Americans are cutting back on expenses as never before in recent years. Personal and family budgets often cut spending first on gifts and costume jewelry purchases. For those who can’t possibly bear to dress down without earrings or who feel pain at not being able to give a special present to a loved one, handmade earrings may provide an answer. Do-it-yourself earrings can be made for less than the cost of a fast-casual lunch or dinner out.
While dedicated tools and some instruction will help in the quality of the final product, one does not need specialized skills to make simple, elegant jewelry pieces.
In the examples below, we consider earrings made with sterling silver earwires and posts for two reasons:
- Sterling Silver is hypoallergenic for most people
- Sterling Silver is a precious metal, but without the cost of white gold or platinum
Definition of Earring Findings
In jewelry terms, a “finding” is a component of jewelry less than a finished piece. One type of finding used for earrings is an earwire (also known as a “french wire” or a “hook”). An “earring post” has a “post” (“stick”) that fits through the piercing, with an “earnut” (also known as a “stop”) that fits over the stick behind the ear. A full ball, half ball, shield, or other design will be soldered onto the front of the post.
Tools Recommended for Simple Earrings
Flat nose pliers or chain nose pliers are the tools recommended for most earring styles considered in this article. These pliers, when used in jewelry making, will be smooth on the inside, to minimize the marks added to jewelry; normal pliers usually have serrated jaws to “bite” into metal.
Sterling Silver Earrings: No Tools Required
The first type of earrings discussed need no tools — hands are good enough. Good sterling silver shield post earring findings show a thin, rounded profile in the vertical. sterling silver dinner set At the bottom edge of these findings is a “U”-shaped hook that is open to the back. One only needs to hang a drop with a soldered ring at the top from the “U”-shaped hook, then pinch the top of the hook closed with the fingers.
With representative prices of $2.35 per pair for Sterling Silver Shield Post earring findings and $6.97 or less for a pair of bezel-set Sterling/Colorless Cubic Zirconia drops, not including shipping or sales tax, you can make a pair of earrings with the fire and sparkle of simulated diamond for less than $10, with no tools required. If you prefer earrings entirely of sterling silver, simply replace the Sterling/Cubic Zirconia drop with a pair of sterling teardrops with soldered top loops for $2.65 per pair. You can keep your cost of a pair of sterling silver earring less than $8.
Sterling Silver Earrings: One Tool Required
Many earring posts and earwires have open rings soldered to the bottom of the earring findings. These open rings need to be gently opened to the side to hang a drop or dangle. It MAY be possible to do that with your hands, but we recommend one pair of either flat nose pliers or chain nose pliers because they will offer you better control than using only your hands.
To use either earring posts or earring findings, one must GENTLY move part of the open ring soldered to the bottom of the finding to the side. Then, it is possible to hang a drop or a wire-wrapped dangle onto the open ring. Once again, use the pliers to GENTLY move the open piece of the ring back into place — to close the gap of the open ring.
With a representative price of $0.66 for a pair of short Sterling Silver French earwires and a pair of 4mm Sterling/Cubic Zirconia bezel-set drops, you can make a pair of earrings for under $5 (before shipping or sales tax).
For formal affairs, such as weddings or holiday parties, a pair of 6mm Princess Cut Sterling/Clear Cubic Zirconia posts with 6mm Sterling/Clear Bezel Set Cubic Zirconia drops are stunning earrings that can be made for under $16; one set of pliers is recommended to assemble these.
Those who are planning to cut back on jewelry and gift budgets can put together attractive sterling silver earrings on a modest budget, offering pleasing handcrafted gifts to loved ones and wearing attractive earrings, too. You may find that making your own earrings is so easy that you will do it in better economic times, too.