Monday, July 16, 2012

Swirly Ear Cuff Tutorial



This is not the easiest ear cuff tutorial; if you are just getting started, I'd suggest making several of the Simple Ear Cuffs to warm up!

A primer for those unfamiliar with ear cuffs: You don't need peircings to wear these! They slide on to the cartilage of your ear. (Here's a description of the proper way to put on ear cuffs). It's typical to wear only one ear cuff for bold designs, but the simpler ones worn in pairs are great replacements for regular earrings. They are far more comfortable and customizable than clip-on or screw-back earrings!


This swirly design is by far my favorite and it is the best-selling ear cuff style at my Shoppe.


For this tutorial I am using 20 gauge enameled copper wire to make a right-ear ear cuff. My favorite wire to work with for this type of jewelry is silver plated copper; it is pliable enough to bend, sturdy enough to last, and of course is very good quality.


Begin with several inches of wire. The basic swirly cuff needs only 6 inches.


Create zig-zags an inch (or slighly over an inch, depending on your ear type) long, just like I did in the simple ear cuff tutorial.

Add the swirly at the top and bend the bottom wire down. Make sure the swirl and bend are not in the middle of the "arms." At this point, you need to have either a left-ear cuff or a right-ear cuff, or else the cuff won't fit either ear properly. (See the Simple Cuff tutorial for details, study the blue cuff in particular).

Bend the bottom bit of wire at one inch.

(Note: if you want to dangle a bead on these ear cuffs, make sure that the swirl you add in later does not overwhelm this bend. I'm not really sure how to describe this, but you'll notice that I keep the end of the ear cuff pointy. Usually I make it even pointier than I did for this tutorial.)


This is the perfect time to hammer the wire to harden it, if you so desire. Don't hammer the "arms" and make sure you don't harden the wire so much that it becomes brittle. I didn't hammer this example.



Fold around an appropriate marker and use pliers to finish bending the very ends so that the cuff creates a proper circle. (See the other tutorial!)




The finished ear cuff! The left image shows it worn normally (but slightly cricked; I didn't have a lot of patience while taking these photos!) and the right image shows it worn upside down on the "wrong" ear.






You can use a longer piece of wire and add in extra swirls and twists and all kinds of goodies on both the top and bottom.


A couple more fancy designs, click to englarge.



(I did warn you last week that you'd be seeings lots of pictures of my ears! Do you know how difficult it is to get pictures of your own ears???)

This ear cuff (which is on my shoppe) uses interchangeable dangles. You can see that I left the bottom of the swirly extra pointy. On the right you can see that it makes my ear look a little pointy and elvish. :)


This is a double ear cuff set with many interchangable dangles made from Czech glass leaf beads.

It's meant to be worn by people who don't have peircings for normal earrings. I like double ear sets to be very simple and elegant and in neutral colors so that they can camouflage as very unique earrings. Normally when I make bold ear cuffs, I only wear one.

And voila! You are set to make and customize your own ear cuffs! If you make some, leave a comment or send me a picture (shealynnsfaerieshoppe{at}gmail.com), I love seeing what others do with my tutorials. :)

You may use this tutorial to make your own ear cuffs, or your own modified design, for personal use or even for selling. All I ask is that you please reference me (Shaylynn Ann / Shealynn's Faerie Shoppe), and include a link back to my blog where appropriate. I do put a lot of time in coming up with tutorials and offering them for free, so thank you for this courtesy! And if you don't feel like making one of your own, they are available in my Shoppe and can be custom ordered!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Shaylynn Ann,

First of all, I love your tutorial, it's awesome. I just started making ear cuffs a couple days ago, so it took some practice with the wire, but I have a nice looking elf ear that I made today. Thanks for the ideas how to make them :)

Anonymous said...

love this! had to share it :)

Maria Moquin said...

thank you so much for being so generous with your knowledge...I work at Michael's and wore my new ear cuff last night and everyone LOVED IT!!!!

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