Ear cuffs have been all the rage in the fashion world this past year, from free-form wire-wrapped ear vines to ornate over the ear styles.
This tutorial shows you how to make a simple metal ear cuff in copper. This simple design wraps around the outer cartilage of the ear and is a popular style for men. It can be textured and colored as desired.
DIY Copper Ear Cuffs
Choose your Metal
This simple style ear cuff can be made from most any metal. 24-gauge copper or brass strips are easy to cut and manipulate. This tutorial uses 0.25″ wide strips of copper sheet. If you choose, you can use wider strips and cut the metal to your desired width. Or if you prefer a bit thicker metal, you can use 20-gauge sheet. Just remember, this style needs to fit comfortably around the cartilage of one’s ear.
With a variety of patterns and metals to choose from, artisan patterned wire can also be an option for a DIY (do-it-yourself) ear cuff. The patterned wire comes in several gauges. If you use a heavier gauge wire, the ear cuff may not be adjustable.
Patterned Wire Ear Cuff
First, Gather your Supplies
Supplies for Creating Metal Ear Cuffs
Measure and Mark the Cuff Length:
Measure and Mark the Metal Strip
Measure and mark the metal strip. 27.5mm (or roughly 1.25″) is the average length for cuffs that fits on the (normal) middle part of the ear. The length can range from 25mm to 30mm.
Mark with a permanent marking pen on the film which covers the metal strip. You can alternately mark directly on the metal. Just keep some rubbing alcohol handy to wipe away the line if you make a mistake.
Cut the Metal:
Cut the Metal Strip with Shears
Depending on the gauge, hand shears (#69-230 or #69-409) work well for cutting the metal strips. A bench shear (#69-334) works great if cutting multiple pieces or cutting metal sheet to a custom width.
EURO TOOL® Bench Shear
File the Edges Smooth:
File the Metal Edges Smooth
Use a flat file (#69-252-01-4) to smooth the edges and slightly round the corners of the cut metal strip.
Texture the Metal:
Texture the Metal Strip with a Hammer
Use a texturing hammer or the pein side of a chasing hammer to create a pattern on the metal piece. Hammer around the edges of the metal piece. If needed, file the edges again.
Textured Metal Strips
Shape the Ear Cuff:
Shape the metal piece around the 10mm barrel of the small Wrap n’ Tap pliers (#69-262-S). The 24-gauge copper bends easily around the barrel.
Shape with Wrap ‘n’ Tap Pliers
Forming the Ear Cuff
Color The Ear Cuff:
If desired, patina the copper ear cuff using Liver of Sulfur Gel (#86-322) or Novacan Black Patina (#86-310).
Shiny and Oxidized Ear Cuffs
Using Vintaj Patinas is another option to add color to these DIY ear cuffs. Use a paintbrush to apply the Vintaj Patina. Once dry, sand some color off the high points using a Vintaj Metal Reliefing Blockblock (#69-327). Seal with Vintaj Glaze (#86-421-900).
DIY Ear Cuffs Colored with Vintaj Patinas
For more DIY ear cuff ideas, see our “Make Fashionable Ear Cuff Jewelry” blog post.
Not into DIY?
Rings & Things offers a wide variety of plain ear cuffs (including sterling silver, gold and silver plated) ready to embellish.
And if you are looking for ready-to-wear ear cuffs, we now offer six styles in sterling silver. As a bonus, most of the ready-to-ear ear cuffs have openings or loops in the pattern, so you can easily add dangles or leave them as-is.
Sterling Ear Cuff (#30-475-05)
Sterling Ear Cuff (#30-475-06)
How to Put on an Ear Cuff
If you’ve never worn an ear cuff and don’t know how to wear one, here’s how.
Have fun creating and wearing these ear accessories!