This tutorial shows you how to make a simple metal ear cuff in copper. This simple design wraps around the outer cartilage of the ear and is a popular style for men. It can be textured and colored as desired.
Choose your Metal
This simple style ear cuff can be made from most any metal. 24-gauge copper or brass strips are easy to cut and manipulate. This tutorial uses 0.25″ wide strips of copper sheet. If you choose, you can use wider strips and cut the metal to your desired width. Or if you prefer a bit thicker metal, you can use 20-gauge sheet. Just remember, this style needs to fit comfortably around the cartilage of one’s ear.
With a variety of patterns and metals to choose from, artisan patterned wire can also be an option for a DIY (do-it-yourself) ear cuff. The patterned wire comes in several gauges. If you use a heavier gauge wire, the ear cuff may not be adjustable.
First, Gather your Supplies
- 24-gauge copper strips (#64-981-24-25)
- Metal Shears (#69-230)
- Small Wrap ‘n’ Tap pliers (#69-262-S)
- Steel Bench Block (#69-125)
- Texturing Hammer (#69-249-03) or chasing hammer (#69-134)
- Sharpie® permanent marking pen (#83-101)
- Flat File (#69-252-01-4)
Measure and Mark the Cuff Length:
Measure and mark the metal strip. 27.5mm (or roughly 1.25″) is the average length for cuffs that fits on the (normal) middle part of the ear. The length can range from 25mm to 30mm.
Mark with a permanent marking pen on the film which covers the metal strip. You can alternately mark directly on the metal. Just keep some rubbing alcohol handy to wipe away the line if you make a mistake.
Cut the Metal:
Depending on the gauge, hand shears (#69-230 or #69-409) work well for cutting the metal strips. A bench shear (#69-334) works great if cutting multiple pieces or cutting metal sheet to a custom width.
File the Edges Smooth:
Use a flat file (#69-252-01-4) to smooth the edges and slightly round the corners of the cut metal strip.
Texture the Metal:
Shape the Ear Cuff:
Shape the metal piece around the 10mm barrel of the small Wrap n’ Tap pliers (#69-262-S). The 24-gauge copper bends easily around the barrel.
Color The Ear Cuff:
Using Vintaj Patinas is another option to add color to these DIY ear cuffs. Use a paintbrush to apply the Vintaj Patina. Once dry, sand some color off the high points using a Vintaj Metal Reliefing Blockblock (#69-327). Seal with Vintaj Glaze (#86-421-900).
For more DIY ear cuff ideas, see our “Make Fashionable Ear Cuff Jewelry” blog post.
Not into DIY?
Rings & Things offers a wide variety of plain ear cuffs (including sterling silver, gold and silver plated) ready to embellish.
And if you are looking for ready-to-wear ear cuffs, we now offer six styles in sterling silver. As a bonus, most of the ready-to-ear ear cuffs have openings or loops in the pattern, so you can easily add dangles or leave them as-is.
How to Put on an Ear Cuff
If you’ve never worn an ear cuff and don’t know how to wear one, here’s how.
Have fun creating and wearing these ear accessories!