Archive for the ‘Tutorials’ Category

How to Make a Textured Copper Ear Cuff

Monday, April 21st, 2014

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.

Make your own DIY copper ear cuffs

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.

 

Ear Cuff made with patterned wire

Patterned Wire Ear Cuff

 

First, Gather your Supplies

DIY Ear Cuff Supplies

Supplies for Creating Metal Ear Cuffs

Supplies Needed:

 

Measure and Mark the Cuff Length:

Measure and Mark the Metal Strip

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

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.

 Bench Shear

EURO TOOL® Bench Shear

 

File the Edges Smooth:

File the Metal 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

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

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.

Use Wrap 'n' Tap pliers to shape the ear cuff

Shape with Wrap ‘n’ Tap Pliers

 

Form Ear Cuff around the 10mm barrel of the 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

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).

 

Add color to DIY Ear Cuffs with Vintaj Patinas

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.

Spider Web Sterling Ear Cuff

Sterling Ear Cuff (#30-475-05)

 

Snake Shaped Sterling Ear Cuff

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.

Slide the opening of the ear cuff over the cartilage.

Slide the Ear Cuff Down

The ear cuff sits on the cartilage, and wraps around the edge of the ear.

Have fun creating and wearing these ear accessories!

Amy M

 

 

How To Make A Wire Bird Nest

Monday, February 10th, 2014

It’s February, and snow and ice are covering every surface… which means I’d really like to fly away to someplace warm for the winter.

Wire wrapped bird nest bracelet with freshwater pearl beads and Vintaj bird charms.

Wire wrapped bird nest bracelet with freshwater pearl beads and Vintaj bird charms.

But I don’t have wings, so the next best thing is having Kayla explain how she makes these adorable wire bird’s nests.  She made this sweet bracelet by creating 3 wrapped nests with different shades of freshwater pearls, then added swooping Vintaj bird charms.  (The chain is one of our favorites: antiqued brass ring & connector chain.)

Gather supplies for wire bird nest tutorial.

Gather supplies for the wire bird nests.

These wire nests use only a few supplies:

And a single tool:

Warning: Pearls often have tiny holes, so if you’re following this design using different pearls than the ones we’ve linked, you may need to use 26-gauge wire instead.

Wire Bird Nest Instructions:

Step 1. Feed 3 beads onto the wire. Leave about 3/4" tail.

Step 1.
Feed 3 beads onto the wire. Leave about 3/4″ tail.

Step 2. Begin curving the egg beads into a circle.

Step 2. Begin curving the egg beads into a circle.

Step 3. Take the wire tail and wrap it around the longer end a few times.

Step 3. Take the wire tail and wrap it around the longer end a few times. Use your fingers, not pliers, so you don’t mar the wire or scratch the pearls.

Step 4. Trim excess wire.

Step 4. Trim excess wire. (Remove the short tail.)

Step 5. Wrap the wire 5-6 times around the pearl beads.  (Add more wraps for a thicker nest.) Don't try to be too neat! This style of wire wrapping is supposed to be a bit messy.

Step 5. Wrap the wire 5-6 times around the pearl beads. Don’t try to be too perfect — this style of wire wrapping is supposed to be a bit messy.

For a thicker nest, just wrap a few more times around the beads.

Step 6. Feed the wire all the way down through the nest.

Step 6. Feed the wire all the way down through the nest.

Step 7. Wrap two times around one side of the nest, then go about 1/3 of the way around the nest, feed wire through, wrap two times, go 1/3 of the way around and feed the wire through a final spot.

Step 7. Wrap two times around one side of the nest, then go about 1/3 of the way around the nest, feed wire through, wrap two times, go 1/3 of the way around and feed the wire through a final spot.

Step 8. At the final spot, wrap three times, and trim excess wire.  This is where narrow-tipped flush cutters are nice, because it's best if you can trim the wire toward the inside of the nest so it won't snag.

Step 8. At the final spot, wrap three times, and trim excess wire. This is where narrow-tipped flush cutters are nice, because it’s best if you can trim the wire inside of the nest so it won’t snag.

Finished: perfectly messy springtime wire-wrapped bird's nests!

Finished: Perfectly messy & sweet Springtime wire-wrapped bird’s nests!

The beads in the image above are (clockwise from top):

The wire is 22-gauge gunmetal Artistic Wire.

Want more options? Try these egg-shaped gemstone beads, or other colors of oval freshwater pearl beads. And once you make a few of these in colorful Artistic wire, you might want to branch out into sterling silver wire or gold-filled wire!

Flying the Nest - Bracelet Tutorial (with full parts list for bracelet)

Flying the Nest – Bracelet Tutorial (with full parts list for bracelet)

~ Polly & Kayla

Note: This style of wire-wrapped birds nest “baskets” work great for bracelets, earrings and pendants, because they don’t have a closed-off back — you can see the pretty egg-shaped pearl or gemstone beads from both sides of the charm.

 

How To Set Eyelets in Leather

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Eyelets in leather jewelry can be both decorative and functional. Whether you want to add an industrial punk look to a leather bracelet, explore a new way to finish a choker, or find new alternatives to add embellishments, eyelets offer a clean and finished look to jewelry! With Rings & Things new EXCLUSIVE Leather Embellishing Kit, some leather and a little creativity is all you’ll need!

 

Here are simple step-by-step instructions for setting eyelets in a leather bracelet…

Some things you will need for setting eyelets in leather

Some things you will need for setting eyelets in leather…

Gather your supplies:

Tools:

Rings & Things recently added an EXCLUSIVE Leather Embellishing Tool Kit that includes all of the tools you need, as well as the eyelets!

Rings & Things' EXCLUSIVE Leather Embellishing Kit (with leather punch, eyelets, leather rivets, snaps, setting tools and a hammer).

Rings & Things’ EXCLUSIVE Leather Embellishing Kit (with leather punch, eyelets, leather rivets, snaps, setting tools and a hammer).

If purchasing the tools and components separately, you will need:

You will also need these readily available items:

  • Ruler
  • Sharpie® or other fine point marker
Measure and mark the holes on the inside of the leather bracelet.

1. Measure and mark the holes on the
inside of the bracelet or un-finished side of the leather.

Punch holes in the leather.

2. Punch holes with a leather punch. Use
the 3/16” punch marked “4” on the
leather rotary punch.

Push an eyelet through the hole. The finished flared end should be on the outside of the bracelet, or the “good” side of the leather.

3. Push an eyelet through the hole. The finished flared end should be on the outside of the bracelet (the finished side of the leather).

Place the leather with the eyelet over the divot in the anvil.

4. Place the leather with the eyelet over the
divot in the anvil.

Position the setting tool over the hole of the eyelet.

5. Position the setting tool over the hole of
the eyelet.

Strike the setting tool with a hammer 4-6 times.

6. Strike the setting tool with a hammer
4-6 times.

The tube of the eyelet will now be set firm against the leather. Repeat the process for the other holes.

7. The tube of the eyelet will now be set firm against the leather. Repeat the process for the other holes.

Behold, the Eye of the Orchid leather bracelet!

Behold, the Eye of the Orchid leather bracelet!

Oh, so that was too easy you say? It really is easy, so I tried to think of something a little more unusual… I asked myself, how can I turn these eyelets from a mere decoration into a functional finding? I found a way! Here’s how…

For this one we will need:

If you don’t have our kit, you will also need the following tools and supplies:

Gather the necessary supplies (leather strip, eyelets, locking jump ring, S clasp, eyelet setter, hammer, leather hole punch).

Gather the goods (leather strip, eyelets, locking jump ring, S clasp, eyelet setter, hammer, leather hole punch).

 

Determine the length you want the choker to be. Lay out your components next to a ruler or measuring tape to make sure they will end up the correct length. This project makes a 13″ choker. For a longer choker, you may need an extra strip of leather, or more jump rings to lengthen.

Cut a 10" leather strip into 3 equal sections.

1. Cut a 10″ leather strip into 3 equal sections.

Punch a 3/16" hole at each end of each strip.

2. Punch a 3/16″ hole at each end of each strip.

Leave about 3/16" of leather between the edge and the hole.

3. Leave about 3/16″ of leather between the edge of the leather and the hole.

Insert the eyelets into the holes.

4. Insert the eyelets into the holes and set as shown above.

Add locking jump rings.

5. Add a locking jump ring to each end. Use non-serrated pliers to help manipulate the jump ring and pinch closed.

Slide hook clasp through jump rings.

6. Slide an “S” hook onto each jump ring, connecting the leather pieces together.

Finished Leather Linked Choker

Leather Linked Choker

 

More inspiration: add an eyelet to a leather cuff bracelet, and use the eyelet to embellish the bracelet with fun dangles!

Green Leather Wrap Bracelet with a SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS crystal rivoli stone in a 1-loop rivoli setting, a TierraCast® ivy leaf charm and a freshwater pearl dangle.

Green Leather Wrap Bracelet with a SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS crystal rivoli stone in a 1-loop rivoli setting, a TierraCast® ivy leaf charm and a freshwater pearl dangle.

 

Blue Leather Cuff Bracelet with a SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS crystal rivoli stone in a 1-loop rivoli setting, a TierraCast® feather charm and a blue pearl dangle.

Blue Leather Cuff Bracelet with a SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS crystal rivoli stone in a 1-loop rivoli setting, a TierraCast® feather charm and a blue pearl dangle.

I hope you’ve found this tutorial helpful and inspiring. Happy jewelry making!

~Val

Lariat Round Up

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

I have been more and more drawn to Lariat style necklaces lately, and seeing lots of them pinned on pinterest.  This inspired me to create several lariat necklace tutorials for the Rings & Things gallery and to look to our other designer’s past contributions to this jewelry style.

What is a lariat necklace? It is an open-ended necklace with no clasp. It is fastened by threading one end of the necklace through the other. Lariat necklaces frequently have beads or tassels at the end, and are typically worn with the ends in front.

The Plumage lariat necklace design is made with Nina Designs peacock feather charms on chain, and accented with  SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS xilion crystal bicones from the Under the Boardwalk crystal jam. It is designed with the chain going through the larger feather charm, and locking the smaller charm through the end, allowing the wearer to adjust the final length.

 

The assymetrical Foliage necklace design is similar.  Clusters of SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS xilion crystal bicones are spaced along the chain, and again the chain goes through one of the charms to lock the second charm in place, however, the spacing of the bead clusters limits the adjustment to the final length that can be done by the wearer.

Tour de Belgium lariat

Tour de Belgium lariat

 The Tour de Belgium long lariat design is designed to be worn doubled.  A large fluted bead locks the charm dangles in place.  Some adjustment to the final length can be made by varying the length of the doubled section of chain.

 

The Giddyup lariat is made on suede lace with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS.  The ring is tied just off center of the length of leather, and the crystal briolette dangles slip through the ring.  The metal components of this true lariat style necklace are plated, to economize.

 

The Ladylike lariat design is also made with suede lace.  This luxe necklace pairs sterling findings with freshwater pearls and sparkly glass.  While the components are minimal, the design has impact.

 

The Corralled Pearls necklace has no findings, and no metal.  Thin leather cord, usually not strong enough for stringing, can transform into a bold design when many strands are gathered together.  The use of a battery operated bead reamer allows the hole on these freshwater pearls to be made larger for stringing.  Simple overhand knots create the loop (clasp) and also hold the pearls in place.

I hope you like this roundup of lariat designs.  All of the components to make each of these designs are available right here at Rings and Things.  Remember to check our design gallery for a variety of jewelry styles.

~  Rita

Get Your Margaritas Here

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
Margarita for drinking

rings-things.com Margarita for drinking

No, not that kind of margarita…

These crystal charm designs are so easy to make!

Grab a tasty beverage and a friend or two and have a good time making margarita trees all evening.

Margarita Tree Variety

A variety of tree styles you can make with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS from Rings & Things

So… why am I calling them margarita trees?

The “branches” of these sweet tree designs are made with the Swarovski sew-on stone Article 3700, known as the Margarita (or Marguerite).

margarita variety

The margarita crystal is available at Rings & Things in up to 5 sizes, and various tree related colors

The colors in the above picture, clockwise from the top, are emerald, crystal AB, fern green, dark moss green, and Crystal VM.  These tend to be the most popular tree colors, but you can also make trees in Crystal, Peridot, and a variety of non-traditional colors.

So… what do you need to make your own Margarita Trees?

Headpins

Earwires

Margarita crystals in at least 3 sizes (6, 8, and 10mm are the minimum for the “tree” look)

Small beads for the “star”

Round Nose Pliers

Cutters

minimum tree components

Purchase margaritas, “star” beads, headpins, earwires, and tools at rings-things.com

This is the basic tree with the minimum components as shown above.

simple tree earrings from Rings & Things

These trees are made with just the minimum components and are cute and unobtrusive.

If you want a fancier tree, add a few more layers:

cube beads for tree trunks

even bigger sizes of margarita to make a grander tree

chain nose pliers

tasty beverage  :)

larger margarita tree components

These parts from Rings & Things will make a more lush margarita tree design.

To construct your margarita trees, first decide if you want to have a tree trunk.

If so string a 4mm crystal cube #5601 onto your headpin.  I tend to gravitate toward using mocca, light colorado topaz, or crystal bronze shade for the look of wood.

Next decide on the number of layers for your tree.

Add #3700 crystal margaritas in descending size order to your headpin.

And decide how to top your tree.

I usually use a 3mm xilion crystal bicone #5328 in a metallic or bright color.

larger margarita tree stack

This fuller margarita tree style includes two more “branches” and a “trunk”.

Finish this off with a simple or wrapped loop.

larger margarita tree looped

This larger completed margarita tree design is ready to attach to an earwire.

If you are making earrings, repeat the process and then add your earwires.

Margarita trees make fantastic earrings, precious pendants, and adorable additions to a gift wrap.

They can also be constructed for strung jewelry, like the Christmas Tree and Light Necklace.

So,  how do you like your margarita trees?  TraditionalBright and ShinySnow Covered?  or even turned upside down to be an icicle?

finished large margarita tree

Larger Margarita tree earrings with components from rings-things.com

~  Rita

Embellish Jewelry Blanks with Crystal Chatons

Monday, November 11th, 2013

It doesn’t matter if you’re a rhinestone cowgirl or an urban fashionista – dressing up belt buckles and other jewelry blanks with sparkling crystal chatons is just plain fun!

Use the steps below to either recreate the Zen Yin belt buckle by Jan or to embed you own designs in a wide range of jewelry components including bezel cups, bottles caps, and more.

supplies

1. Gather your supplies.

Supplies:

To make the exact belt buckle pictured in this blog, see the “Zen Yin” belt buckle full parts list in our Design Gallery.

tools

A Crystal Katana makes it easy to set chatons in your jewelry clay.

Tip: A jewel setter makes it much easier to set small objects into the clay! While bare fingers can hinder your field of vision and upset other elements of the design, jewel setters provide a wax tip to lightly pick up and place small objects in just the right spot.

plan

2. Plan your layout.

Plan your layout before you unwrap the clay. This allows you to tinker with design options without the clay drying prematurely. This is especially important on large objects like a belt buckle.

Form two equal balls

3. Measure equal amounts of clay.

Wear vinyl or latex gloves to protect your hands.  Measure equal amounts of “A” and “B” types of clay, and form each material into a separate ball. If the clay sticks, apply a thin coat of vegetable oil.

Mix the clay

4. Combine.

Combine the two balls together until they are well blended and uniform in color.

Adding clay to your blank.

5. Press clay into jewelry blank.

Press the clay into your jewelry blank. You can smooth it out by adding a little vegetable oil on top. If it gets too sticky, dust it lightly with baby powder.

Embellishing jewelry clay

6. Place large objects & focals first.

Place larger objects and focal points into your clay first. Tip: To save time, you can leave strung beads on the string, rather than placing them individually in the clay. Trim excess string once the beads are in place.

crystal katana

7. Fill in remaining clay with crystal chatons.

Next, fill in the remaining exposed clay with sparkling crystal chatons. As mentioned above, a jewel setter can make this task quicker and easier. When you are placing your chatons into the clay, be sure not to press or tap them in to deeply. The clay will rise up a little bit around them particularly when it is very wet.

finished_belt_buckle

8. Allow clay to dry and you’re done!

Set aside your design in a safe spot and allow the clay to thoroughly dry, based on the manufacturer’s instructions. EnviroTex Jewelry Clay fully cures in 24 hours to a hard, durable, and shock resistant substance with a smooth, porcelain like surface. It does not shrink as it cures!

Below, check out more fun designs Jan made with EnviroTex Clay and crystal chatons.

donuts

These chunky donut beads are held fast in the crystal clay,
demonstrating how strong EnviroTex clay is!

Homer Simpson wouldn’t be able to resist this whimsical bit of bling! It’s made with donut beads, aurora borealis crystals, and a square bezel-cup pendant blank.

heart key chain

EnviroTex Jewelry Clay is durable enough for heavily-used objects
like key rings. Add heart to designs with heart bezel cups.

Heart-shaped bezel cups add an extra bit of love to jewelry designs. Additional supplies used to make this heart key ring include a beadable key ring blank, a lampwork glass heart bead (reamed to make the hole larger), and a hammered pewter heart charm.

seashore

Go nautical with embedded scallop shell beads and freshwater pearls.

Rectangle bezel-cups provide a great shape for custom pendants with a touch of bling. The design pictured above is adorned with shell beads  and freshwater pearls surrounded by blue zircon and aquamarine crystal chatons.

three-rings

Adorn your hands with bezel cup ring blanks!

Bezel cup ring blanks come in several colors and shapes. Some styles are exclusive to Rings & Things, and all styles are adjustable to fit any ring size. They’re perfect for making blingy costume jewelry.

bear

You don’t have to use crystals.
This polar bear ring has seed beads embedded in the jewelry clay.

Embed seed beads and other objects in the crystal clay to see what other effects you can achieve! This winter-themed ring has a polar bear bead and a “Snow Ball” seed bead mix embedded in the clay. Let your imagination be your guide as you have fun making mosaic jewelry and a whole lot more! :)

How to Make a Metal Box

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Make A Metal Box

A small metal box was turned into a framed reliquary, containing an antiqued frozen Charlotte doll. Create your own metal box that can be transformed into memory jewelry, a tiny shrine or used for some other whimsical (or practical) purpose.

Free jewelry project from www.rings-things.com by designer Sondra Barrington features a verdigris frozen Charlotte nested inside an antique brass framed reliquary box.

To make a metal box, first decide on the type of metal, and the size of the box you want to create. I recommend using 20 gauge sheet metal for strength and durability. Copper or brass sheet metal are nice choices as they are inexpensive and they antique nicely.

Anneal the metal before cutting so that it can be manipulated more easily. Heat it with a torch until it is glowing red, let it cool naturally and clean thoroughly.

Anneal the metal for malleability.  Be sure to clean it thoroughly afterward!

Cut the metal to size. This box was 1-1/2″ long and 3/4″ wide. It is 3/8″ deep. Draw lines of box using a Sharpie pen.

Draw lines for the metal box using a Sharpie pen.

Cut one line of each corner to the point where it intersects with another line. Using wide flat nose pliers, bend the ends in, and the sides up, to create the box shape. Carefully fold each end of the box into place, making the corners square and secure. File if needed to remove any uneven edges.

Fold ends together, snugly into place to create each end of the box.

Antique and colorize all parts you intend to assemble.

Antique and patina the frozen charlotte doll, the ornate brass frame and the brass metal box to create the reliquary.

Fill back of frame with two-part epoxy. Center box over ornate brass frame and press into epoxy to place.

Fill back of ornate brass frame with two-part epoxy.  Attach frame to top of box when epoxy is nearly set.

Using a two-part epoxy, UV resin, jeweler’s grade resin or other strong, clear glue, embed your treasures into your framed metal reliquary. Small toys, souvenirs, images layered in resin and tiny mementos are all used in creating custom memory jewelry.

Once epoxy has cured, you are ready to embed your treasure into the framed metal box.

Use epoxy to attach a magnet, let it cure and you are done! (Note: You could also attach a pin back or changeable bail in the same manner for a DIY jewelry brooch or pendant).

Use epoxy to attach a magnet to the back side of your brass reliquary.

 

Make Fashionable Ear Cuff Jewelry

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

If you haven’t yet jumped on the ear cuff bandwagon, now’s your chance! Some ear cuff designs include an earring post to hold the design in place, but many of today’s styles work for both pierced and non-pierced ears, making them as versatile as they are trendy.

Customer service rep Tracy and Gallery guru Amy made the following Five Ear Cuffs to showcase some of the styles popping up.

Spikes Galore Ear Cuff

Handmade ear cuff featuring spike beads and sparkly glass.

Lightweight plastic spike bead assortments give this ear cuff pizzazz and drama!

The dramatic silhouette of this purple punk beauty is currently my fave! To make your own (in the color of your choice), you’ll need:

When creating the cuff base with your 20-gauge wire, start by forming a “hook” from the back of the ear to the top of the ear – this is what will hold the non-pierced jewelry in place!

Forming the hook at the back of a wire ear cuff.

Close-up of the “hook” at the back of your wire base. This one is covered with 1.7mm rubber tubing for a smooth finish.

Curve the wire around to the front top of the ear and work your way down, shaping the base to the curve of your ear. Once you get to the bottom, leave a few extra inches of wire (you will form this into a spiral later).

String on the beads from the bottom. Then, lash the beads with 28-gauge wire to help hold the spikes in place. Once the beads are in their final spot, create a decorative spiral with the extra wire.

Details of a wire ear cuff with spikes.

Once your beads are lashed, create a decorative spiral at the bottom of your base.

With a separate piece of 20-gauge wire, make a figure-8 (infinity) connector to attach a dangling spike to the decorative spiral.

Finally, slip the hollow rubber tubing onto the “hook” at the back of the cuff (illustration above). This covers up any rough wire end, which makes wearing your cuff comfy as well as stylish.

Floral Steampunk Ear Cuff

Wire-wrapped ear cuff made with genuine watch gears.

Genuine watch gears lend a steampunk edge to this otherwise feminine floral design.

To make this style of free-form wire-wrapped ear cuff, all you really need is wire and baubles from your stash! Here’s a list of components used to make the cuff pictured above:

As with the spikes cuff (above), extend your 20-gauge cuff base past the top front of the ear around to the top back of the ear and down. This is what holds this non-pierced jewelry onto your ear!

Option: You can add 1.7mm hollow rubber tubing to the back of this design for a comfy, professional finish.

A dab of Tenax Plus, or other super glue, can help situate larger beads and baubles that are difficult to hold in place with wire alone. In the example above, a dab of super glue holds the back of a flower petal to the wire cuff.

Sweet & Simple Wire Ear Cuff

Simple wire and crystal ear cuff.

This simple wire cuff sparkles with Swarovski crystal bicones and margaritas.

No need to get fancy! The elegant simplicity of this traditional-style ear cuff can become a base for various beads and sparklies. To make this lightweight wrap, all you need is:

Start the wire base by cutting a 2.5-inch length of 20-gauge wire. Divide the wire into thirds, and make a 180-degree bend at the one-third mark (so your wire creates two parallel lines at one end). Make another 180-bend at the opposite end. Curl each end of your wire (now in the middle of the design) into a small loop.

Simple wire ear cuff with crystals.

The ends of your wire are hidden under the crystal embellishments, leaving the cuff ends soft for comfortable wearing.

Now you’ve got your basic form. Use the center loops as a base for wire wrapping on beads and other sparklies. It’s easiest to lash these onto your cuff now while it’s still flat! (Or, for a basic wire cuff, just leave unadorned).

Once you’re done embellishing, use a pen, pencil, or mandrel to bend the cuff into a shape that will fit around your ear.

Classic Ear Cuff – “Ode to Bajor”

Classic ear cuff made with pre-formed cuff blanks.

This classic-style ear cuff uses pre-made blanks.

This ear cuff takes me straight back to the 1980’s, when I first wore cuffs make from easy-to-use pre-made ear cuff components.

To make the rhinestone chain earring cuff above, use the parts list and how-to tips for the “Ode to Bajor” Ear Cuff Project in our Design Gallery.

While this particular example requires pierced ears to wear, it’s even easier to create a cuff that doesn’t require piercings. Just add dangles to the hole in the ear cuff finding and you’re done!

Bollywood Style Chain Ear Cuff

Bollywood style ear cuff made with chain, beads, and baubles.

This East Indian style ear cuff uses 3.3mm chain instead of wire to wrap around the top of the ear.

This sumptuous feast of dangles is inspired by Bollywood jewelry. Instead of a wire frame that wraps around the ear, jewelry chain drapes over the top of the ear and holds the dangles in place. It didn’t take long for us to realize that this style isn’t the best for a night of head-banging on the dance floor. For a candle-lit dinner, however, it’s just the thing!

To make the chain ear cuff pictured above, you’ll need:

Cut the chain to your desired length, add your dangles, and voila! You’re ready for a night on the town.

We’re going to keep watching this fun jewelry making trend. In the meantime, have fun making ear cuffs!

You can buy wire, beads, and components right here at Rings & Things (just click the links in the parts lists above)!

Create with confidence. :) ~ Melissa