If you want to make earrings, you will need to buy or make some earring hooks. These components allow you to thread the earrings safely and securely through your piercing hole. If you have used good quality earring hooks, then they will also help to ensure that your earrings sits or hangs correctly, so that it will look the way that you intend it to look. Here is some information about the different types of earring hooks that are available, so you will be able to make an informed choice about what sort of hooks you will need to buy or make for your piece of jewelry.
These earring hooks are shaped like a fish hook. They slot easily through the piercing hole in the ear and will allow the earring to hang downwards. This type of hook is most commonly used on drop earrings. Because of the length of the hook and the slight curve of the wire, a back section is not usually required for this type of hook. The simplistic design of these components means that it is very easy to make your own with a bit of polished jewelry making wire, if you would like to have a go. However, if you would prefer to buy them, they are widely available from jewelry supplies stores and online.
With these “earring hooks”, the “hook” that goes through the ear lobe is actually straight, so the earring needs to be secured on another way. Therefore, a backing known as a “butterfly” is put on at the reverse of the ear, to help to keep the earring in place. It is known as a butterfly because of its shape. These types of backings are most commonly used for stud type earrings or smaller earrings, where a complete hook would be too big to look normal. These backs are hard for amateur jewelry makers to create themselves, so most people choose to buy them. It is possible to just purchase the butterfly backing components.
This type of earring hook is normally used on hoop earrings. The closing component is on a latch which can be open and shut to allow the earring to be inserted, secured or removed. Because they are part of a full circle, they need no back.
Clip-ons or magnetic clasps
Whilst these fastenings are not technically hooks, they are still a valid choice when you are making earrings. They allow people to wear earrings even if they do not have pierced ears, because they allow the earring to just gently clip on to the ear lobe, either using a sprung mechanism or semi-strong magnets. If you choose to buy magnetic earring clasps, then you should be careful to keep them away from children, as these clasps can be very dangerous if swallowed. You also need to take care when you are fixing these magnetic clasps to your earring backs, because if you get the polarity of the magnets wrong, they can end up repelling each other, instead of attracting each other.