Forget about the diamonds ladies. It turns out recyclables can be your best friend when you want to create beautiful earrings.
Welcome to another Wacky Workshops project – use amazing material to create beautiful earrings.
This is what I now like to refer to as my ‘lockdown’ collection as I played around and experimented a bit to come up with some fun designs using recyclables as a way to combat lockdown boredom.
What struck me as I was making them is that you can create little works of art using things you would normally throw away. And those little works of art can be just as precious as expensive diamonds and other gems.
7 AMAZING MATERIALS TO CREATE BEAUTIFUL EARRINGS – 1
Plastic Milk Containers
Believe it or not, plastic milk containers are a wonderful material to create earrings with. They are easy to cut, which is a real bonus and can be decorated with nail polish, permanent markers and sparkly stuff like glitter.
Something as simple as a little ghost shape with some permanent marker eyes and mouth makes a cute little pair of Halloween earrings.
Cut little tree shapes and colour them with nail polish or markers then cover in sparkly beads and glitter for fun Christmas earrings.
For a simpler look, cut three strips from the milk carton, each a little smaller than the previous. Make a hole at each end of the smallest strip. Repeat this step for the next two strips. Next, bend the smallest strip so that the holes are aligned and you’ve created a teardrop shape. Wrap the next smallest strip around this, leaving a little space between the two and line up all the little holes. Repeat this step with the last strip and then hold them all together with a jump ring. Add the earring hook to the jump ring. These can be decorated with colour but they also look sweet as is. Use a similar technique to create a little round earring pair and decorate with markers or nail polish.
The next pair was inspired by an ad I kept seeing on social media for earrings such as worn by Mel Leong, the Australian MasterChef judge, in one of the show’s episodes. They were advertised as ‘the Paris-Dangle (as seen on MasterChef and The Project)’ and cost $34.99 to buy. These will cost you less than $3 to make.
Just cut out two shapes similar to those in the picture (the official name is a trapezoid). Use box cutters to cut a smaller version of the same shape in the centre. Next, cut the little square to go on the top.
Add holes to the top of your trapezoid and the top and bottom of the little square. Add jump rings to each of the holes.
Decorate with as much glitter and sparkle as you can fit. When it’s dry, paint over the glitter with clear drying glue, such as PVA. While it’s wonderful to leave a little sparkle everywhere you go, it’s probably not so much appreciated if that sparkle is dropping from your jewellery. The glue ensures the glitter stays in place.
When the whole thing is dry, add a short piece of chain to the jump ring on your trapezoid and attach the other end to the jump ring on the bottom of your little square. Add earring hooks to the jump rings on top of the squares. So much fun! I’m going to love wearing mine this Christmas.
7 AMAZING MATERIALS TO CREATE BEAUTIFUL EARRINGS – 2
Don’t throw out your puzzles when you start to discover missing pieces. The leftover pieces can be used to make a bunch of wonderful things. Revamp an old frame by covering it in puzzle pieces, use them in mixed media art projects or glue a few together and paint to represent snowflakes as fun Christmas or winter decorations. Or, you can paint and decorate them, add a little hole at the top for the jump rings and hooks and you have sweet little earrings.
7 AMAZING MATERIALS TO CREATE BEAUTIFUL EARRINGS – 3
This could be my favourite. I have many pencils with the graphite broken all the way through and I’m constantly on the lookout for inventive ways to use them.
You can either gently (so as not to split the pencil) push a hole into the bottom of short pencils and glue an eye pin in the hole, then add the earring hook to that – very easy. Or, cut pencil pieces really small and glue them into any shape you like.
These would make a fun and fabulous gift for teachers.
7 AMAZING MATERIALS TO CREATE BEAUTIFUL EARRINGS – 4
I used a soda water bottle for this. I just cut strips from the plastic and then carefully melted them slightly (to give them that nice twist) with a small butane torch. You can also use a candle. Make sure you use plyers and tiny tongs to hold the plastic and save your fingers. When you’re happy with the shape, clean off any soot marks and colour with permanent markers. Make a hole in the top, add a jump ring and then the earring hook. Or, as I did, you can attach the strips to a tiny piece of chain. You can even use another section of the bottle to make a matching bangle.
7 AMAZING MATERIALS TO CREATE BEAUTIFUL EARRINGS – 5
The material used to make these earrings is really unusual – it’s made from potato beads. I had some leftovers from a similar project and used them to create earrings. If you’d like to learn how to make the potato beads, read 1 Astonishing Ingredient Makes Beautiful Turquoise Jewellery.
To make the earrings, I just threaded the potatoes beads and some wooden beads onto some fishing line and attached the earring hooks to that.
7 AMAZING MATERIALS TO CREATE BEAUTIFUL EARRINGS – 6
Can Pull Rings
Seriously, with enough imagination, you can make cute earrings out of anything.
These used can pull rings with wire coils attached to form tiny arms, legs and heads. Just wind the thin wire around something like a skewer to form the arms and legs and wrap it around your finger to make the circle for the head. They are truly wacky and fun.
To be honest, I actually made the last two earring pairs long before lockdown and COVID but they fit the bill for amazing materials and are easy and fun to make.
7 AMAZING MATERIALS TO CREATE BEAUTIFUL EARRINGS – 7
This is so easy. Unbend the paper clip and bend it into a triangle shape. Cover the shape with glue. Use a thin ribbon or threat to wrap around the shape. Add a jump ring and earring hook to the top and you’re done.
7 AMAZING MATERIALS TO CREATE BEAUTIFUL EARRINGS – BONUS PROJECT
Such a fun pair of earrings to wear to birthday parties or at Christmas. To discover how to make them read 5 Fabulous Jewellery Projects to Make for Christmas. The instructions come with a template.
I knew I’d need a place to store my lockdown collection and it was so easy to make use of two old picture frames. I removed the glass and back. Then I glued the thin foam to the frame’s back and covered this with some material before attaching it back to the frame. The foam gives the earring hooks something to push into.
I hope these projects have inspired you to start creating your own beautiful bling in a budget and planet-friendly way.