Thursday, June 11, 2015

How to Make All in One Shank Button Earrings

By on Thursday, June 11, 2015 12 Comments

All in one buttons earrings are my favorite not only to wear but to make. They look elegant without being too dangly. Choose good looking buttons and you'll soon be cranking them out. I should also mention they are very fast to make. All you need are the buttons and some wire and you are good to go.

What you need :

  • Shank buttons about 1.5 cm in diameter; the buttons I used were courtesy of TierraCast
  • 20G wire, I used jeweler's bronze for this pair because it looks like gold
  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers
  • flush cutters
  • nylon jawed  pliers - or use a folded paper towel
  • large bail forming pliers (or use a dowel or marker pen)
  • sanding pad or cup bur
  • nylon hammer and steel block

TierraCast shank buttons

Cut 4 inches of wire and use the tip of your round nose pliers to bend it to unequal lengths - 1.5 inch and 2.5 inch.

Hook the bent wire through the button shank with the short end on the left (reverse if you are lefthanded).  If the button has a one way design, make sure the wire is sitting at the top.

As a right hander, I then grabbed the short wire end and bent it under the long wire end and down the shank and up the other side.  This is a little tricky - just make sure the long wire stays, pointing up.

Trim the short wire end and use your chain nose pliers to tuck it in.

If the long wire got kinked, straighten it with the nylon jawed pliers. You can also stroke the wire using a folded up paper towel.

Bend the wire to the front of the button like so :

Place the smaller barrel of the bail forming pliers below and against the button. Then bend the long wire over the larger barrel. The wire should look like it is part of an ear wire which it is!

Trim the wire to the desired length.  You can use your chain nose pliers to put a little kink at the end. But a broad nose pliers will mean consistent bends all the time.

Don't forget to remove the burs. Check out this tutorial post, How to Debur Ear Wires.

Also hammer lightly with a nylon hammer to work harden and set the shape of the ear wires. Make the other side and you're done! Have fun!

Check the links below for my other all in one earring tutorials.

All images were taken with my iPhone 5 with the camera+ app on the Modahaus photo studio and steady stands.  The tutorial pictures were captured using artificial lights in my windowless basement studio. Final design pictures were taken in natural daylight.  Check here to find out more about my How to Photograph Jewelry Webinars. 

Before You Go:
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 



  1. GREAT tutorial Pearl!

    You know how many old buttons I have and I actually do own some of these Tierracast items!

    It's obviously very easy to make these - so....that being I go!!


    1. I'll bet some of those are gorgeous! So have fun making earrings from them.

  2. Very clever, Pearl. I was at a antique show last weekend and thee was a fabulous button vendor. Now, I wish I would have picked some up.

    1. I wish I could encounter a button vendor too! Maybe you'll have another chance in the future.

  3. I've tried creating earrings out of buttons before, but they've turned out sloppy or didn't remain in position. Your solution is neat, clean and stable. Thank you for the instructions.

    1. You're welcome! Have fun making them!

  4. Great tutorial! Like everyone else, I have lots of buttons. May I ask what brand of wire you used to make these earrings? I always try to use nickel-free metals, especially for earrings.

    1. This is Wrap It's jeweler's bronze from Fire Mountain Gems. It is 85% copper and 15% zinc so is fine for those with nickel allergies. Great gold color and I love it for wire wrapping.

  5. I have some Chanel buttons.....feeling excited

    1. Oooooh......I am positively green with envy!

  6. Thankyou for the rock