Skip to main content

The Perfect Wire Gauge For Hoop Earrings

I think I've found the perfect wire gauge for hoop earrings - 2mm. This is just my opinion and probably many would disagree! But..................I've made hoop earrings from various gauges from 20g/0.8mm (big no there, way too flimsy) to 1.5mm and 2mm definitely feels just right. It forms sturdy feeling hoops that don't bend out of shape but aren't too heavy so are nice and comfortable to wear.

I've always loved hoop earrings and I am wearing a pair right now. I've often seen the handmade hoops made from 20g/0.8mm wire with the hammered bottom section and thought they looked cool. These are the one's where you form a loop on one end and the hook on the other end of the wire. I did make a pair a long time ago but soon realised that they were much too flimsy and would easily bend out of shape as you tried to fasten them. I tried the same in 18g/1mm which were a bit sturdier but the 1mm wire was too big for the holes in my ears and actually hurt to wear so that idea was shelved. Reluctantly.

I've made various hoops since with complete hoops and separate ear wires and have always felt vaguely dissatisfied with them. They were fine but still not quite robust enough for what I wanted so when I made some hoops from some 2mm sterling wire I bought recently I was really pleased that they turned out how I wanted.

I made three different designs - one with a copper and silver etched disc dangling from the bottom ~

The second pair has a small silver heart that I cut out from sheet and soldered to a backing of copper before soldering to the bottom of the hoop. Making the heart was fiddly, I seem to have this perverse desire to make very small things and make life hard for myself! The ring clamp I sometimes use to hold things for filing wouldn't grip the tiny hearts so I did a lot of fumbling and managed to file part of my finger while I was finishing them :D

The wooden box is one of two I picked up from a local discount store. They were plain pine so I decided to stamp and stain them. They were sitting on the table when I was photographing the earrings earlier today and I thought they might be ok for the "dangle" shot so I tried them and I think they look alright and a change from the usual bright green vase/leather pen holder I normally use. I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do with the boxes, what I'm going to put in them or even where I'm going to put them but I like them!

 The third pair of hoops have a leaf shape in etched silver soldered to the bottom. The etched silver sheet was only 24g/0.6mm which would have been a bit thin on it's own so I soldered it to a base of 20g/0.8mm and trimmed the edges. Soldering the jump rings to the top was a bit stressful as I still struggle with the small fiddly bits but it got better after the first one. There was only a little bit of swearing this time.........


  1. These are all gorgeous! I love those with the copper dangles. Hoop earrings are such a classic that never goes out of style. I like a thicker gauge too. It is not good if the piece feels flimsy!

  2. Thanks for the tip! Love your work and I too, like to torture myself with fiddly small pieces too lol. :)

  3. These look wonderful! I'm a bit like you, I love the tiny components, even if they end up giving me a headache... I have also filed various fingers, and finger nails inadvertently...

    Love the handmade box prop too, looks excellent. And isn't it great when you find just the right size of wire for a job :)

  4. Thanks for your comments! I'm now making some more hoops with the 2mm wire with enamelled decoration :D

  5. I love the copper, and the box too, I think it makes a great backdrop. Less distracting than the vase to my eye (I'm easily distracted!)

  6. I totally agree with you on the wire gauge. I think that 2mm is perfect for hoops - I kind of like heavier jewellery though :) Lovely earrings by the way, really like those hoops with the hearts!

  7. Do you teach how to make the wire? Thanks! They are beautiful.... makes for a finished piece.

    1. Thanks for your comment Debra. No I don't teach - not enough space in my shed for two people!


Post a Comment

Your comments and questions are very welcome!
If you would prefer to contact me directly please use the contact form on my "get in touch" page.

Popular posts from this blog

Embossing Metal With My Sizzix Bigshot

I must admit up until a few weeks ago I was vaguely familiar with the name Sizzix but as to what you actually did with a "Sizzix" I was completely in the dark! That was until I stumbled across a video from Vintaj showing how you could use their embossing folders with a Bigshot to create designs on metal ("metal" - my favourite word after chocolate!)
I was really impressed and itching to have a go, I just needed a Bigshot........ I waited a few weeks then when the urge to possess one overcame me I went out debit card at the ready..............and the shop had sold out! So I trundled off to The Range on the off chance and came home clutching my own surprisingly heavy pink and black wonder machine. It sat on the dining room table for a couple of days while I waited for the embossing folders I'd ordered online to arrive then the time came to start playing!

I started with some pre-cut 24g copper hearts and the Wildflower Vines and the Butterfly Swirls Deco Embossin…

Etching Silver Using Nail Art Stamps

So my love/hate relationship with etching sterling silver continues. I've tried a few times now and always end up with different results most of them not that great to be honest. I've tried connecting the silver and a piece of copper to a 9v battery and also heating the ferric nitrate. Sometimes the results are good sometimes not so good. I currently have an etched piece of silver sheet waiting to be reticulated and rid it of the mess that is the etched "pattern". 
I now know that using stamps and Stayz On ink just doesn't work with silver - the time needed to etch using ferric nitrate is much longer than etching copper and the ink starts to wear away after about an hour. This results in the pattern being patchy as the resist is eaten away and the silver ends up quite lumpy and course looking. I have yet to try using pnp paper. I don't know why but it all seems a bit of a faff to do. I don't have a laser printer so would need to find somewhere or someone…

Rolling Mill Textures On Metal

I had another play with my rolling mill last week using some of the texture sheets from Etsy shop Rolling Mill Resource. I used some sterling silver and copper sheet and soon discovered it's best to get organized before you start!

I cut the sheet to size and worked out which design was going on which piece of metal. I also tried a feather but more on that later. Most of the sheet I used was 20g/0.8mm with one piece of 18g/1.0mm and one of 22g/0.6mm.
I've read that you should do a dead pass of the metal through the rolling mill with the gap the same size as the metal and texturing item. I'm not sure what this is supposed to achieve but I don't bother doing it. Judging the correct size of gap between the rollers is a trial and error thing that you discover by setting the gap then starting to roll the metal through. If there's too much resistance you make the gap bigger until there's just enough resistance to roll the metal through without giving yourself a herni…