Tuesday, June 2, 2015

How to make kidney ear wires

Kidney ear wires, to me, are the perfect ear wire for little girls and tweens because they're very lightweight, small, and don't fall out. Don't get me wrong because they're perfect for women too. Especially if you tend to have French ear wires fall out of your ears just when you use your cell phone!

They're fairly easy to make though it does take me a bit of thinking, and looking at a finished one to get through my first set.  That's why I make several pairs at a time!  I get into a groove of making them and it's easier to bang out a bunch at once.

These are the tools you'll need...

I used 24 gauge wire for this tutorial.  However, 22 gauge is perfect too and very sturdy.  Cut two pieces of wire that are 2 1/2 inches long.  File the burrs off both ends.  Think about putting these wires through the holes in your ears...you wouldn't want anything sharp poking you.

Use your nylon jaw pliers to straighten each wire and to work harden them a bit.

Make a small half loop on one end of each wire using your round nose pliers. 

Place the loop flat into your chain nose pliers and bend the long end into a 60 degree angle (this is just an approximate, but yes, you can Google it to see what 60 degrees looks like).

Now grab the bend with the tip of your round nose pliers and form an open loop.  (This open loop is where you would hang your drops from.)  The long end of the wire should now be point straight up.

Using the chain nose pliers grab the top of the loop to hold firmly while you grab the long end of the wire and bend it up perpendicular to the original half loop.

If you don't have a
mandrel, then you can either use a wooden dowel or the barrel of a Sharpie marker.  As long as the surface is smooth and round!

This is where using
24 gauge wire is more forgiving...you want to form the kidney shape around the mandrel while leaving enough of a "tail" to hook through the half loop.

Grab the "tail" with your chain nose pliers and put a slight bend in it so that it won't slip up and out of the hook once fastened.


Get your steel bench block set up and place the ear wire on it so that the half loop is hanging off the edge.  When you use your mallet to flatten and work harden the ear wire you don't want the half loop to get caught and flatten it by accident!

Double check once again for any sharp ends.  Use your file again to smooth any rough burrs. 
I made some cute drops to hang off my kidney ear wires.  But I haven't decided if I'm going to list them in my Etsy shop, DesignedByDonnaD.etsy.com, or keep them to see at one of my home shows or craft fairs.
If you have any questions regarding this tutorial, please feel free to send me an email.  I'd be happy to answer your questions or to clarify anything that was unclear.  I apologize if my pictures aren't the most sharp.  I think that I'll need to invest in a mini tripod to keep the blurriness at bay.
Thanks for stopping by to check out my tutorial!  If you'd like to see one on a particular subject, then please let me know and I'll see if it's something I can post for you.  You can like me on Facebook - Designed By Donna D, find me on Pinterest, and Instagram under the same name....take care!