Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Make Earrings from Copper Pipe and Wire

Before: copper pipe
My daughter and I both love the lush, elegant look of copper ....and it is an added bonus that we have an abundance of copper around our house leftover from renovations.

Today, we went back to our stash of copper pipe and cut pieces of pipe to make lightweight but large, elegant earrings.

After: Earrings by
Copper pipe
16-gauge round copper wire
20-gauge round copper wire

Jewelry saw & blades
3M wet/dry sandpaper
Nylon jaw pliers
Chain nose pliers
Needle files (optional)
Round nose pliers or
Gather your too
Wire looping pliers
Mandrel or Wrap n' Tap pliers
Wire cutters
Flex shaft and 19 gauge cup bur or wire rounder
Rawhide or plastic mallet
Lortone Tumbler (optional)

Cut the pipe
Step 1
Create the copper beads. Cut the copper pipe with a jewelry saw. Use sandpaper to sand the edges of the copper pipe smooth.

Step 2
Slide the pipe on the wire
Create the beaded dangle component. Slide the copper pipe onto the 16-gauge copper wire. Form the wire around the copper pipe. Hit the wire with a rawhide mallet to harden the wire.

Make the ear wires
Repeat to create a matching component.

Step 3
Make the ear wires using round nose pliers to make the ring and a mandrel or Wrap n' Tap pliers to shape the ear wire. Hit the ear wires with the rawhide mallet to harden.

Step 4
Attach the ear wires
Attach the ear wires to the dangle component.

Step 5
Place the completed earrings in the tumbler to further harden the copper wires, prevent the earrings from becoming misshapen when worn and adding sparkle and shine by burnishing.

Related Tutorials
How to Make an Ear Wire Jig 
How to Straighten Wire
How to Smooth Edges on Wire
How to Measure Wire
How to Use a Wire Gauge
GeltDesigns Tutorials by Topic
Make an Enamel Necklace from a Copper Pipe

Make a Beaded Bracelet with Copper Pipe & Wire

Make a Neck-Ring from Copper Pipe

Make a Bangle Bracelet from a Copper Pipe

NJAD Index (Days 1 to 60) by Type of Jewelry
NJAD Index (Days 1 to 60) by Type of Found Object  

Further Reading 
"Contemporary Copper Jewelry w/DVD: Step-by-Step Techniques and Projects";  Sharilyn Miller; 2010.
"Complete Metalsmith: Professional Edition";  Tim McCreight; 2004.

Day 88  Month 4. Jewelry from Found Objects.  $ spent to date: 0
Found materials: copper pipe, wire
New Jewelry a Day.

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