You know me, I am NOT a dive into something on a whim kind of person. Typically I like to think through every scenario, plan appropriately, and then over think it some more. But back in 2019 when I designed my first earring pattern I totally dove in without thinking twice.
Crochet earrings can be a bit of a niche project, but I really do think they’re a great project for everyone. If you can see and understand the basic crochet stitches and have some good lighting, then you can totally tackle crochet earrings! Depending on the pattern you’re working on, there can be a bit of jewelry making knowledge necessary. I’m going to share with you some tips for adding jewelry findings to your crochet earrings as well as some of my favorite and fun findings I’ve used in my crochet jewelry!
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Finding out about Findings
First, let’s start with what a finding is. A jewelry finding is a general term for anything that isn’t a stone or a setting. They’re called findings because long ago when all jewelry was made by hand, small pieces like jump rings, clasps and earring hooks would have been made from scraps from the larger piece. These small pieces of metal became known as findings and the things made from them eventually did too!
The way jewelry findings are measured can be a bit confusing, especially when it’s related to crochet. You’ll find that most jewelry findings are measured in millimeters (mm) or with gauge. The diameter of jump rings, earring hoops and shapes are most commonly measured in millimeters. When searching for a certain size of these pieces, I have found that searching the specific millimeter measurements gets me to my desired size most quickly. ALWAYS look carefully at the size before purchasing especially when working inside the finding. The pattern won’t fit inside the wrong sized finding.
Gauge or gauge?
The diameter of wire is measured in gauge. This can be confusing because we also talk about gauge in crochet patterns. While they both indicate a measurement, the gauge of wire is so small it’s not likely something you’ll be measuring. As you’re looking at jump rings and other findings, you may see the gauge measurement, so having an idea of how wire gauge works is important. The larger the number the smaller the wire. So a 5 gauge wire is much fatter than a 16 gauge wire. Most often the gauge of your finding won’t be too critical, but going too small in gauge can give you a flimsy finding that’s hard to work with. On the other hand, getting a finding that’s too fat can make it hard to get through your crocheted pieces or other findings.
If you really get into jewelry making, you may want to go from buying a few findings at a time to buying a bunch together. This can be a much more economical way to purchase findings and you may be surprised how quickly you’ll use them up, especially if you decide to gift or sell your earrings. When buying in bulk, you may see the word “gross”. A gross is 12 dozen or 144 pieces. A half gross is 6 dozen or 72 pieces. Keep in mind that for most findings you’re going to need at least 2 to make one pair of earrings. With a half gross of earring hooks you’ll be able to make 36 pairs of earrings.
Jump rings and earring hooks are probably the most common findings in earring making. A variety of jump rings are pretty easy to find. If you want just a few, grab your coupons and head to your local craft store. If you’d like a selection of sizes or metal finishes and colors, shopping online provides some great deals. Just ready the descriptions carefully to make sure you’re getting what you need.
Jump rings are small rings that are used to attach pieces of jewelry together and/or change the direction a piece hangs. These come in lots of sizes (mm), gauges, and types of metal. Depending on the size of the pieces you’re trying to attach can depend on how large of a jump ring you need. Usually gauge and metal type are a personal and visual preference. Since they won’t be laying against your ear, lower quality metals are probably ok. My personal preference is that the findings match. So even though my jump rings don’t need to be hypoallergenic, since my earring hooks do, I get them to match.
Shop carefully as jump rings come in slip and not split. Jump rings without a split can’t be opened up to fit through crochet pieces or other findings. Split jump rings have a break in them that can be used to attach them to other pieces. I almost always use split jump rings.
My go to jump ring is usually a simple sliver jump ring. You can also get packages of jump rings that come in several metal finishes. These multi colored jump rings were too fun not to share!
Earring hooks are the part of the earring that hooks through your ear to wear your earrings. These come in a wide variety of styles and metals too. If you have sensitive skin, be sure to look for surgical steel, sterling silver or hypoallergenic metals in the findings. Earring hooks that don’t latch can sometimes fall out of your ears so purchasing earring backs can be helpful too.
Pay attention to the way the loop at the front of the earring hoop hangs. It will affect the way your earring hangs and if you need jump rings. Sometimes you can use your needle nosed pliers to turn the loop, but sometimes turning it can cause the loop to break off.
My favorite earring hooks are a simple hook like this one. That package is fun because is have several colors of metal! One of the most common styles of earring hook you’ll find are these. If you’re at all worried about your earring falling out, these leaver style hooks will definitely keep that from happening! The perfect way to know that your earring hooks will match your jump rings is this a great package containing both like this one!
Speaking of needle nosed pliers, any pair will do. But if you find that you really love making jewelry, you may want to purchase a small jewelry making kit. I find that I use my round nosed pliers, needle nosed pliers and wire cutters the most. They make working with the findings easy. I bought my tools separately over time, which is why they don’t match, but this tool set would be perfect for starting out!
Your first instinct may be to pull the ends of the jump rings or earring hooks away from each other. Unfortunately doing this can distort the shape of your findings and create gaps that make it easier for the findings to disconnect with the crocheted pieces and each other. Instead, twist the finding, attach them to your pieces and then twist them back.
My perfectionistic tendencies cause me to try to place my findings directly in the center or “right place”. But I want to encourage you to place findings where the pieces LOOK the best. No one is going to be counting to see if you placed the earring hook in the exact center stitch. So place the findings where they look and hang the best.
I’ve become a little obsessed with working with unique earring findings. You can create some amazingly gorgeous and simple earrings by working with unique findings! Listed below are some fun findings I’ve worked with as well as some quick links to order the findings and links to the patterns I’ve used them in. Keep in mind that if the pattern is worked along the outside of the finding, it may not be as important that the finding is the exact size listed in the pattern. However, if the pattern is worked inside the finding, the size of the finding needs to be accurate.
Hoops – closed and open
I don’t want to pick favorites, but these are definitely the earring finding that’s inspired me the most. I have 6 patterns worked around a hoop and I see more in my future! Hoops are some of my favorite styles of earring no matter how they’re made. There’s just something classic about a hoop earring.
Hoops come in two styles, generally speaking. They either are a complete earring, back and post included, no need for extra findings or they’re a closed hoop that will need an earring hook. The complete earring is my favorite style because it’s simple and stays hanging nicely next to your head. If you want your hoop to face forward, you can work with a closed hoop earring finding. This is a complete loop without an opening. They usually have a place at the top to attach your earring hook. These are fun; they dangle and swing nicely! I purchased – and have repurchased several times – this simple complete hoop. While it may not look like much, it’s a great base for crochet earrings! Super sturdy, it hoods its shape super well and it very comfortable to wear! This closed hoop is a classic earring finding with a loop to attach an earring hook. If you’re looking for something super sleek, this hoop finding is where it at!
Ruffled Crochet Earrings
These classic, beautiful earrings are the very first earring pattern I designed. They’re quick and easy to work up – the perfect earring if you’re looking to start crocheting earrings! Three styles come in this one pattern. They’re worked around a 30mm hoop, but can be worked around a bigger or smaller hoop, depending on what variation you choose.
Picot Crochet Earrings
I try not to pick favorites, but I find myself coming back to this earring again and again. If you want drama and flare – which you KNOW I always do – then this is the earring for you! Three styles come in this one pattern. They’re worked around a 30mm hoop, but can be worked around a bigger or smaller hoop, depending on what variation you choose.
Grand Arches Earrings
If the Picot Crochet Earrings are my favorite then the Grand Arches Earrings are a crowd favorite! My best selling earring pattern, this gorgeous earring can easily be dressed up or down. Three styles come in this one pattern. They’re worked around a 30mm hoop, but can be worked around a bigger or smaller hoop, depending on what variation you choose.
First Bud Earrings
I have made all the things with this beautiful floral motif including earrings! Inspired by the first buds poking their heads through the snow at the very beginning of spring. They are delicate and girly in a very subtle way. Three styles come in this one pattern. They’re worked around a 30mm hoop, but can be worked around a bigger or smaller hoop, depending on what variation you choose. You can read more about the First Bud Earrings here!
I’ve always thought I was more of a mountain person than a beach person, but living next to the great lakes the last few years, the beach is really growing on me! The soothing sound of the lapping waves along with the warm sunshine just can’t be beat. The Marin Earrings were inspired by the lapping waves of laid back summer days at the lake. Three styles come in this one pattern. They’re worked around a 30mm hoop, but can be worked around a bigger or smaller hoop, depending on what variation you choose.
These earrings were inspired by fall and the beauty of the aspen trees. The subtle leaf shape gives the feel of fall without being too themed. Perfect for those who want to celebrate fall in a less traditional way. Three styles come in this one pattern. They’re worked around a 30mm hoop, but can be worked around a bigger or smaller hoop, depending on what variation you choose.
This is another classic shape earring that I love! I don’t have any earrings specifically designed for this shape, but several testers have made my earrings designed for hoops on this shape and they’ve turned out amazing! See, isn’t Amber GORGEOUS!?!
I have these teardrop earrings findings. Just like Amber’s they have a place to attach an earring hook at the top and you can attach beads in the center – so much fun! If you’d like a really sleek teardrop, this one is perfect!
The unique shape of this finding is so fun to work with. Whether you’re selling your finished earrings at craft shows, giving them as gifts or just making a pair or two for yourself, earrings made with this earring finding are fun and beautiful. These can be a bit harder to find as a stand alone finding, but I encourage you to go ahead and buy all the fun shapes and let your imagination go wild! If you’d like the single shape, you can purchase it here. but if you’d like a couple different shape – and why wouldn’t you? – this package has some fun ones!
This dramatic earring is so much fun! It works up really quickly so it’s perfect for when you need a quick win project! Perfect for a unique last minute gift too!
Amazon has my number…they suggested this earring finding (upper right corner) to me and I was immediately struck with inspiration! I’m so pleased with how the Yvonne Earrings turned out; I’m definitely going to have to come up with some more ways to use these fun findings! I used these square findings. They come with gold and silver and have several sized. My brain is already working on fun ways to use the smaller sized!
Like I said above, these earrings were instant inspiration! I may be a little granny square obsessed, just like the fashion world right now. But even as the fad fades I think these are a classic earring that every crocheter needs!
Bonus pro tip! If you are using cotton crochet thread to make your earrings, you can you stiffener to help your earring hold their shape! All of my earring patterns have instructions for stiffening your earrings. I stiffen my earrings with Aleene’s Stiffen-Quick Fabric Spray.
Learn more about working with these fun findings through my free tutorials on YouTube!