Thursday, May 9, 2013

One of the best Ear Cuff Tutorials

Shealynn's Faerie Shoppe...offers one (actually 3, scroll to the end of this post) of the best ear cuff tutorial(s) I've seen! 

I urge you to go directly to her her blog "Shealynn's Faerie Shoppe" and see all the great work she is creating. 
Ear Cuff Tutorial: The Double-Loop Technique

It's been a bit since I've done a proper tutorial, hasn't it? Don't worry, I'll be doing some craftsy
ones soon-- but fellow jewelers are in luck today! I've photographed the making of another kind
of ear cuff (which I'm calling the "Double-Loop" because you kind of loop it twice... I'm having
a really hard time coming up with names for these different ear cuffs!)

For those unfamiliar with ear cuffs, they are awesome and comfortable pieces of jewelry that
simply wrap around the cartilage of the ear-- no piercings required! They are easy to put on and
really stay put!  If you aren't up to making some yourself, be sure to visit my Shoppe, where I sell 
some and also do custom orders.

Before you begin, I recommend that you check out my tutorials on the basic ear cuff 
and the swirly ear cuff. You should be able to create both styles proficiently. You can also 
check out the bow-tie ear cuff tutorial (which is about the same difficulty as this ear cuff). 

Now then. With a few cuffs behind you, it's time to get started with this fun technique! 

We are creating a left ear cuff. Simply mirror the design to create one for the right ear.

This particular design is a bit more understated than the other ear cuffs because the decorative 
are limited to the bottom of the cuff!

You will need:
- 8 inches of 18 ga wire
- needle-nose pliers
-a marker (see my discussion of the type of marker or mandrel you will need)
- (optional) beads, other wire for decorative wrapping, headpins to add dangles, etc.

Cut a length of wire at least 8 inches long.

Bend it at the three inch mark. Make sure that the small loop this creates is actually a loop
-- it's not as comfortable to wear ear cuffs in which the wire is pinched together tightly.

This is where the "double loop" comes into play.

First, bend the wire into a 1 inch zig-zag (just as you did with the swirly ear cuff). The next
part is a bit tricky if you are working with tough wire like me (hard copper is not recommended to
begin with). Take the tail end of the wire on the right-hand side and fold it down and 
around the right-hand loop. 

Did that make sense? Here's a picture of the finished double loop:

The next few steps are just like the other ear cuffs, so I won't narrate these photos...

Okay, now you get to have fun. How do you want the ends of the wire to look? What beads will 
you add? What loops and swirls and decorations will you make with the wire? Have at it!

I found that I had a bit of a hard time keeping mental track of the placement of the ear cuff, so
I kept putting it on the marker (or my ear) as I designed, in order to make sure the swirls and 
beads were just perfect.

If you are adding beads, be sure to very, very slightly bend the wire just above and
 below the beads in order to hold them in place.

I only recently perfected this design, so I don't have any more double-loop ear cuffs to show you. 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Please be sure to leave a comment if you used it!

Also, please note that you may use this tutorial to make your own jewelry to sell, but only if you 
credit me for showing you how. It does take time for me to make these tutorials! Thanks!

How to Wear an

Simple Ear Cuff

Fancy Ear Cuff