get to the States to places like Hobby Lobby and Joann’s, but we have Michaels. I used to work there as a sales associate and that’s where I picked up my love of crafting.
Michaels is a big-box craft store and will have pretty much anything you’ll need for jewelry-making (and other crafts as well!).
Create For Less offers many of the same things you can find at Michaels, but it’s all online and you can often find some pretty sweet deals. Though I cannot get free shipping up here in Canada, they offer decent shipping rates for my orders. If you are in the States, you can get free shipping on order over $100!
For pretty much anything else, I will head to amazon. If you have a prime membership, you can often get free shipping on most things as well. However, my one caution with amazon is to research the products before buying. Sometimes the quality isn’t where it needs to be.
Check out user reviews on the product and pay particular attention to the 3 star reviews as these will usually give you a better idea of what could be a problem than a 1 star or 5 star review.
Final Thoughts On How to Make Earrings
Making your own earrings may seem daunting, but with a bit of knowledge about the pieces that go into these projects, you can now see that they are easy. In my experience, learning to make loops is probably the trickiest part of the whole thing because loops are what will allow you to make connections between different pieces of your earrings. There aren’t too many hacks to loops, you really just need to practice making them to perfect them.
Once you have the loops nailed, though, earrings can be a fun and easy craft to put together in the space of an afternoon. It’s also so fun to have people ask you where you got your earrings and to say that you made them yourself!
Remember to save this post to Pinterest to refer to later and definitely consider sharing it on your favorite social media platform! Until next time, stay crafty, my friends!!