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French hoops are an elegant and popular ear wire style, and now you can learn to make your own with a little wire and our FusionBeads.com Beading Technique! Follow our step by step tips on forming and finessing wire into these graceful findings.
20 gauge Half Hard Wire
Round Nose Pliers
Wire Rounder Set - optional
Choose a mandrel around which you will wrap the wire. A Sharpie, pen, mandrel or dowel will work fine. The width of the mandrel will dictate the diameter of the finished ear wire.
Give yourself approximately 1.5 inches of wire to create a tail before wrapping the wire around the mandrel. Hold the tail between your thumb and the mandrel.
Gripping the wire firmly with your thumb, wrap the longer end around the mandrel with your other hand.
Make sure to wrap the wire close together, to get tight consistent rings.
To make 2 rings, wrap 3 times around the mandrel. If you wrap extra rings, you can make more ear wires.
Gently pull the mandrel out of the wire coil.
Cut the tail off the coil, making sure you use the flush side of the cutter. The flat smooth edge of the cutter (flush side) should be perpendicular to the wire in order to create a straight, completely flush cut.
The cut should be straight and perpendicular to the wire.
To create a flush cut on the other side of the ring, flip your cutters so the flush edge now faces the side you wish to cut.
Congratulations! You have made a ring with two flush cuts.
The end of the wire which you just cut has a non-flush edge (burr).
To cut another ring, make sure to flip your cutters so the flush side of your cutters is facing towards the side you wish to cut.
Repeat Step 9 once more, making sure both sides of the ring each have straight flush cuts. These rings are now ready to be made into ear wires.
Grasp the end of the wire with the round nose pliers.
Rotate the pliers along the outside curve of the ring to form a complete loop.
Then grasp the other end of the wire with the tips of the round nose pliers.
Slightly bend the wire back. This will put a soft bend in the wire to finish the shape of the ear wire.
As an alternative finish, you can round the end of the ear wire. Begin with a flush cut end.
Place the tip of the wire rounder over the end of the wire. Rotate the wire rounder several times.
Continue rotating the wire rounder until the end of the wire has a slightly rounded shape.
Congratulations! One ear wire is complete. Repeat steps 14 through 20 to complete a second ear wire.