- Arts and Design
How to Make Copper Earrings
Handcrafted Earrings Made Simple
There is nothing simple about working with metal. Metal handmade jewelry requires skill and practice.
Having said that, I found an easy way of making earrings that almost anyone who has used tools around the house can do.
The main objects used to create these earrings are inexpensive and can be purchased in a hardware store or online at Amazon.
Once you make the simplest form of these earrings, you can embellish them in many ways.
Are you curious yet? Have you guessed what that object is by the photo? If you said copper washers, you are absolutely correct.
All photos were taken by designsbyharriet
Look in Your Toolbox
You will, of course, need to purchase a set of washers.
Washer sets include numerous different sizes, so you can make earrings that are big or small.
Some kind of drill is required for making the holes to fit the ear wires. Any household drill will do, but you will need to use a small drill bit because you want the holes to be small.
If you want to make your own ear wires, you will need six inches of sterling silver 21 gauge half-hard wire. Round nose pliers for shaping the wires would also be required. I use only sterling silver because copper can be a problem for some people.
Since this is an earrings made easy lens, I would suggest purchasing a pair of ear wires instead of making your own.
I also use a medium size clamp to hold the washer while drilling it, because the washer will get very hot, so something to hold it is necessary.
Safety glasses must be worn whether you are making jewelry or fixing something around the house. Small parts can come loose and fly around and could easily hit your eye. Better safe than sorry.
A small hammer and an awl. Look in your toolbox.
Don't forget the small drill bit available in hardware stores or online.
Some of the Tools RequiredClick thumbnail to view full-size
Use Safety Glasses
Mark the washers on the back flat side with your marker where you want the holes to insert the ear wires.
Mark and drill the back side of the washer, because it is flat and the drill bit will not slip as easily as it would on the rounded side.
Place the tip of the awl on the black mark and tap the awl with your hammer until you have a small hole.
Use your clamp to hold the washer, put on your safety glasses and put the drill bit right on top of the hole you just made.
Press the drill lightly to start the hole adding more pressure as you drill so the bit turns faster.
Washers are very thick and it takes a while for the small drill bit to go through the hole. Make sure you are drilling on a wood surface, such as a piece of wood so the drill can go through the washer and slightly into the wood.
That way you know the hole has gone completely through the washer.
I am not normally fond of kits. But if you just want to give it a try without spending a lot of money, this kit works well. For a few dollars you can get your creative juices churning and see if you like the results.
Sanding and Inserting Ear Wires
A Multi-step Process
The drill hole in the washer will have rough edges called burs that you can see in the previous photo.
These burs will have to be removed before you can insert the ear wires. Sand them with 220 sandpaper or a metal file.
After you have sanded the holes so they are smooth, they are ready for the ear wires.
Open the ear wires so that they face the right side of the wire. Look at the photo shown here.
This is the way that you open ear wires. If you open them towards you, you will weaken the wire.
Insert the ear wires into the hole that you drilled in the washers.
Using your pliers, return the open end of the wire to its original position pushing it to the left until it is tightly against the rest of the ear wire.
You Can Do More If You Desire
Now wasn't that easy? You now have a nice pair of copper earrings that will look great with any casual outfit.
You don't have to stop here, if you want to embellish your washers to create a design.
You have a variety of options, but do these before you attach the ear wires.
You can hammer the ear wires with a ball preen hammer. Any hammer with a rounded edge will do to create indentations in the washers that will look quite nice.
Something else you can do is add another washer to create double washer earrings or you can add another element such as a sterling silver piece to create your own earrings designs.
Wherever your imagination takes you, washers can be used to get you there.
Ball Preen Hammer
Washer Earrings with Added Silver Element
Always Use Safety Glasses
No matter what tools you use or for what purpose always use safety glasses. Your eyes are precious.
This Lens Received a Purple Star
Tools and Materials - Very Inexpensive Online
You can purchase all of the materials and tools mentioned this tutorial online at Amazon.