Using unconventional jewelry-making tools such as a knitting needle or drum stick can create simple yet unique wire frame shapes. This tutorial shows you how to make beautiful wire-wrapped drop earrings using four inches of wire and unusual tools.
Photos via Karen Roark of I Always Pick the Thimble
Here’s what you will need:
- 4″ piece of 20-gauge wire
- Round-nose pliers
- Flat-nose pliers
- Side-cutting pliers
- Charms and accent beads
- Size 19 knitting needles or a drum stick
Granted, these may be considered unusual tools for the average jewelry maker, but they help create the teardrop shape of the earrings. So go ahead and ask your crafty knitting friend if you can borrow a size 19 knitting needle. Or raid your game closet and put those old Rock Band drum sticks to a new use. (That’s what I used!)
Making the earrings
Pinching lightly, bend the wire gently around the drum stick to form a rounded shape. Try and bend the wire so when the wires cross, one end of the wire is longer than the other.
Using flat-nose pliers, grasp both wires tightly just below where the wires cross, making sure the longer wire is in front.
On the back side, grasp the shorter end of the wire with the round-nose pliers. Begin to bend this wire down and toward you.
Stop and bend the longer wire out so it is straight, using your fingers. Now, continue bending the shorter wire with your needle-nose pliers down and toward the back.
Continue to bend the wire up and all the way around, so it makes a complete loop around the longer end of the wire.
Using side cutters, trim off the unused portion of wire.
Next, hold the long end of the wire with your round-nose pliers very close to the loop just made. Hold the longer end of the wire with your opposite hand.
Bend the wire around your round-nose pliers, so the wire is parallel to the loop just made, to begin forming a smooth and smaller loop.
Continue pulling the wire down and around the tips of the round nose pliers, crossing the wire behind the earring.
Next, hold the smaller loop firmly with your flat-nose pliers, so the wires cross in the front and the free end of the wire is coming from the back. Use the round-nose pliers to grasp the end of the wire and gently begin to bend this wire up and toward the front.
Continue bending this wire up and around the earring.
Continue to bend down and toward the back, making a full rotation around the earring.
Finish by wrapping the wire a second time all the way around the earring.
Using side cutters, trim off the excess portion of the wire close to the wraps just made.
Using flat-nose pliers, pinch the end of the wire so it is tight against the earring.
Using your round-nose pliers, open the bottom loop of an earwire and slide it onto the small loop of the earring. Close the loop of the earwire.
Use a jump ring to attach a charm or add a colorful bead.
So if jewelry making is your only crafty thing, don’t be afraid to pester your knitting or drumming friends to borrow some “sticks.” Just don’t forget to make them a pair to say thank you!