Taking your jewelry to a jeweler for a minor repair is very expensive. Even a small repair like fixing a bent earring post can cost you a bundle.
The good news is that you don’t have to run to the jewelry store for every little thing! You can easily fix the bent earring post by yourself from the comfort of your own home.
So how do you fix bent earring posts? The best way to fix bent earring posts is to gently straighten them using a pair of pliers or gently tapping the post back into place with a mallet. If you accidentally break off the post while straightening it, you can take it to a jeweler so they can solder it back together, or you can solder it yourself at home.
Keep reading to learn exactly how to fix bent earring posts by straightening the post, sodering a broken post, or fixing the wire hoop if your earring doesn’t have a post.
Straightening Bent Earring Posts
Straightening a bent earring post is the simplest jewelry repair. All you need to fix the post is a pair of flat-nosed pliers. You can straighten the post in seconds, just be careful not to snap it right off!
The repairs you can do at home are simple, but you will need a few tools like a pair of pliers and a mallet. Or you can buy a jewelry repair kit and have everything you could possibly need to straighten an earring post and many other repairs in the future.
While holding the earring securely with one hand, grasp the post with the pliers and gently move the post back into its correct position. That’s all!
Here are the step-by-step instructions:
- Hold the earring
- Get a good grip on the post
- Gently straighten the post
You might need a bit of force, but be careful not to use too much. Too much force could break the post off. Don’t be too quick and don’t jerk. Be gentle!
The post is quite thin and malleable. A little pressure should put it right back the way it should be. If you do break it off, you might need to take it to a jeweler to have it soldered together, unless you are confident enough to solder it yourself.
A Few Things to Consider
There are a few things you should consider before trying to straighten an earring post. Is it worth it to try to fix? How bad is it bent? What metal is it made of?
How bad is it bent?
First, decide whether or not straightening the post will improve the quality of the earring. If it wears just fine and looks good, you could just leave the post bent. But if it really bothers you, then straightening is the right choice.
Second, how much is it bent? A small bend probably won’t make much difference and trying to straighten it could just weaken the metal without much benefit. However, a nice straight post will make putting the earring on and taking it off easier.
If the bend is really drastic like 45 or 90 degrees, then you should definitely straighten it because it will be nearly impossible to wear comfortably. Never mind trying to get it in and out.
What type of metal is it made of?
What metal was used to make the post? This is important because some metals are easier to bend than others.
Silver is quite soft and bendable. If you are not sure, try bending the post with your fingers. If you can move the post with your fingers, then the metal is likely pure silver or sterling silver. This means you are in luck! You can straighten your post easily with just your fingers.
Gold is also very malleable. You might not be able to straighten the post with your fingers, but with a pair of pliers apply steady, delicate pressure and you should be able to put it back into place.
Titanium is more difficult to straighten, but again, a pair of pliers and a little pressure will do the trick. Start gently, with very little pressure until you can feel how tough the post is and then you can increase the pressure until you see the post moving back into position.
Where is the location of the bend?
Another thing to consider is how is the post bent? Is it bent at the joint or somewhere in the middle?
The principle of straightening the post is the same, but the process is a bit different. For one, you won’t likely be able to straighten a bend in the middle with your fingers because you won’t be able to get a good enough hold.
For a bend in the middle, you will need two very fine needle-nosed pliers. You need to grip the post on either side of the bend and gently “unfold” the bend. This can be tricky because the post is so small and can easily slip out of your grip. Just take your time and the bend should come out fairly easily.
The trickiest part about fixing or straightening an earring post is the size of the earring. These are generally very small. You might need to hold it under a microscope to see exactly what you are doing. The Beemoon Jewelry Magnifier is a very good, inexpensive option.
How to Solder Earring Posts
Most jewelry repair kits don’t come with a soldering gun or soldering iron, so you would have to buy one separately. Both are very simple to use and might come in handy in the future! Especially if you plan to do a lot of jewelry repair or jewelry making.
To solder the post back on, here’s what you do:
- Carefully place the earring in a small vice.
- Use needle-nose pliers to hold the post.
- Apply the solder to the gun and gently put the two pieces together.
- Be careful not to use too much solder wire. This will ruin the look and be very uncomfortable to wear.
An earring post is very small, so you might have to use tweezers to hold the post instead of needle-nose pliers. However, some pliers, especially the ones designed specifically for jewelry making are almost as small as tweezers. If you have a pair of these, that would be a better option since tweezers might not give you a strong enough grip.
Find the finest solder wire you can, remember, you only need a small dab – about the diameter of the post.
Once the solder wire cools, your joint becomes part of the post and will hold just as tight as when it was new. If you have a lot of excess solder running down the post, you will have to reheat it in order to remove the extra. Solder can’t be wiped away or removed with other type of solvent.
If you want to watch a super helpful (and oddly soothing) video on soldering earring posts, I recommend this one by Beaducation on YouTube.
How to Glue Earring Posts
If you are not comfortable or confident enough to try using a soldering gun or iron, you can glue your post back onto the earring. This holds very well, especially if you use the right type of glue.
Epoxy is a great all-purpose adhesive. It’s heavy-duty and works well for jewelry making, bonding gemstones and metal findings. Epoxy 220 is considered one of the most powerful glues in jewelry making and repair. It is also perfect for other projects like general crafts and keeping hobby parts together.
Aleene’s 21709 Jewelry & Metal Instant Adhesive bonds quickly, won’t run and dries clear. It is also a favorite for jewelry making and repair. It is considered the best for metal on metal. Since your earring and post are made of metal, this might be the best choice.
The process is the same as soldering.
- Carefully clasp the earring in the vice or hold it between your fingers.
- Using your magnifier, locate the exact point you want the post to be attached.
- Add a dab of glue to this spot.
- Holding the post with your pliers or tweezers, very gently and carefully place the post on the dab of glue.
- Let it sit for about an hour. Both adhesives are quick-drying, but you don’t want to move it around until you are very sure the glue is set and will hold.
How to Fix or Replace Earring Wires
Another very common problem with earrings is the wire. Some earrings have a wire hoop instead of a post. The wire is fairly thin and can break off or get bent out of shape easily.
In some cases, people just don’t like the wire loop and want to replace it with a post or some type of fastener for non-pierced ears.
To change the earring wire or finding, the decorative part of the earring should be attached by a loop or jump ring.
- Find the opening of the loop and open it far enough to slip off the ornament. Never open it in a “C” shape as this could weaken the wire.
- Take off the ornament and attach it to the new earring finding.
- Close the loop and you’re done!
If you simply want to correct the shape of a hook, use a pair of round nose pliers and carefully reshape the finding.
Never throw out another pair of earrings just because the post is bent or broken. You now have the skills to easily fix the post on your favorite earrings and wear them with pride!
If you’d like to make your own wire earrings, read this article.