Your jewelry making style may be artsy, wild and bold, but sometimes you just have to make something simple. Those moments of creative simplicity should put you in the perfect mood for hoops: simple, basic round earrings. The good thing is, the hoops you make can be simple and plain, but you can also add beads or swirls or whatever you choose to make them a bit fancier.
To create perfect, round hoops you could probably use a ring mandrel, a set of rods or a wire-working thingie of some sort. From my past jewelry making tutorials, you may already know my thinking on jewelry making gadgets. While they’re great for bringing out your hidden creativity, you shouldn’t rush out to buy every little widget you see. Save your money until you’re sure that specialized jewelry tool won’t end up in the back of the closet after one use.
That being said, try forming your first pair of hoops using any solid, slender round object you find in your home. That object could be a thick marker or a curtain rod. In my case, the round object I use most often is a AA battery. They’re small, easy to handle, the perfect size for forming small hoop earrings.
If you use a battery to form your earrings be careful. Don’t hit it with a hammer or poke it with your pliers.
You’ll also need basic jewelry making tools:
-Round nosed pliers
-Hammer and Block (optional)
-16 Gauge wire
Create Your Hoops
–Cut two – 3 inch pieces of wire
-Use pliers to bend the top 5/8 inch of your wire to a right angle (See Illustration #2)
-Use your finger to add a slight curve to the longest section. This makes it easier to form a circular shape around your round object.
-Place your wire curved side down over your round object.
-Curve your wire all the way around, snugly to take on the round shape, but not too tight.
-Wrap the excess wire around the 5/8 inch extension at the top.
-Slip your hoops off.
-Smooth any rough edges.
-If you have difficulty slipping them off, unwind the wire a bit until your hoop loosens up.
Create a perfect loop at the top
-Begin your loop with the perfect angle by bending the 5/8 inch extension to a right angle. (illustration #3)
-Using your round nosed pliers, grab the wire tip and roll your pliers into the wire to form a loop.
-Dangle your hoops from a pair of earwires.
Hoop Earring Options
-Taper the top of your hoops for a slight teardrop shape.
-Make big hoops, shape them around a small jar or an empty round aspirin bottle. Finish them off with a loop at the top, then stretch them into an oval shape by gently pulling the top and bottom at the same time.
-Make smaller hoops.
-For something a bit more fancy cut your wire an inch longer. Instead of bending 5/8 inches of wire make it 1 & 5/8 inches. Create your hoop earrings as above, then add a bead or two at the top. Trim excess wire and make a loop to add earwires. (see illustration #4)
-Hammer your hoops. This flattens the wire, making it bolder with a slightly different look and texture.
-Experiment with smaller gauges of wire and different metals
-Add charms or beads to the bottom of your hoops for a dangly look.
-Try making them square instead of round.
My personal projects