Ah, the classic hoop. So timeless, stylish and easy to make yourself. Skip the store-bought version and make your own with this quickie tutorial.
Classic Hoop Earrings
What You Need
- 20g/0.8mm wire (maybe start with copper wire to perfect your hoops before you venture into more expensive metals)
- Round-nosed pliers
- Flat-nosed pliers (make sure these are actually flat-nosed pliers, not chain-nosed pliers, if possible)
- Flush cutters
- Steel bench block
- Chasing hammer (or other jeweler’s hammer with a flat face)
- Solid cylindrical object, the diameter you wish your hoop earrings to be (I used a lip balm! A ring mandrel is another good choice if you have one; it allows you to make many different sizes consistently)
1. Cut the Wire
Cut a 6" piece of 20g/0.8mm wire, and use the round-nose pliers to turn a small loop at one end.
Note: The wire is longer than you will need for one earring, but it is easier to work with a longer piece. This length should do for both hoops, depending on the diameter of hoop you opt for.
2. Shape the Wire
Using round-nosed pliers, turn a small angle at the base of the loop (so that it becomes a lolly-pop rather than a p/q), and then angle the loop upwards slightly using flat-nosed pliers.
3. Wrap the Hoop
Take a solid cylindrical object, around the diameter you wish your finished earrings to be, and firmly wrap the wire around, from just after the loop you have already created. It helps to "over-wrap" — to wrap more wire than you need around the cylinder — to create an even hoop shape.
4. Angle the Wire
Place your round-nosed pliers at the point where the wire meets up with the loop again.
Turn the wire upwards at an obtuse angle.
5. Trim Your Ends
Trim the wire about 1/8” (3mm) beyond the bend from step five, and pass the short piece of wire through the loop you created in step one.
6. Hammer the Hoop
Hammer the lower central point of your hoop, and repeat in full for second hoop.
If you're not sure how to find the central point of your hoop, remember the tail — not the loop — will pass through your ear, so the loop will be just to the side of the upper central point.
Once you've got a basic pair of hoops in your arsenal, start branching out into different styles. Experiment with beads, change the look of the metal by oxidizing your wire using liver of sulphur (take care to follow the manufacturer’s instructions), play with the shape: these hoops are your oyster.