I've been making river rock earrings for two years and purchasing prefabricated ear wires. I decided it was time to make my own. The cost savings was alarming, and they look so much more unique and beautiful. I don't have the right tools for the trade, so spent some time scrounging around my art studio for alternatives. I came up with the following process.
A set of jewelry making tools (mine are very cheap), purchased from Craft Warehouse.
Sterling silver wire, although it's smart to practice on cheaper wire, to start.
1. Using round-nose pliers, make a creative loop at the end of your wire.
2. Wrap the wire around the handle of your hammer (a mandrel is ideal, if you have one).
3. Using your wire cutters, snip the end of the wire. Make sure that the wire is not jagged so that it does not poke your ear when inserting the earring.
4. If you don't have a block, place one hammer on your work surface. Use the second hammer to gently pound and flatten your ear wire. This technique helps strengthen the wire and hold your loop tightly in place.
5. Use your flat nose pliers to bend the tip of your ear wire just slightly.
6. Make a second ear wire to match the first, and that's it! It's fun to play with the loops and the overall size of the ear wire.