Fancy Rose Earwires Technique | Polymer Clay Tutorial

Fancy Rose Earwires - Polymer Clay TutorVideo #235: “Please do show us all how you make ear wires, and please include some variations for the more advanced.” ~Martha-R

As everyone here should know, I am always asking for feedback about what topics to cover in my upcoming video tutorials. This week, as I was reviewing all of the archived comments, one theme jumped out at me… and it was earwires!

I love the look of “special” earwires. Handmade ones show that you really care about the design of your jewelry; they also make earrings much more interesting! This can also be a money-saver (depending on what you normally use.). ~Phaedrakat

Yes.. Yes.. Yes.. please Cindy make a video tutorial. I just spent more money at Michael’s last night buying earwires as I have lots of beads and clay ideas to make earrings with. I have enjoyed starting to make my own findings to match my clay treasures, it makes the whole process complete. ~Sam-M

Learning the wire work for me has become a natural extension of what I do with polymer clay. Unique findings like the ones you create, Cindy, accent the beauty of the beads. Just think how different these beads would look with plain ole store bought (and probably expensive) findings. ~Elizabeth-S

Would love to learn how to make the wires for earrings. Another way to make the earrings all mine. I have always bought the earring wires, so yes please put this on your list of to do items. ~Peggy-B

Love your earrings. I began making earrings last summer and right away got into simple wire projects, so I’m torn about using video time to make earwires. Selfishly I feel, been there, done that – they’re easy to learn on your own. But the unselfish part of me thinks you should if others want to see it because it is so easy and everyone should be able to make them if they wish. It’s really nice not to have to depend on what the stores sell. ~Rose-M

I’m with Rose. Ear wires are easy to do, but you may have a special twist that I don’t use. I love the look of your copper findings. ~Freda-K

As an experienced wire artist I am always interested in Cindy’s presentations. She does a wonderful (and valuable) job of teaching and demonstrating. I look forward to her great earwire tutorials! ~Carolyn-F

I found a catalog and started making my own earwires from it this past week. But, Your tip, Cindy, to use a permanent marker is great. I kept wondering how in the world did they get so round, Just the simplest things. ~Brenda-M

Thank you Cindy for your earwire tutorials. ~Corinne-L

Yes! I would love to learn to make my own earwires. ~Sherry-L

I like the idea of making my own earwires, and vote yes for making different styles of earwires too. ~Lisa-W

So… coming up tomorrow (Friday, December 23, 2011) in the Vol-043-4 members video at the Polymer Clay Tutor Library, I’m going to teach you how to make your own handmade Fancy Rose Earwires to compliment your next earring project.


Please Note: A general prerequisite for all of my weekly tutorials is that you have a good understanding of the polymer clay basics, including: conditioning clay, using a pasta machine, clay blade and other simple tools, making Skinner Blends or Teardrop Blends, baking clay, as well as sanding and finishing. If you need help in these areas, my Polymer Clay Beginners Course will get you up to speed quickly. There is also plenty of free information on this blog. Use the search box at the top of the page to find articles on specific topics.

Supplies & Tools: Video-043-4 Fancy Rose Ear Wires:

  • 20 gauge wire. You will need 1 foot per pair of earrings in any wire or your choice. Make sure to use a lead free wire that is safe for putting in your ears. Good choices are Gold, Gold Filled, Silver, Silver Filled, Niobium, Bronze, Copper or high quality Enamel Coated Wire.
  • Flush Cutters (Jewelry Grade).
  • Round Nose Pliers (Jewelry Grade).
  • Chain Nose Pliers, Flat Nose Pliers or Nylon Pliers (Jewelry Grade).
  • Ruler.
  • Wire Rounder, Cup Burr, Metal Jewelry File or Nail File.
  • Sharpie Pen (large or small), or other round object for forming the earwire.

The full version of the Vol-043-4 Fancy Rose Earwire video will be posted in the Polymer Clay Members Library on Friday December 23, 2011.

Here’s a sneak peak…

Polymer Clay Tutorials

The full version of the “Fancy Rose Earwires” preview video shown above, is now avail for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Vol-043 Back Issue Pckg.

Customer Feedback About Membership Value:

Cindy, it never ceases to amaze me how you come up with your tricks to make things happen! I found your site a short time after I decided I wanted to learn how to work with polymer clay. I’ve been a teacher my entire adult life, so I know a good teacher when I see one. I also know an outstanding value. I watched your three free videos and immediately signed up for membership. You give us far more for our money than any other site… most single tutorials at other sites cost more than our monthly membership, which gives us 4 tutorials and 4 color recipes each month. After only a few months of using your techniques, I was already selling my polymer clay jewelry. ~Linda-K

I love your course, it is great, really helpful when you are starting out and you make everything look so easy. I love it and all your weekly video back issues too. Money well spent. Many thanks. ~Karen-B

Cindy I just have to tell you that this technique is a wonderful addition to your teaching. Beautiful and it looks easy for a technique that at first seemed intimidating. One other thing I want to say. I just purchased a video from another publisher about resin work. The artist is quite well known, as well as the company. However, the quality of the video was no where comparable to your videos. You and your husband do such a wonderful job producing your videos that it is the standard from which I judge others… and I have yet to find any that don’t come up short! Your instructions are clear, the photography is excellent, and the boxed close ups are so valuable. You do beautiful work, and provide a great value too. I look forward to each Friday! ~Sue-W

The following topics are included in this week’s Polymer Clay Tutor Library, Fancy Rose Ear Wires video tutorial:

  • See examples of Earwires and earrings, made using a variety of different metal wires.
  • Find out how simple it is to create these custom wire wrapped earring findings for your handmade jewelry projects.
  • Learn cool tricks for making these unique ear wires, that look difficult to make but are actually quite easy to do!
  • Plus, with some creativity and ingenuity, there are many ways to come up with other unique designs of your own.

The full version of the “Fancy Rose Earwires” preview video shown above, is now avail for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Vol-043 Back Issue Pckg.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor
  1. Tantesherry, 22 December, 2011

    Good morning Cindy
    What a gorgeous site to start my day with
    As always looking forward to tomorrow

  2. Elizabeth S., 22 December, 2011

    Oh my!!! Another good one comin’. Those earrings are beyond beautiful.

  3. pollyanna, 22 December, 2011

    this is going to be one of those tutes we can use in so many ways. Love the wired rose.

  4. Cindy Lietz, 22 December, 2011

    Aww thank you ladies! It is such a busy time of the year and you still pop in to say something nice… I sure love that! We had a fun year together didn’t we? So many cool things to do, and such great friends to share it with. I’m excited about another year of learning together!

    If we don’t get the chance to chat before Christmas, have a wonderful holiday with your friends and families. Hopefully the tree has lots of clay and tools under it for you all… is there a better Christmas present to get? :-)

    Enjoy the Rose Earwire tutorial tomorrow. I can’t believe this is the last one of 2011! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

  5. Catalina, 22 December, 2011

    Same to you Cindy! It has been a good clay year! I bet 2012 will be even better! Merry Christmas to you and your family. Can’t wait to see everything coming up roses :)

  6. Natalie H, 27 December, 2011

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone. Happy Hannukah to those like me who celebrate it. See you all next year.

  7. Linda K., 22 December, 2011

    When someone asked for a tutorial on earwires, I thought that I wouldn’t learn anything new. Well, now I see that you’ve taken earwires and made them into something really special! I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to the Cindy, Doug, Willow, and Fisher!

    Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukkah, and Happy New Year to all my friends on this blog.

  8. Catalina, 22 December, 2011

    Merry Christmas, Linda!! And everyone here at PCT!

  9. Monique U, 23 December, 2011

    Thanks for another beautiful project, Cindy! So organic, and looks like the wrapping will be very “therapeutic”- good exercise for the sleepy fingers LOL Happy Holidays to everyone! xoxo

  10. Jaci C, 23 December, 2011

    Great tut! I just have one question…where can you get the wire end rounders?

  11. Elizabeth S., 23 December, 2011

    This is so awesome! I’m going to practice, practice, practice until I get this right.

    Cindy, Doug, Willow, Fisher and all my friends here, however you celebrate the holidays I wish you peace and joy and look forward to another year of learning with all of you.

  12. Hope M, 23 December, 2011

    They’re beautiful! Can’t wait to make a pair… or several pairs! Thank you so much.

  13. Kathy G, 23 December, 2011

    Love it! Where can I get a wire rounder? That tool was great!

    Merry Christmas, Cindy and Doug! Hope Santa is good to both of you.

  14. Phaedrakat, 23 December, 2011

    Hi, and Merry Christmas to all!

    I haven’t seen the video yet (still can’t view on my Vista 64-bit laptop), but I wanted to mention…
    I saw wire rounders at both Michael’s and JoAnn a few days ago (California.) My nephews got ahold of my own — and destroyed it! I’ll have to replace it when I get a bit of extra money. (I love those boys…they’re not known for their delicate touch, though, lol!!!)

    Cindy, these earrings are really pretty — such a lovely earwire design! Can’t wait to get to my brother’s computer so I can watch this tute. Wanna see what tricks you’ve come up with to simplify making these cute earwires! Thank you, Kat

  15. Anna Sabina, 23 December, 2011

    You have the coolest tools. A little Thing-A-Ma-Jig to twist away the bur on the end of the wire. Who knew !!!!

    where is the best place to get wire for earring. I already get the copper from the hardware store but not sure where to get Niobium (sp-?). I have seen silver wire at Hobby Lobby but it is kind of expensive and not the right gauge. Was thinking about Fire Mountain.

  16. Cindy Lietz, 28 December, 2011

    Hi Anna, Happy New Year! I get my Niobium Wire from a place online here in Canada called Metal Designz. The price is great but kinda hard to find on their site. Here is the link so you don’t have to hunt for it.

    It only comes in 20g half hard but the anodized has a lot of colors to choose from. It is perfect wire for earwires, since it is a non-reactive metal.

  17. pollyanna, 23 December, 2011

    this lesson was too cool!!! I like it even without the bead. Thanks Cindy and Doug. Happy Holidays to all my friends on here. Hope everyone gets healthy and pain free for the New Year! Andrea

  18. Michelle A, 23 December, 2011

    Cindy that was gorgeous!! Simple elegance I love it. I don’t know if I’ve ever thanked you Doug for your video work. I love all the clear close-ups, the slow-mos, speed-ups, pop-ups, everything. I can really see what Cindy’s doing. Excellent teaching videos guys. Merry Christmas everyone!

  19. Catalina, 23 December, 2011

    I love this! So easy! And very rosie!! Now, to find some time to make them. My Michaels don’t have the wire rounders but this is something I might be able to “order”! If someone can give me the UPC number that would be helpful. Remember, the Buy in Bulk program at Michaels. You don’t have to wait long to get what you need. Or in my case, when you store doesn’t carry it, you can still order it!! No more hunting around for it! No limit, no minimum!

    Merry Christmas!!

  20. Bette L, 23 December, 2011

    Cindy, Doug and all,
    Thanks for another great year of videos and tips. We appreciate everything the whole family does. Blessings to you in the New Year and to all our friends on PCT.

    The smoothing tool is called a cup burr, and comes in many sizes for almost every gauge of wire.
    I found mine at a local bead/lapidary shop. A Google search will help you find it. Try Rio Grande.
    Niobium wire is available at Fire Mountain.

    Joyous Holidays to all.
    Bette’s Bangles

  21. Sandra, 23 December, 2011

    Once again, something that looks so elegant and difficult turns out to be simple easy to do.
    Thanks Cindy, they are lovely

  22. Linda K., 23 December, 2011

    Thanks, Cindy and Doug! This is a very excitiing tutorial. I’ll bet that the rosette would look great if was started up with the balled end of a “flame-dipped “piece of wire.

  23. Marion Rayner, 24 December, 2011

    Hi Cindy and Doug – bless you both for all the time and effort you put into everything, for your enthusiasm which is so infectious, and for being so willing to share your incredible knowledge with us all. I hope you have a really great Christmas and I send greetings from London to you both and your family, for an even more successful 2012.

  24. Elaine Faulks, 24 December, 2011

    Just one more sleep to go, we haven’t had the snow.
    My clay’s been put away, now preparing for THE DAY.

    The familys just flown in and my it’s such a din!
    But what a lovely noise to hear my girls and boys.

    My list is nearly done and then we’ll have some fun.
    So will raise my glass to say
    (To all my PC pals) Health happiness and peace to you all.

    Have a very Merry Christmas
    and a Happy New Year…………………..Cheers xx

    Cindy, Doug, Fisher and Willow sending special hugs to you all xx

  25. Cindy Lietz, 28 December, 2011

    Fantastic Poem Elaine! Sorry for not responding sooner but kinda have been swamped with all the festivities and all the responsibilities here.

    You are a delightful girl, right after my own heart. I wrote a Christmas poem a few years back on the blog. If you click the link by my name it will take you there.

    Thank you so much for bringing such a fun element to our blog. You are a great asset to our clay family! Happy New Year!

  26. Dixie Ann Scott, 24 December, 2011

    Love the rosette ear wires…just the prettiest thing I’ve seen in ear wires in a long time. I love Linda’s idea of balling the end of the wire first. I think that would make a stunning center for the rose. Blessings to everyone for a healthy, happy 2012, our teacher Cindy, our video guy Doug and the family. I am so looking forward to the next year of tutorials, it’s like Christmas every week! I have recovered about 70% from my car accident so I have a lot to be thankful for, especially being able to spend my down time claying and chatting with this group.

  27. Elly Moore, 24 December, 2011

    I wrote to Santa and told him I was a good girl this year that I didn’t overspend
    …..(hmmm) and I was really nice to my husband once a week (lol)
    I got a NEW ATLAS with a MOTOR!!!! for Christmas.
    I think I’ll be rea;;y nice for next year
    Hope you all have a great Holidays
    Elly Moore

  28. Anna Sabina, 26 December, 2011

    A Merry Christmas to all !!! You will love the Atlas Motor. I bought one a few years ago. I have another pasta machine I crank by hand that I take to clay group meetings.

    I found wire at Hobby Lobby, this store is very similar to Michael’s but bigger. They have a larger selection than when I was there a few weeks ago. Some of the wire was round, others were square. Unfortunately not everyone has a Hobby Lobby in their area. Price was really reasonable too. Made by Beadalon $3.99 for 19.7 feet. I did not get “sterling silver” , I bought nickel free silver plated because I am in the practicing stage. The had a lot of aluminum wire too.
    The package indicates it is “German style Wire”, anybody know what that term means?

  29. Cindy Lietz, 05 January, 2012

    Here is the definition from Anna, Hope this helps!

    German Silver: Also known as NICKEL SILVER, this alloy is actually roughly 60% copper, 20% nickel, and 20% zinc. If approximately 5% of tin is present in this alloy, it is called Alpaca. As you can see, there is no silver in German Silver. German silver wire is very inexpensive and is used to create costume jewelry. It should be noted that about 1 person in every 10 has a metal allergy to nickel.

  30. Cherie, 24 December, 2011

    To Cindy,,Doug, Willow & Fisher – Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year – joy, peace, love, happiness, good health! thank you for a wonderful year of tutorials and amazing photography. Can’t wait to see what you have for us in the New Year!

    To all my Claying Family – Merry Christmas and blessings in the New Year too! Hope it will be a great one for Everyone!

  31. Cherie, 24 December, 2011

    i too think a balled end of the wire would make a great start to the rosette! The earrings are just so beautiful!!

  32. Aims, 24 December, 2011

    I agree Cindy – those earring wires are really pretty. Thanks for this tutorial.

    I do have a question – would you recommend hardening them in the tumbler?

    I hope you get to have a wonderful rest over the holidays Cindy and Doug and that the holiday season is happy and peaceful for you all.

  33. Cindy Lietz, 28 December, 2011

    Thanks Aims! You don’t have to tumble them if you use half hard wire, but if you want to, you certainly can. Have a Happy New Year!

  34. Ken Hamilton, 25 December, 2011

    That’s fantastic, and I just got two Michaels gift cards today, between the gum paste flower cutters and the wire rounding burs, I think they’re already spent. Merry Christmas to everyone and a happy new year! Can’t wait to see what Cindy has in store for us in 2012!

  35. Natalie H, 27 December, 2011

    I hope you had a 50% off coupon..thats what I did and I borught my two grand daughter with me so I got Both Wiltons stuff and Pearl X each for 50% off. boy did a make out great….
    Have a Merry Christmas and enjoy your new toys

  36. Cherie, 25 December, 2011

    Does Michaels have the wire rounding burs?

  37. Jocelyn, 26 December, 2011

    Found this type at

  38. Jocelyn, 26 December, 2011

  39. Natalie H, 27 December, 2011

    I just called mine up and they do not have it..I’ll check out Fire Mountain

  40. Phaedrakat, 27 December, 2011

    Hi Cherie,
    Yes, Michael’s does carry them (I’m repeating myself — Dec. 23rd reply to Kathy G.) Not sure if Michael’s Canada has the same inventory as my California store, but probably. Seems like our stores usually have the same items…for the most part. Good luck in your search, and hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season!

  41. Natalie H, 27 December, 2011

    Hi Cindy
    I have been trying to do the rose earring wire for over a half hour. i am a lefty. I got the first to loops with no problem . Question..after you start to go around again , say to go over the first loop..after you do that do you rotate the first loop before you go under..I seem to be getting all my loops in the same spot. You hold your wire in your right hand a wrap with your left. I hold my wire in my left and and try to wrap with my right hand. Help…I am getting very make it look so easy..Luckly I have been using scrap wire and a maginfiging glass to see what I am doing. I have stopped the video at least a dozen times trying to get this right. Is anyone else who is a lefty having trouble..( I am going to try it rightly but not sure how that will go.

  42. Monique U, 27 December, 2011

    Natalie (and all you other southpaws in clay land), try standing up a good-sized mirror next to your computer screen, angle it so you get a good line of sight. Play the video and watch it in the mirror. Cindy will be doing everything with her left hand- we already know she can do ANYTHING, right? LOL

  43. Dixie Ann Scott, 29 December, 2011

    Monique, what a brilliant idea! You clever girl.

  44. Natalie H, 29 December, 2011

    HI Monique
    Thank you for the suggestion..I tried through to the two beginning circles using the round nose plyers..then did the tiny wrap ,,got the first wrap over..then here’s were I lost it…..did Cindy rotate the rose ? and is she holding the second loop that she made with the round nose plyers? Is she always holding the first loop with her plyers. I seem to have all my unders and overs in the same spot.!! HELP!!!!!! I have gone through several feet of practice wire trying to do this and I really want to learn looks so cool
    natalie –lefty in big trouble!!
    Maybe Cindy went to fast with the first two unders and overs or is it just me..

  45. Monique U, 30 December, 2011

    It isn’t just about being left or right-handed. I have to practice many times. I agree with Dixie Ann’s comment below, I also watch the videos several times before I even attempt something (wire techniques, especially). You might try with a slightly finer wire, like 21 or 22g if you have it, or start with a longer piece of wire and do everything “larger than life”, maybe starting your beginning circles at the larger end of the round nose plier. I will often stop & start, rewind the video so I can get a better look. For instance, you get a good view of the finished rose @ 1:25 and 3:40. I had to rotate the rose in my plier about a quarter turn or less each wrap to get the correct angle. As I wrap I am slightly flattening the first few layers. It helps to have good tools that don’t slide. (I need to get those nylon pliers!) And lastly, don’t forget: this is supposed to be enjoyable! If I get frustrated with one technique, I put it aside and do another. They are all so great! And don’t forget, I’m sure Cindy would agree, she had to practice many times before filming for us!

  46. Cindy Lietz, 07 January, 2012

    Thank you Monique and Dixie Anne for the great ideas to help Natalie through the learning process of this project. I really appreciate your support and awesome tips!

    Natalie, I am sure it is frustrating sometimes when something isn’t quite clicking for you. I do think the video is quite clear as to how the rose is made, but I can see how being left handed could get you turned around a bit. Monique’s mirror idea is brilliant and should help you a great deal.

    Their advice of watching a video several times before trying is also excellent. As well, you should know that practice may be necessary before you get a project to look how you want it to. Especially if it is a new medium, like wire working may be for you.

    In the future (hopefully the near future) we would like to offer live online classes or workshops where it would be possible to show me via webcam, what exactly you are doing with your project and where you may be going wrong.

    That way I can give you instant support in cases like this. Of course there would be an added fee for a class like this, but I think there are many people who would enjoy the live interaction with the instructor. Stay tuned for info on that.

    For now though, keep trying and don’t be so hard on yourself if it doesn’t come easily the first time.

    If you can, try your best to slow your brain down and break things down into steps. If you take the time to do that, you will find that most problems can be figured out on your own.

    You will also find that you become a stronger artist if you can do more things on your own, rather than jumping to quickly for support from everyone else.

    I am very pleased to see you are working so hard on the learning process. By doing this you will not only improve your skills as an artist, you will build confidence as a person. I am proud of you. Keep up the good work!

  47. Anna Sabina, 27 December, 2011

    I forgot all about December having 5 Fridays !!!! Oh, DREAD.

  48. Dixie Ann Scott, 29 December, 2011

    I did make a ball end of my copper wire for the rosette wire earrings and it turned out really pretty. It took about 6 tries before I finally got it to look like a rose. I also had to lengthen the wire for me because the hook ended up too short and they popped out of my ears since I have such a short neck. I did have to stop the video several times and watch it over but what I made myself do first was to watch it clear through about 3 times before actually starting the rosette. The turns were a little confusing to me at first but then the light bulb went on and I was able to make a pair for my grandaughter with a little teardrop bead. So if your frustrated, don’t give up just keep watching the video. Happy New Year all.

  49. Jocelyn, 11 January, 2012

    Cindy, I think requests for further help past a video would make great structured vlogging.

    Those interested could sign in with the problem in front of them and be able to do it with you and others. Really speed up the learning curve.

    I certainly wouldn’t mind an increase to cover weekly vlogs……oh, for an hour of face to face interaction, giggles and may be…..a glass of wine? Could we do them during a cocktail hour?

    My only concern is how much it would cost to upgrade hardware and software to make it a fun experience. A camera, the right amount of memory, space, etc. Hope if you decide to add this, you give us plenty of time to upgrade and practice first, but, if you do, I would sure view it as a boon.

    Hopefully, there is a way to save a vlog cast so they we could view it again, as well.

  50. Cindy Lietz, 27 January, 2012

    Thank you Jocelyn for your feed back! Sorry to take so long to get to this. We will definitely give you all advance notice of our plans and will also keep things as simple as possible from a technical point of view. We would want to make the experience an enjoyable learning experience for all.

  51. Dawn Z, 04 March, 2012


    Thank you for this wonderful video. I love the roses and have had some success making them. Maybe this is a simplistic question, but I am new to working with wire: how do you make the roses with nylon-nosed pliers? I find that my nylon-nosed pliers allow the wire to slip as I am trying to wrap it around, and, if I can hold the wire still with them, they tend to crush the roses so I am left with spirals. I just bought a pair of round nose nylon nosed pliers and hope these help.


  52. Cindy Lietz, 05 March, 2012

    Yeah Dawn, I know what you mean about crushing the rose with your pliers. It is something that becomes less of a problem with practice. One thing I usually do is do the first few turns with the pliers, then just use my fingers after that. Your fingers are more sensitive so you will know when to back off on the pressure, so as to not crush the rose petals. I am thinking, a product like Tool-Magic, (which is a silicone dip for your pliers tips) might be good for this type of project. It would give a little grip and a little cushion to the tips, which would help in not denting the wire, but still have a good hold on it. I haven’t got any Tool-Magic yet. (Too many products…. so little time.) Hope that helps a bit.

  53. Dawn Z, 05 March, 2012

    Thanks for getting back to me, Cindy! I did actually start bending the wire with my fingers as you suggested – you’re right that that works well. The round nose nylon pliers are equally slippery. I’ll look for Tool-Magic – if I find it and it works, I’ll post a note here.

  54. Sandra J, 22 August, 2012

    Hi There, just had a go at these beautiful ear-wires and they turned out lovely. Thanks again, for a lovely addition to the ear-wire family.

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