Kidney Ear Wires
Ear wires really take a lot of abuse! Often a simple French hook will work itself out of an ear, and a customer - or you - loses a beloved earring. Named for their shape, try making and using these Kidney Ear Wires as a more secure way to wear and save your lovely handcrafted earring designs.
Tip: If you make one ear wire according to the pattern while making another in its mirror image, you will create a matching pair.
Skill Level: Beginner/All
Technique: Round wire
- Straighten and cut a 4" long (10cm) wire for each ear wire. Measure and mark 1 ½" from one end. At this mark, use round nose pliers to make a simple loop. This loop will be what the ear decoration will hang from.
- On the shorter wire, measure ¼" from the loop and use round nose pliers to make a sharp U turn.
- 3. Using either chain nose pliers or crimp pliers, squeeze the U so the wires lie tightly next to one another and parallel.
- Using either bent nose or chain nose pliers, hold both the wrapped loop and the crimped U. With fingers, wrap the end wire of the crimped U around the end of the wrapped loop wire, twice. Trim and tuck this wire end.
- Bend the remaining long wire 45° in the opposite direction of the U. Then bend this wire around an object such as a round pencil, the small jaw of double barrel bail pliers, or the largest section of round nose pliers, heading back toward the U, forming the ear hook.
- Use chain nose pliers, no more than ¼" from the end of the ear wire, to bend the end out slightly.
- Use round nose pliers on the end of the U to make a small hook, heading around the ear hook. This hook is what will keep the ear wire from working itself out of an ear. Finish the ear wire ends as you usually finish them; see Sonja Kiser's nice video tip, How to Remove Wire Burrs, for several ideas.
You've made your own secure Kidney Ear Wires!
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