Saturday 14 April 2012

Handmade Monday: Simple stud earrings from wire

Bea, one of the lovely guest designer on Jewellery Maker, showed this method of using wire to make stud earrings a few days ago.  I always like to have a go, and a couple of folks who missed the programme asked for a tutorial, so here it is.  This would work best and was demonstrated with a flat backed bead or gemstone but does work with the rounds I've used here - Brazilian jade beads. Similarly, I've used 0.8mm wire (20 gauge) but the original demo used 0.6mm I think.  You just need to check whether the thickness of wire will go through the butterfly backs you're using.

You will need:
A length of wire about 6 inches or so
Wire cutters
Chain nose pliers
Round nose pliers (optional)
Cup burr or file
2 beads
2 butterfly backs

Step 1: Pop your bead on the wire and bend the wire around the bead.  One side will form the stud back and the other will circle the bead twice, so leave a short end for the stud and a longer one for the circling.

 Step 2: Work the longer end of the wire around the circumference of the bead, pushing the wire gently and keeping close to the edge, going in front of the shorter end of the wire.  You might want to push this shorter end out of the way as you go past it.

Step 3: Keep pushing the wire around until you have gone round the whole bead twice.  The wire will be just at the hole of the bead where you started winding.  At this point, you can choose to simply snip the wire and push it gently with the chain nose pliers so that it lies flat to the bead. 

Step 4: I've chosen to add a loop for a small bead dangle.  You need to snip the wire, leaving just enough for the loop....

Step 5: ... and gently form the loop with the round nose pliers.

Step 6: Go back to the other shorter tail of the wire now and bend it gently round the back of the bead to half way down the bead.  A bit fiddly now with a round bead, must easier if you are using a flat back bead.

Step 7: Use the chain nose pliers to make a right angle bend in the wire as shown and you've made the stud post.

Step 8: Tidy up the end of the stud post - you can use a nail file if you wish.  A cup burr like the one shown is a very useful little tool and will give you a nice rounded end and won't remove the plating on the wire either.

Add your butterfly backs and additional bead drop if required.

You need to be quite careful putting the backs on and off not to pull the stud post away from the bead.  You could try using a spot of glue on the post. 

The finished earrings, with a little faceted red jade bead added. The others are faceted peridot with pearl drops.

Enjoy making!  And don't forget to sign up to follow the blog for more tutorials, crafty stuff and photos of my dog!


  1. they're so pretty, what a good idea! I'm hopeless with wire - I'm not neat enough lol :)

  2. I think I need a cup burr. How do you use it? Thank you! These earrings are darling!

    1. I had a second question/comment besides how do you use a cup burr...The wire you use in your tutorials is beautiful. It looks like it already has a patina! What kind of wire is this?

    2. Hi - the cup burr is really simple to use. The wire just fits in the 'cup' at the end and turning the burr smooths the end nicely. The wire is antique bronze - it's like a deep chocolate colour and quite shiny and is really good for hammering too.

      Alison x

  3. These earrings are very beautiful and lovely. A girl can be very happy to wear these handmade stud earrings.

    stud earrings

  4. I love the extra touch - a loop for dangles!

  5. This is a wonderful idea and a great tutorial. What gauge wire do you recommend?

  6. Very nice tut. Simple instructions and great for pre teen / teen projects. Thanks for sharing.


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