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How to Make Long Kidney Ear Wires Tutorial

I've noticed  many women prefer to wear lever back ear wires because they are more secure than the common shepherd's hook ear wires. As it is not possible to make the former, the alternative are French ear wires. These have little hooks which capture the tail end of the ear wires.

If you look at the picture , the silver plated one on the left was a bought finding. The copper one on the right is the ear wire I made following the general design. It's not that hard so here are some instructions to get you going.

Cut about 3-4 " of 20G wire depending on how long you want the ear wires to be. Round the wire around chain nose pliers at about 3/4" from one end of the wire.

You need to make two bends on either side of the open loop you just made. Position your chain nose pliers such that it grips the upper wire and gently put a slight bend (as shown in the picture). Reposition the pliers again such that it grips the lower wire. This bend should be about a 90 degree angle.

Use either round nose pliers or broad nose pliers to bend the short end back on itself. Trim the end to form a neat hook.

I like to use my bail forming pliers to form the top part of the ear wires. It's a very useful tool - check out my past post on how to use bail forming pliers. How far up the you go before you bend is entirely up to you. It depends if you want a long or short ear wire.

Use a small broad nose pliers to put a slight kink at the end. This is the part of the ear wire which will slip behind the retaining hook. Trim it if it is too long.

Don't forget to debur the part which goes through the ear holes. I use a cup debur but you could also use a needle file (see how to debur ear wires tutorial).It's easy enough, isn't it? The tricky part is making an identical ear wire for a pair!  Practice makes perfect. (Update : as two commentators pointed out - make two at the same time so you are sure to bend in the same places!)

Now you can hang whatever dangles you want on your new French ear wires!

Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 


  1. Thanks for another great article. The tricky part IS to make them alike. I make mine at the same time. At least you will get most of the bends in the same place. Once you are done it will just take a little tweaking.

  2. Yes, making them at the same time is the only guarantee, that they look at least similar. Hm, I wonder why I did never make them? I'm always afraid that one of my earrings gets lost and use the little plastic stoppers to avoid that. Thanks for the tut!

  3. Excellent point ladies!! I shall amend the post to mention it!

  4. Great tutorial...I've made them a couple of times...takes a bit of practice! I always may a pair of ear wires at the same time...I'm not that great at judging to make them separate! :0)


  5. Great tute Pearl! I have made these before with a pair of round nose pliers but it is a pain if your are trying to bend two at once since the tip is tapered. I love your idea for making them with the bail making pliers. Would be easier to keep them the same size!

  6. where can I buy the multi gem necklace on the cover of the H&M winter 2010 magazine?

  7. The answer is probably somewhere inside the magazine where they list the suppliers of the dress, jewelry etc. It is a wonderful necklace for sure! Pearl

  8. in your first paragraph you wrote:
    " as it is impossible to make the FORMER "...can you tell me what you were referring to?
    thank you in advance

  9. Hi Linda,
    I was referring to the lever back ear wires which are hinged. These are commercially made. I should have been clearer in the post!

  10. I dont know how I missed this one before. I tape the 2 pieces of wire with masking tape while making not o simple ear wires to make sure I am making the same loops at the same place in both wires at the same time

    1. I love the tape idea. Thank you!

  11. That's a great tip, Divya! Thanks for sharing.


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