If you’re looking for a more unique DIY jewelry project that’s still really easy to make, this tutorial is for you. These dangle pearl earrings feature a long ear wire that you can custom make to any length.
I came up with these drop pearl earrings back in 2012. I was dipping my toes in selling my own jewelry and I hosted a jewelry trunk show at my house.
It was my first time selling my jewelry and I wanted to create something that was pretty easy to make but was also a little funkier than my usual handmade jewelry.
I was just starting to experiment with making my own ear wires and was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was easier than I had originally thought. (And in the end, way cheaper than buying pre-made earring hooks!)
What’s really cool about these DIY drop pearl earrings is you can make them as long or short as you want.
So if you want a fun project to work on with your teenage daughter you can make them a bit shorter. But if you’re looking for something to gift super cool and young-at-heart Aunt Roxanne, go longer.
This tutorial features a colorful freshwater pearl, but depending on the age and style of who they’re for, you can swap out the pearl for another type of bead. Heck, you can leave the bead out if you want and keep it really simple. It’s totally up to you!
learn how to make these gorgeous hanging pearl earrings
A couple quick notes before we move onto the instructions (and just a heads up this post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here):
- To give the ear wires added strength and shine, I recommend tumbling them in rock tumbler mixed with steel shot, water, and a drop of Dawn dish soap for about 30 minutes. If you do this, make sure you do this step before you add on the pearls (though you can do it with the spiral added on.) If you want to learn how to use a jewelry tumbler, you’ll learn this and a ton of other jewelry making skills in my video course, Jewelry Making Fundamentals.
- You may also need to file down the other end of the wire, especially if it’s a little jagged. Don’t want it cutting up your ear! Tumbling it will also help smooth out any rough edges.
- Personally, I love having a tumbler because I can throw any piece of sterling silver jewelry in there to clean it up when it gets tarnished. You can also easily clean your jewelry at home with supplies you already have at home.
- These earrings feature a 3-ring Mobius spiral. You can check out that picture tutorial, but if you want the video directions, you sign up for the Linkouture newsletter. As a thank you, you’ll get access to a FREE jewelry making video course!
Now, onto the tutorial!
- 6 large open jump rings (I use 16 gauge 9.5 mm ID (inner diameter) sterling silver jump rings)
- 4 small open jump rigs (I use 18 gauge 3.5 mm ID sterling silver jump rings
- About 8 inches of 19 or 20 gauge wire - I use 20 gauge sterling silver dead soft round wire (soft wire = wire that it easier to work with)
- Freshwater pearl (I recommend about 5-6mm round, but you could do a potato shape, or do a different type of bead that's about the same size)
- 2 ball headpins
- To get started, follow the first two steps in this simple DIY pendant necklace tutorial to make to sets of spirals with pearls in the center. (Stop before you get to the point where you are connecting the pearl to the spiral and return to this tutorial.)
- Next, with the flush cutter, snip your wire so you have two 4-inch pieces. (You can make the wires long or shorter, depending on how long you prefer the earrings to hang.)
- Using the round nose pliers or step pliers, create a little loop on one end of each piece a wire. Grip the end of the wire between the pliers and gently roll the wire around them until it meets back with the rest of the wire.
- Place the pair of needle nose pliers in the middle of the wires and gently bend the wire over the pliers to form the ear wire. Don't worry if it isn't exactly halfway -- it can be a little longer or shorter on one side. The most important thing is you bend the wire in the same place so that the ear wires match each other.
- String one of the small jump rings through the loop and close it up nice and tight.
- Take another small jump ring and loop it through the spiral, the loop above the pearl, and through the jump ring hanging from your ear wire. That's it! You've now learned how to make drop earrings with beads that are beautiful, feminine, and super easy to make. Amiright?
- If you find it easier, you can always make the spirals with the pearls attached and then use the other small jump ring to attach them to the ear wire. There's no "right" order to making these!
- This tutorial assumes some basic jewelry-making skills, but if you'd like a video tutorial of this and all of the other skills used in this tutorial, I recommend you register for my paid course, Metal to Masterpiece. Click here to register or go to www.linkouture.com/fundamentals
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More jewelry tutorials you’ll love!
- Freshwater pearl necklace — This necklace coordinates perfectly with the earrings in this tutorial
- Spiral chain bracelet — This chic bracelet looks really complicated but is basically just a bunch of 5-ring spirals strung together.
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