An ear cuff is a funky and functional jewellery piece that can be appealing to both those with pierced ears and those without. Most often made out of 20- to 22- gauge wire in gold fill, sterling silver or hypoallergenic stainless steel, the ear cuff can be as simple or complex as the creator chooses to make it. Ear cuffs often include beads and complicated wire wraps. However, the most basic of ear cuff designs is easy to master, and the skills can be built upon from there.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Spool of 22-gauge sterling silver wire
- Small gauge needlenose pliers
- Wire cutters
Cut 1 1/2 inches of sterling silver wire off the spool, using the wire cutters. Once you've cut the piece of wire for the ear cuff, use the file to smooth the rough ends.
Use the needlenose pliers to bend one end of the wire inward to resemble a small U. Bend that U over again so that it creates a small swirl. The entire swirl should take up less than 1/8 of an inch. Repeat these steps on the other end of the wire.
Measure 3/4 inch from one end of the wire and mark with a pencil. Bend the wire in the opposite direction so that the wire looks a bit like a smooshed Z. Repeat both steps at the other end of the wire.
Shape the ear cuff by bending it around the pencil. It is now ready to wear.
Tips and warnings
- As you become comfortable with making this simple cuff, you can add beads or more complex silver weaving at either end.
- For a more decorative treatment on the ends of silver or gold-filled wire, you can also heat the ends until they become small balls. If you do this, wear protective gear to prevent burning yourself on hot wire.
- WireSculpture.com offers a few free ear cuff patterns you emulate in order to gain practice. (It is also a good resource for finding jewellery-making supplies.) WigJig.com offers a completely different take on the ear cuff, placing it inside the ear like a hoop earring. The pattern for that cuff is available for free on their website (see Resources).
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