Handmade Earwires using Bead Landing Jewelry Jig

Wire Jig Tool Review Polymer Clay TutorVideo #347: Another tool review. It was at Michael’s that I picked up this handy little wire jig.

Topics Covered In This Video:

  • The Jewelry Jig by Bead Landing.
  • 4 Different patterns available for making clasps and earwires.
  • Which designs I like and don’t like.
  • Types of wire recommended for earwires.
  • Gauges of wire and tempers best suited for making ear wires.
  • Examples of Copper, Silver Filled, Bronze and Niobium Wire.
  • Why you may not want to use expensive wire such as Gold Filled or Fine Silver when using this tool.
  • How to use the Jewelry Jig.
  • Tips for making the earwires safe for your ears.
  • How to harden/strengthen your earwires by hammering.

Question of the Day:

Would you use a tool like the Jewelry Jig for making earwires for your polymer clay jewelry? Or would you rather just buy the ear wires already made?

I’d love to hear your answers below.

By the way, if you have a polymer clay question or challenge you’d like me to address in an upcoming video vlog, do post it in the comments below. I’d love to help you find quicker and easier ways to bring up the professionalism in your polymer clay art.

Oh and don’t forget to give these videos a Thumbs Up click at YouTube if you are enjoying them. The more Likes a video gets, the higher it rises in the searches. And that means even more people will be able to join in on this polymer clay journey of a lifetime.

Also, by subscribing to our YouTube Channel directly, you will receive notifications as soon as new videos are uploaded. To subscribe, click here… Jewelry Jig for Making Earwires. The Subscribe Button is right near the top of that YouTube page.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor
  1. Hope Martin, 14 February, 2013

    Thanks for this video Cindy! I’ve been eying that jig for a while now. I definitely prefer the look of hand made earwires. Just hate to slap a mass produced one on something that has been carefully crafted. You know? Not that it looks bad necessarily. Just one of those weird quirks (I have quite a few)

    For now at least, I’ll continue making them individually. I think if the jig had more plates I liked (and would use) I would likely buy it. ;)

    Thanks again!

  2. Sue F, 14 February, 2013

    Nice necklace, Cindy! :D

    I usually make my own earwires, but I like to do this by hand. I wouldn’t use a tool like the Jewelry Jig.

    I think it’s nicer to shape and size the earwires to suit the decorative element(s) of each pair of earrings, rather than having so much in common with your other earrings (and nearly everybody else’s!). They can be an integral part of the decorative aspect that way too.

    It’s pretty easy to make earwires freehand with just a few tools. As you said, copper wire is great to practice with. (My very first pair of earwires were actually made with wire from a couple of paperclips :o although you couldn’t tell when they were done!)

    Also, my favourite earwire shapes (including those I made from the paperclip wire ;D) aren’t among those covered by the Jewelry Jig or most other similar jigs, so even if I wanted to use a jig I’d probably have to make my own.

  3. Kathy T, 14 February, 2013

    Thank you Cindy. Didn’t know about these. Very interesting!

  4. Hermine R, 14 February, 2013

    To answer your question: since I don’t make a lot of earings to sell . I am not sure I would buy it.
    How much is that gadget anyway?
    Thank you for the demo loved it. At least I learned something today.

  5. Patty J, 14 February, 2013

    hmm I think if I did more earings I prob would use the jig. but I think there is a learning curve that one would expect….. thanks for showing

  6. Michelle H, 14 February, 2013

    I do have this and I really do enjoy using it to make earwires.

  7. Nancy W, 14 February, 2013

    Thanks! Love your tips always.

  8. Tova R, 14 February, 2013

    Thank you for a very clear & smart tutorial!

  9. Jill V., 14 February, 2013

    I like how fast this thing allows you to make many earwires. I’m not coordinated enough to craft them by hand, so yes, this jig appeals to me.

  10. Michele K, 14 February, 2013

    Cindy, love this review of the earwire jig. I usually buy my ear wires, in precious metals, but that has gotten so expensive! On another note, I’m confused as to where the “like” button is for your videos. I’m pretty computer savvy, but gosh, I just don’t see it. By the way, as a newbie to poly clay, and after finding your amazing website, I vote to create a “love” button for your videos … maybe “fantastic” or “amazing” … all would certainly apply!

  11. Polymer Clay Tutor Cindy Lietz, 15 February, 2013

    Once you start the video Michele, look at the top of the video player. You should see a little Thumbs up and a Thumbs down button. (Pick the thumbs up one of course…lol) If you don’t see it on the player here on the blog, then just look at the bottom of the player and you should see a YouTube button. Click on that and it will take you to where our video is playing on YouTube. You should see the thumbs up button there, if you didn’t see it here.

    Thanks for saying such sweet things about our videos! It made me smile when you said it should be a ‘love’ button instead of a ‘like’ button. :)

  12. Patti U, 14 February, 2013

    I have this and love it. Four different plates come with it.

  13. Dixie Ann, 14 February, 2013

    Hi Cindy, thank you for the video on ear wires. That is one tool I had not seen at Michaels and after watching you use it, I probably would not consider it. I personally like hand made wires using the 20 gauge hh round 10% silver filled wire from Wire Sculpture. I also make my wires somewhat longer than most because the biggest complaint I get is the wire popping out of the ear. I use the Medium size bail pliers and always start with a 3″ length of wire and make two at a time. I love it when you show us new tools and techniques because it helps us to improve the way we work, but it also
    helps some of us avoid buying gagets we wouldn’t use in the long run. I like the colorful antodized niobium wire you showed in the video. Can I ask where you get yours? I would like to try it.

  14. Polymer Clay Tutor Cindy Lietz, 15 February, 2013

    Thanks Dixie-Ann! I buy all my Niobium Wire at MetalDesignz. They are an online company out of Saskatoon Saskatchewan (Canada), that I really like dealing with. Their prices are good and you can buy the wire in all the different colors. It comes in a 5 foot pack of 20 gauge half hard wire, $7.50/pkg Natural and $8.50/pkg of Anodized (colored).

  15. Catalina, 14 February, 2013

    I have demo this jig at Michaels and I find it a little too hard for the beginner. Handling the wire and the box is awkward. I usually show people your way of making ear wires and using a marker as a tool. Most people find it easier. I guess if you have to make a lot at one time this might work for some people. If the jig could be stationary it would help. I often let people use it when I host Bead Night. Not a big seller. I was hoping I could use this in my Intermediate Wire Wrapping classes but I’m not too crazy about it. It is a good idea but I wish they would have taken it a step further.

  16. Marcela S, 14 February, 2013

    Yes I would use this earring jig, I´ll tell my friend who´s coming to Mexico to look for it in Michaels, thank you!!! and the last option I think is the best too, thank you for sharing

  17. Cris W, 14 February, 2013

    Great tutorial and review of the product; I believe I will stick with the PCT’s tutorial on making earwires. It was nice to see the review before I purchased it. Thanks.

  18. Lindy L, 14 February, 2013

    Another excellent video, Cindy. To answer your question, I would not use this tool because I make my ear wires just as quickly by hand. I personally don’t like to use a? rounder either. I find that I can get a much smoother, rounder end by using a file from the beauty supply store.

  19. Donna D, 15 February, 2013

    Cindy, thanks for the nice video, I would not buy anything like this, I make my own ear wires by hand, it’s so fast and easy, I make many different shapes, I also use a nail file to make the tip smooth.

  20. Cheyrl B, 15 February, 2013

    I might use this at some point but as to the waste no sure from the video but couldn’t it be used instead of cutting by wrapping it above the circle, it would give an added dimension and architecture to the piece. Also where did you get the neat little tool for filing the wire ends?

  21. Polymer Clay Tutor Cindy Lietz, 18 February, 2013

    Cheryl, I believe I got that whole set of cup burrs in all those different sizes at OttoFrei online. You can also pick up what is called a wire rounder in the jewelry metal/tool section at Michaels.

  22. Tantesherry, 15 February, 2013

    pretty cool tool :)

  23. Patt Word, 15 February, 2013

    Thanks for the tute. Yours are always informative. Like so many I make my own ear wires. But this is a neat tool for beginners. They can get the “hang of it” – then branch off to do their own thing. The PcT tute is still the BEST tute for makeing earwires !

  24. Melodie F, 15 February, 2013

    Interesting tool, would not buy or use. I would rather buy or make my ear wires individually. Thank you Cindy and Doug for another great tutorial. I just became a new member to your site and love it. Have to learn the “process” for things, but? I am very excited. Thanks.

  25. Cherie H, 15 February, 2013

    I make my own ear wires most of the time. I buy them when i find some with some decorative element . I’ve been making fish hook wires for a while but I love your tutorial on ear wires. So at the moment I would not buy the tool.

  26. Michelle Adams, 15 February, 2013

    I saw this today at Michaels for $20. They’re offering a 50% off coupon today and tomorrow, at least they are in Upstate NY. I didn’t buy it I use the pre-made ones, and sometimes make my own. I’m leaning towards just making my own though because I’ve started having some trouble with them popping out of my ears sometimes. I don’t want to lose my work or have that happen to a customer or someone I gave a gift to Plus it’s just one more nice hand-made element to the project.

  27. Maria C, 15 February, 2013

    I agree with what most of the group has said – I prefer to make my own ear wires or use purchased ones. This jig seems to be clunky and waste too much wire. I find it to be very satisfying to form and shape my own, even if they are not exactly, perfectly alike pairs.

  28. Debi S, 19 February, 2013

    I’m with the concensus here…for sterling there would be too much waste over time when you can buy 200 pair of .925 ear wires with the little spring and the 2mm silver ball for about 12.00. I think if we could get it with coupon or a clearence deal then it would be good for copper and gun metal etc….

    Thanks so much for doing you videos like this for us Cindy. They are priceless!

  29. Chibi C, 08 March, 2013

    To have less waste, run through all the track, pop it off but don’t cut off the earrings. Put the last pair of ear wires onto the first bit of the track and keep going for as long as you want. It reduces wasting the amount of wire that you have to fit into the hole. You’re not saving a ton of wire but every bit helps. I’m considering getting this jig since I usually? make my ear wires formed over a marker that has the perfect size for them. This would save so much time!

  30. Carol M, 19 November, 2013

    I just bought this today and haven’t tried it yet. I’m glad I found this video as there are no real instructions with the kit. I wish I had known about the wire rounder before. Michaels is about a 2 hour drive and the only place I can get any craft supplies. I can’t wait to try this out. :)

  31. Karen S, 08 December, 2015

    Hi Cindy

    After making the beaded french earwires in your tute beadvideos.com/2012/08/, I’ve fallen in love with making custom ear wires. Thanks for the info on where to purchase the wire, etc. One question I have, can anodized niobium be hammered? Or does that ruin the finish? Thanks and have a good one :)

    Karen

  32. Cindy Lietz, 08 December, 2015

    Hi Karen, I am glad you like the tutorial and are now making your own ear wires. I never buy ear wires anymore. They are cheaper, more unique and can be made in the style that better suits your earring design. It just makes your pieces more special, doesn’t it?

    The thing about Anodized Niobium is that it isn’t really a finish that is added on, but more of a color shift that happens on the surface when they run an electrical current through the metal. It is kind of like using a torch on copper to change the color only it is done with electricity rather than heat. It is only on the surface so it can be scratched or worn off, but it does flake or chip off like a coating would. If you hammer out flat with a metal hammer, it it kind of stretches and fades, revealing the raw Niobium underneath (kind of a bluey, black-y, silvery color similar to Titanium).

    But if you hammer it with a Nylon or rawhide hammer to work harden it, the color stays just fine. Both look cool and is really just a matter of preference. Niobium wire, anodized or not, is my favorite wire to use for earwires. It really is a beautiful wire that pretty much everyone can wear, even if they are sensitive to metals.

  33. Karen S, 09 December, 2015

    Thanks Cindy
    That makes it ever so much clearer. Now I just have to add a nylon hammer to my list of must haves. Should I check amazon for nylon hammers or is there a particular source that you recommend? Do you buy your niobium from wire sculpture.com? How about your swarovski crystals? I want to stock up on both :)

    Karen

  34. Cindy Lietz, 09 December, 2015

    Nylon hammers are pretty low ticket items… you can get them for under $10 so just look around. I can’t remember where I got mine. The Niobium wire I get at MetalDesingnz in Canada. They have great prices and service.

  35. Karen S, 14 December, 2015

    Thanks Cindy. Do you buy your swarovski crystals online? I’m asking because I know you try to find the best deals :). By the way, I noticed lately that the site doesn’t post your replies right away. I see you replied to my question the same day, but I didn’t see the reply til today five days later.

    Karen

  36. Cindy Lietz, 21 December, 2015

    Hi Karen, the website has a lot of broken parts… that is one of the reasons we are working so hard behind the scenes to upgrade around here. The problem is that the site has so much content that it is proving to be a bigger task than expected.

    I buy Swarovski’s all over the place… in person and online. I usually wait for sales and stock up on whatever sizes and colors I like and think I’ll use. The nice thing about them is that they won’t ever go out of style so I can just save them until I need them. I found some really good deals at Michaels, Fire mountain Gems, Rings & Things, ArtBeads and Shipwreck Beads. S you might want to check those places out.

    Have a wonderful Holiday with your friends and family!!

  37. Karen S, 23 December, 2015

    Thanks Cindy! You too :-D

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