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Shephard's Hook Ear Wire

Instructions for making the Shephard's Hook ear wire finding out of jewelry wire shaped using WigJig jewelry tools:

Shephard's Hood Style Ear Wire Made with 20 Gauge Jewelry Wire

The shepherd's hook or French style ear wire is a type of ear wire that dates back to Roman times.  It is one of the most common type of ear wires.  Most of these shepherd's hook type of ear wires are made by machine with the rounded portion of the ear wire is stamped by the machine to make it permanent.  Below we provide our instructions for making the same shepherd's hook style ear wires using our WigJig tools and 20 gauge jewelry wire. 

We have many styles of ear wires that can be made on our WigJig jewelry tools.  Please select here to view a web page with links to about 20 different ear wire designs and step-by-step instructions on how to make those designs.

Jewelry Supplies Required:

Jewelry Tools Required:

  • About 3 inches of 20 or 21 gauge jewelry wire per ear wire.
  • Round Nose Pliers
  • Flush Cutter
  • Chain Nose or Bent Chain Nose Pliers (2)
  • Any WigJig jewelry making tool
  • 1/4" or 5/16" Super Peg for your jewelry making jig
  • 15 minutes of free time.

Jewelry Making Skills Required:

Step-by-step instructions for making Shephard's Hook Ear Wires using WigJig jewelry making tools:

Step 1:  Using your nylon jaw pliers, straighten a 3 inch segment of 20 gauge jewelry wire.  Either soft or 1/2 hard jewelry wire will work.  Once the wire is straight, cut off 3 inches of the wire.

Step 2:  Using your bent chain nose pliers, grasp the jewelry wire 3/4 inch from the end and make an 80 degree bend in the wire.

Step 3:  Using your round nose pliers, make a loop in the 3/4 inch segment of jewelry wire.  Make certain that the loop is centered over the longer wire segment.  Once the loop is centered, cut the excess wire so that you have an open loop at the end of the wire.  You can find additional instruction for making an open loop in jewelry wire here.  You can view an open loop below-left.

Step 4:  Grasp the jewelry wire immediately above the open loop with your bent chain nose pliers and bend the wire 90 degrees as shown below-right.

Step 3B Making and Ear Wire Finding out of jewelry wire shaped using jewelry making tools.

Step 4B Making an Ear Wire Jewelry Making Finding using WigJig jewelry tools to shape jewelry wire.
Step 3 Step 4

Step 5:  Position two regular metal pegs and one 5/16 inch super peg in your WigJig jewelry tool as shown below-left.  Place the loop in your wire on the regular metal peg as shown. 

Step 6:  Now wrap the jewelry wire around the 5/16" Super Peg as shown below-right.

Step 5 to instructions for Making an Ear Wire Jewelry Making Finding showing peg pattern on WigJig jewelry tool.

Step 6 to instructions for Making an Ear Wire Jewelry Making Finding showing shaping jewelry wire on WigJig jewelry tool.
Step 5 Step 6

Step 7 to instructions for making a Shepherd's Hook ear wire out of jewelry wire shaped on WigJig jewelry tools.Step 7:  The last step on our WigJig jewelry tool is to bend the jewelry wire against the second regular metal peg as shown at right.  Once this step is completed you can remove the wire component from the jewelry making jig.




Step 8 to instructions for Making an Ear Wire Jewelry Making Finding using WigJig jewelry tools.Step 8:  Measure about 1/4" from the bend in your ear wire made at the left most regular metal peg, and cut the excess jewelry wire.  This will leave you an ear wire that appears as shown at right.

Step 9:  There are two steps in finishing your ear wire.  First and most important is to remove any burs or rough spots from the end of the wire.  This is best done with a tool called a cup bur or bur cup jewelry tool.  This tool is essentially a very small cup on the end of a stick.  The cup contains abrasive compounds and the effect is to file the end of the wire round when the cup bur is used.  You can view how to use a cup bur tool here.  The last step in making an ear wire is optional, but recommended especially if you plan on selling the earrings.  This step is to use an anvil or bench block and a chasing hammer to flatten and harden the ear wire.  You will want to concentrate your hammering on the rounded portion of the ear wire, where the jewelry wire touched the 5/16" Super Peg.  Hammer the ear wire until you can see that the rounded portion of the ear wire has started to flatten slightly.  At this point you will notice that the ear wire is much stiffer and more permanent. 

Please select here for our free video on making the shepherd's hook style of ear wire finding.

This is a very popular style of ear wire.  Again, we also have free jewelry making instructions for making several other sizes and styles of ear wires here.  When funds are tight, making your own findings is a good way to save money on jewelry making supplies. 

Instructions for making an advanced design for an Ear Wire by shaping jewelry wire on WigJig jewelry tools.Finally, please note that we have free instructions for making a modified shepherd's hook style ear wire that we call "Stays On" ear wires.  You can view this new style of ear wire at right.  Please select here, or the picture at right to view our free instructions for making this new style of ear wire.





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