How To Make Earring Backs

snipe nose pliers

Earring posts for jewellery making are a simple finding to start producing yourself. It’s easy to make them in bulk so that you have them to hand whenever you’re ready to bring all the elements of your designs together to make your own stud earrings. To help you kick start your earring making process, here’s our guide on how to make earring backs in two stages.

Here’s how to make earring backs by hand:

Stage One: How to make earring posts with silver wire

You’ll need:

  • Silver wire (0.8mm gauge)
  • Wire cutters
  • Snipe nose pliers
  • Flat file
  • Jeweller’s saw
  • Three square needle file

Prepping your silver wire

  • Take your 0.8mm gauge wire and snip off a 14mm length of wire using your wire cutters. At this stage you can cut multiple earring posts to save you time in the future when it comes to making stud earrings in bulk.
  • You may find that the silver wire bends a little as you handle it. If this happens you can take your snipe nose pliers to gently flatten and straighten out the wire. Try not to put too much pressure on the wire – you’ll want to guide it back into a straight post instead of flattening it down.
  • Now take your flat file and using a flat, forward motion, file the end of the wire that you’ve just cut so that it leaves you with a flush end to solder to your stud earring design. Use a little emery paper to finish this process and to make sure that the end that you’re going to solder is completely flat and flush.

Top tip: When working with such small jewellery findings you may benefit from steadying the earring post as you file. One simple way of doing this is using small notch in your bench peg to steady the earring post and keep it flat as you file. Remember that light pressure is all that’s needed as you don’t want to shorten the earring post by being too heavy handed.

flat file

Filing to a point

  • Once you’ve filed the end of the earring post flat, you can switch to the other end of the silver wire to gently file it to a point. Using your flat file, file the end using a forward motion to take that end to a point. Rotate the earring post 360 degrees to ensure you’ve filed evenly all the way around the end of the post. Once you’re happy with the pointed end that you’ve filed, gently file the very end of the point so that it becomes a little blunt – the last thing you want is for your earing posts to be too sharp! Finish with emery to ensure no snags are left behind.
  • Add a subtle dimple that will guide the earring back into place with a satisfying click. To do this, steady your earring post on your bench peg. Place your saw blade about 3mm from the pointed end of your earring post and with a very small amount of pressure, start to push your saw blade forward across this point of the post. (Use a forward motion so that the teeth of your saw blade are not cutting.)
  • Rotate the post as you saw using this forward motion. This will leave you with a subtle indentation that your earring back will sit in. To ensure the indentation you’ve made is neat and free from snags run a three-square needle file through the groove. This will deepen the indentation slightly making sure that your earring back nestles nicely in place.

Onto soldering….

Stage Two: How to solder earring posts

You’ll need:

  • Hand torch
  • Soldering block
  • Silver solder pallions
  • Flux and small paint brush
  • Reverse action tweezers
  • Additional set of tweezers

hand torch

Set up your workspace

  • Set up a safe environment where you can use your hand torch for soldering. Set up your soldering block a in clear space, tie back your hair and put on some protective eyewear.
  • Place your stud earring design face down on your soldering block and using your small paintbrush, add a small amount of flux solution to the back of your design as well as the flat end of your earring post.
  • Take your reverse action tweezers and place your earring post in its claws, holding it at the pointed end.
  • Rest the earring post by strategically placing your reverse action tweezers. Shift the position of the reverse action tweezers until you‘re happy that the flux on the stud design and the end of the post is neatly lined up.
  • With your reverse action tweezers set up and locked in place you now have a free hand to use another set of tweezers to add a small silver pallion to where the post meets the earring design.

It’s time to solder

  • Let’s start soldering! Switch on your hand torch and gently start heating the flux. You’ll notice that the pallion may move with the force of the flame, so use your free hand to take your second set of tweezers and put the pallion back into place.
  • As you heat the piece, the moisture will be drawn out of the flux and turn a white colour. Continue gently heating the area with an on and off motion. If your pallion moves simply shift back into place and continue heating.
  • With such a small amount of solder you’ll soon see a flash and the solder will run towards the heat. Keep this in mind as you heat the area because you’ll want the solder to run entirely through the seam leaving you with a strong solder joint.
  • Turn off the heat and quench your piece in a clean bowl of water. Pickle, clean up and add the earring back to your design!

Now you have the basics of earring making perfected there’s no end of designs you could produce. Pick up all of the jewellery tools and supplies you need to make your own stud earrings at Cooksongold today. From silver wire, to high quality hand files, and soldering kits – we have everything you need to produce professional stud earrings.

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How to Use Halo Earring Settings

halo setting

What is a Halo Setting?

For anyone not familiar with a halo design, its defining feature is a decorative ring of metal which surrounds a stone setting, often making it look much bigger and giving it a greater presence.

The halo itself is not functional, but it usually contains a functional element such as a claw to secure a stone. Halos come in many different forms; some plain, some patterned, but are most commonly stone set so there are plenty to choose from. They are also not limited to being simply rounded. The idea is to mimic the shape of the central stone, so they can be cushion shaped, square or even heart or marquise shaped – there are many, many different possibilities.

What are Halo Earring Settings?

For the purposes of this article, we are focusing on lightweight halo earring settings which are part of Cooksongold’s range of earring findings and allow you to create delicate earring styles with your choice of centre stone.

finished halo earring settings

They are available in a selection of alloys including 9 carat white and yellow gold, as well as 18 carat white and yellow gold, and sizes range from 3mm – 6mm so a wide range of styles are covered.

How to Set a Stone in a Halo Earring Setting

To take a closer look at these settings and how to use them, watch the following video and discover just how simple these settings are to work with, and how quickly gemstones can be set in them with only a few pieces of stone setting equipment.

By clamping your halo earring setting into a ring clamp like the one featured in the video, you are securing it ready to apply the pressure needed to push over the prongs which secure the stone. Simply follow the below steps to produce your own earrings featuring these settings:

1. Slide the halo earring setting into the clamp, so that the back of the claw is resting on the top and make sure it is secure.

2. Take the correct sized stone (see chart below) and position into the mount, ensuring it is level.

Setting Size (mm) Gemstone Size (mm) Gemstone Weight (carat)
3mm halo earring setting 3mm facetted stone 0.10ct stone
4mm halo earring setting 4mm facetted stone 0.25ct stone
5mm halo earring setting 5mm facetted stone 0.50ct stone
6mm halo earring setting 6mm facetted stone 0.75ct stone

4. Take your pusher and gently push over one of the claws until it is resting on top of the stone. You will need to rest your clamp against the edge of your bench or on your bench peg whilst you do this.

5. Turn the setting round, and push over the claw which is directly opposite the first one which should level out the stone.

6. Continue with this process until all four of the claws are pushed over and the stone is secure.

Choosing the Right Earring Backs

It is worth noting that all of our lightweight halo earring settings are sold singularly and without scrolls, so don’t forget to double up when you order and remember to add the corresponding scroll backs (product codes NBL 007, NCL 007, NNL 007 and NPL 007) as well to ensure you have everything to complete your earring design.

earring scrolls

If you are nervous about stone setting, these halo earring settings are a great place to start as they suit all skill levels and require very few jewellery making tools to produce a finished design. As they are lightweight too, they are relatively inexpensive meaning you don’t have to worry about wasting too much money should you make a mistake – although these particular settings are extremely straightforward and simple to work with, so mistakes are highly unlikely! Why not explore our full range today, give them a try and let us know what you create?

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