Making Earring Hooks!

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When I began making jewelry, I used store-bought earring hooks… It was fine but once I started using metal as my main material, I thought about making my own earring hooks!  “Since I am working with metal, I should be able to make my own” was my thought!

People often ask how I started working with metal or how did I learn to silver solder?  I have some background in metal.  I was fortunate enough to have taken a Metal & Jewelry class one semester while at SUNY College at Brockport studying art. It was a great class & we had a wonderful instructor!  I learned a lot about working with metal but one thing we didn’t learn, was how to make earring hooks!  As far as that goes, I taught myself!  It takes practice and some patience but for my work, I feel it is worth it.

If you’re looking for a more cohesive design or just want to make your own earring hooks, check out my photos.  I recommend using 18 or 20 Gauge wire.   Both are a medium gauge.

For jewelry making purposes, wire often comes in a range of gauges from 10 to 28Gauge.

**The smaller the gauge, the thicker the wire, the higher the gauge, the thinner the wire**

Material and Tools:

I used 20 Gauge Sterling Silver wire for these earrings
Bail Making Pliers, a good quality pair is worth it and found at hobby shops.
There are various sizes of these pliers.. the size is at the top left of this picture. These are 6 by 8.5mm. The size refers to the diameter of the two different cylinders on the pliers.
Wire Cutters & Needle Nose Pliers
  • First step is to measure the length of your desired wire, about 1 3/4″ is a good length to avoid wasting metal.

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  • Then cut two pieces the same length using your wire cutters.

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  • Next using your Bail Making Pliers, curve both pieces around one cylinder of the Bail Making Pliers to create a U shape.  It’s ok if one side is shorter than the other!

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  • Now using fine grit Metal Sandpaper, sand the ends of both pieces smooth.  If you have a tumbler you can use that too.  Then using your Needle Nose Pliers, form a small circle on the shorter side of the U to create an attachment place (for where you’ll hang your earring design from later on).

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  • Using your Bail Making pliers you can create a slight curve to the other side of your earrings where they go thru the ear… This helps keep them in place when you wear them.  **This step is  isn’t necessary to do, just personal preference.**


  • Now… you have two earring hooks, for 1 pair of earrings!  You can make more than one pair at a time as I often do.

There are various styles of earring hooks but this is the most common and useful in most designs!  Go practice and have fun!

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  • I’ve hand-formed and hammered these sterling silver earrings and hooks for a classic design!

Betsy Murray  ~Sunshine On Water~

You can find more of my work on my Facebook page and on my etsy shop at the link below….


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