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Textured Copper and Coin Bead Hoop Earrings

by Carol Ladine Lagoski


I made the pair for this project using copper wire but of course you can use 14k Gold Fill or Sterling Silver.

The diameter of these hoops is 50mm. Total earring size is 1 7/8" by 2 1/2" including the ear wires.

I recommend starting out using copper wire. It is a great practice wire due to being soft, easy to manipulate, inexpensive and easy to find. When you hammer or forge the wire it will get quite stiff and sturdy.


12" of 18 gauge round copper wire for hoops
8" of 20 gauge round copper wire for wrapping the beads. You can easily find this wire at your local hardware store.

You also need
One pair 14k Gold Fill or Sterling Silver ear wires.
Beads of your choice. I used 18mm Mother of Pearl coin beads in this project.



Tools needed:
Wire cutter
Flat nose pliers with smooth jaws
Round nose pliers


Round mandrel. I just used a piece of 1 5/8 diameter PVC pipe. The diameter of your mandrel will determine the size of your hoops.

[Editors Note:  Many household items, such as pill bottles, make excellent mandrels.]

Metal hammer and a hard surface to use for flattening your hoops. I have a small table vise with a small flat area that I use.



Take your 18 gauge wire and cut it into two 6" pieces. Wrap around your shaping mandrel overlapping ends as shown. Push as close and smooth as possible with your fingers. You can tap very lightly with handle your hammer if you wish. Remove from mandrel and spread the ends apart a bit for the next step.



Use your needle nose pliers to form the loops. Placing the end of the wire just about in the middle of your pliers points makes a nice size loop. Curl one end inside and one to the outside as shown.



Now reshape your hoop so the loops are one under the other as shown in the photo


Now comes the real fun part, hammering or forging the wire. Lay your hoop on a hard surface, strong metal recommended. Take your hammer and pound. Do this on both sides of your hoop. The wire will want to bend upwards slightly as you do this but you can push it back into place when you've finished flattening it. Repeat these steps for your second hoop.

NOTE: You will get a slight texture on the metal from the pounding. I added a bit more texture here by placing a heavy duty common metal file over the hoop and hammering some more.


Now we can wrap the beads. Take your 8" piece of 20 gauge wire and cut it in half. Using the very tip of your round nose pliers make a tiny curl on one end of each piece.




Then take your flat nose pliers and fingers wind the wire around this curl several times making a coil.




After completing the coils bend remaining wire back about 45 degrees. This piece should look like this.



Next thread your bead onto this wire. To finish, make a hangman's noose at the top of your bead with your round nose pliers as shown in the next three photos. Bend wire using the middle of the pliers nose about 1/4" up from the bead.




Wrap your wire tail around to fill space between the loop and top of bead. I left a little wire to form a curl in front of the coin bead to keep it from twisting. Adjust your loop and coil at the bottom so bead will hang correctly.

This is what the finished bead should look like.



Add your beads and ear wires to the hoops and your done.


Here's a pair in Sterling with Black Onyx beads and tiny Sterling beads on head pins.



NOTES: The diameter of your mandrel will determine the size of your earring hoops.
Try mandrels of different shapes such as oval, square or rectangle.
Try wire of different gauges, the heavier the gauge the more substantial the hoops will be
When using head pins with the beads simply string the bead(s) onto the headpin and make the hangman's noose at the top.

By using different size/shape mandrels, different gauges and types wire and your imagination you can create a whole wardrobe of earrings using these instructions.

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