How to make earrings – quick ideas for beginners

Turn your hand to the craft of making earrings, without the need for a silversmithing qualification.

How to make earrings
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A fun, inexpensive way to jazz up any outfit, earrings always make a statement. And the options are vast, from classy studs and elegant teardrops to dramatic hoops and costume jewellery. There’s something in the shops to suit every style, but what if you want something more bespoke (without the price tag to match)? If you’re feeling adventurous, consider making your own statement pieces, perhaps using one of the specialist – or beginners – jewellery making kits on the market these days. 

And you’re not restricted to making for yourself – earrings make fantastic, personalised gifts for family and friends. Go ahead — give it a try. It's easy, especially with our quick, DIY, ideas for how to make  earrings that you’ll love.

Make your own earrings

Making earrings is a simple project that’s extremely rewarding. Here are a few tips to get you started. 

Start by educating yourself about the different materials used in jewellery making. Explore options such as leather, crystals, feathers, clay, glass, beads and wood, as well as different types of thread and twine. 

Once you examine these materials closely, something will likely stand out and attract your interest (this is all based on personal taste). Use this interest in a particular material to guide your first project — we recommend that you don't try to take on everything at once.

You’ll find that the web (and YouTube, in particular) is an amazing resource for jewellery making tips; there are a host of online classes, videos and step-by-step tutorials to get you started. Searching keywords such as “DIY earrings”, “step-by-step instructions for making earrings at home” and “how to create homemade earrings” should throw out some sources to offer a little extra inspiration.

Making earrings at home is much easier if you have quality tools. The most frequently used tools that you might need include flat-nose pliers, round-nose pliers, a crimping tool, chain-nose pliers and wire cutters. You can source affordable options online or in your local craft shop. 

Even if you have a tiny flat, you can always find room for creative pursuits.  A folding table or little-used desk can serve as a temporary workspace for a jewellery-making project – make sure you have adequate task lighting for your workspace. 

You may also find it convenient to store all your supplies in one place. If you don't have the room for a dedicated work area, create a jewellery-making caddy or basket to tuck away when your project’s on pause. 


Jewellery making kits for earrings

When you’re getting started, or trying out a new craft,  jewellery-making kits are a great place to begin, especially if you don't have any supplies on hand. These kits usually come with everything you need to make earrings, including wire, string, needles, earring hooks, lobster claws and clasps. Some even include pliers and other necessary tools. 

Depending on the style you opt for, some of the best jewellery making kits also include beads in a variety of colours and sizes. 

When choosing a jewellery-making kit to make your own earrings, check the ages it targets – it will help you identify the level of difficulty, as well as the kind of finish you’re likely to achieve. Pick an adult kit for yourself, but also consider purchasing a jewellery-making kit for the kids. Why not make it a family project? Craft projects can offer hours of fun for people of all ages. Crafting has exploded in popularity — in 2019,  73% of UK adults purchased crafting materials for DIY projects.

Different types of earrings

Earrings are fun to make because there’s no limit to what you can create. There are diverse earring styles, such as dangles, hoops, studs, drops, chandelier, teardrop, cuffs and barbells. Some of the easiest styles  to make at home are drop, teardrop and dangle earrings. 

Drop earrings are basically extended studs. You can purchase the base for these earrings at a jewellery supply shop or online crafts store. Using your pliers and rings, you can attach anything you desire, from a gorgeous feather to a simple charm.  

Top tip: drop earrings also look great as a stack, with  a smaller stone at the bottom, a larger feature stone in the middle and a second (matching) smaller stone at the top.

Teardrop earrings follow the same principle as drop earrings, but take things a step further. They consist of two or more drop earrings in a row, usually in a teardrop shape – hence the name. You can use a series of beads, wood or clay to create a unique teardrop earring for yourself or to give as a gift. 

Dangle earrings, meanwhile, can be attached to a hook or stud. They are similar to drop earrings but can be more intricate in design. They may also hang below the earlobe. For example, you can attach a series of beaded strings to form a tassel or dangle several charms from one earring. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. 

Hoop earrings that come in jewellery making kits can be decorated with beads to create a unique, colourful  finish. 

Chandelier earrings are loads of fun to make, and they look great for casual parties; layer on as many drop beads as you like, using chains with links that connect to more beads. Chandelier earrings can be made larger than the conventional earrings you wear daily to make a bold statement. 

If you’ve finished your first project, get ready to receive plenty of compliments for your efforts – there won’t be another pair of earrings exactly like them anywhere. As you get more confident and dextrous, your handmade earrings might also make an ideal gift for birthdays, anniversaries or holidays. Remember: all of us have a creative side, making earrings is a fun way to let it shine.