How to Make Paper Earrings

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1-09-2019, 16:00
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Updated: July 26, 2019 You can make all sorts of crafts using paper, such as boxes and banners, but did you know that you can make jewelry too? Perhaps one of the more unexpected things that you can make out of paper are earrings. Because paper is so light to begin with, the finished earrings are comfortable to wear. Best of all, the design possibilities are endless, from intricate dangling earrings to chunky beaded ones.

Cutting Intricate Earrings

  1. Choose a sheet of thick, glittery or patterned cardstock. You can find many options in the scrapbooking aisle of a craft store. Skip the thin scrapbooking paper that feels like printer paper, and instead go for the thicker, cardstock variety.
    • Glitter paper works great for this! You can also choose paper with a pearlescent sheen or a pretty pattern.
  2. Cut a pair of identical shapes from the paper. These will make your earrings, so choose the size carefully. Something that is between 1 and 2 inches (2.5 and 5.1 cm) would work great here. You can cut these out with a craft blade and a metal ruler or a craft punch. If you have access to a die cutter and know how to use one, that is another great option.
    • Be careful when using glitter paper and craft hole punches. Sometimes, the glitter clogs the punch.
    • Consider a simple shape, such as a skinny rectangle, or a tall, narrow triangle. This way, you can dress them up further.
  3. Use a craft border punch to add detail to straight edges. You don't have to do this if you don't want to, but if you cut a skinny rectangle or a tall triangle, you could make your design fancier by punching an intricate design into the bottom edge. Simply choose a border craft hole punch that you like, then use it to punch a fancy design into the bottom edge of your shape.
    • If you made a skinny rectangle, use 1 of the narrow edges as the bottom edge. If you made a tall triangle, then the narrow base of the triangle is the bottom, not the long angled edges.
    • You can find craft border punches alongside the other craft hole punches in the scrapbooking section of a craft store.
  4. Add more detail by cutting shapes from the inside of your earrings. There is nothing wrong with having a solid circle, rectangle, or triangle as an earring. The design will appear chunky, however, which is not for everyone. If this is the case for you, use a craft blade to carefully cut a matching shape from the inside of your earring, leaving a skinny ⁄4 inch (0.64 cm) frame.
    • For example, if you made triangular earrings, cut a triangle out of each one.
    • If you made circular earrings, it might be easier to use another circular craft punch, but in a smaller size.
    • For a fancier look, choose a shaped craft punch, like a butterfly, heart, or star. This works for any shape, be it a circle, triangle, or rectangle.
  5. Punch a small hole in the top of each earring for the jump rings. Use a thick needle, an awl, or the smallest hole punch that you can find. Don't use a regular hole punch, however, or the hole will be too big. Make the hole about ⁄8 inch (0.32 cm) away from the edge of the earring.
  6. Make a second set of earrings to glue to the back, if desired. Whether or not you do this is up to you. If your paper is white on the back, this may peek through when you were the earring. If you want them to be identical on both sides, then you'll have to make a second pair and glue them to the back of the first pair. Craft glue will work just fine for this.
    • If your design is asymmetrical, then your second set needs to be a mirror image of the first set; otherwise, the designs won't match up.
    • If your paper is patterned on both sides, then you don't need to make a second set of earrings—unless, of course, you want the same pattern on both sides.
  7. Seal the front of each earring with dimensional sealer or epoxy. This is a specific product used in scrapbooking and jewelry making. You can find it in the scrapbooking aisle, the glue aisle, or the beading aisle of a craft store. Look for names like "Dimensional Magic." Unlike regular decoupage glue, it is very thick and gives the paper some dimension.
    • Be careful not to seal any holes or designs on your earring. If you did, use a thick needle or toothpick to clear them out.
    • How you apply the product will vary. Sometimes you have to use a paintbrush, while other times you use the applicator tip that's attached to the top of the bottle.
    • If you made a second set of earrings, be sure to seal those too. You only need to seal the front of each earring set since you'll be gluing them back-to-back.
  8. Allow the earrings to dry and cure on a sheet of wax paper. If you don't have any wax paper, you can use another smooth, disposable surface, such as parchment paper or the shiny side of freezer paper. How long it takes for the sealer to dry and cure really depends on the brand, so check the instructions on the back of the bottle.
    • For example, the sealer may feel dry to the touch in 1 or 2 hours, but it may need up to 48 hours in order to set.
    • You must let the sealer cure. If you don't, the sealer will feel dry and tacky. It will pick up fingerprints and dust as well.
  9. Open a pair of jump rings. Hold a jump ring between 2 pliers. Pull 1 plier towards you and the other plier away from you to open the jump ring. Once you have opened up the first jump ring, set it aside and open the second jump ring.
    • Do not pull the ends of the jump ring away from each other like opening a drawer; you want them to slide past each other.
    • Open the jump rings enough so that you can slide the earrings on.
  10. Slide the earring base and a fish hook earring onto the jump ring. Slip the jump ring through the tiny hole in the top of your earring. Once you have that on, add a blank fish hook earring. Work on just 1 earring and jump ring for right now.
    • Make sure that your fish hook earrings are the same size as your jump rings. For example, if you used silver jump rings, use silver fish hook earrings.
    • You can find blank or empty fish hook earrings in the beading section of a craft store.
  11. Close the jump ring, then pinch the gap shut, if needed. Grab the jump ring between your 2 pairs of pliers again. Pull 1 plier towards you and the other away from you to close the jump ring. If there is a small gap in the jump ring, hold it between a pair of pliers, then apply slight pressure.
    • If you leave the gap in the jump ring, the earring and/or fish hook may fall off.
    • Once you have completed this step, add the other jump ring to the earring and fish hook. Your earrings are now ready to wear!

Creating Quilled Flower Earrings

  1. Cut 5 3 in (7.6 cm) strips and 5 6 in (15 cm) strips of quilling paper. For a more colorful earring, make the shorter strips 1 color and the longer strips a different color. The 6 in (15 cm) strips will make the inside of the flower petal, so choose your colors wisely.
    • Contrasting colors, like red and yellow, will give you a bolder look. Similar colors, like blue and green, will give you a more subtle look.
    • If you want more open looking petals, cut all 10 quilling strips 3 inches (7.6 cm) long. You should still use 2 different colors.
    • You can find quilling strips online or in well-stocked craft stores. You can also make your own buy cutting ⁄8 in (0.32 cm) wide strips of colored printer paper.
  2. Glue the 3 in (7.6 cm) strips to the 6 in (15 cm) strips. Take a 3 in (7.6 cm) strip and a 6 in (15 cm) strip of quilling paper. Overlap the ends by about ⁄8 to ⁄4 inch (0.32 to 0.64 cm) and secure them with a drop of glue. Do this for the remaining sets of quilling paper until you have 5 9 in (23 cm) long strips.
    • If you only cut 3 in (7.6 cm) strips of quilling paper, then glue 2 contrasting colors together.
  3. Insert the 6 in (15 cm) end of the strip into a quilling tool. Each of your quilling strips is composed of 2 shorter strips: a 3 in (7.6 cm) strip and a 6 in (15 cm) strip. Take the end with the 6 in (15 cm) strip, and slide it into the slot of your quilling tool.
    • If both of your paper strips were 3 inches (7.6 cm) long, then it does not matter from which end you start.
    • You can find quilling tools online and in well-stocked craft stores.
    • If you can't find a quilling tool, push a needle with a large head into a short dowel. Use a pair of wire cutters to cut the tip of the needle head off to create a set of prongs.
  4. Wrap the paper firmly around the slotted end of the quilling tool. Slide the strip until the 6 in (15 cm) end is just between the 2 metal prongs. Hold the paper firmly as you begin to wrap it around the prongs into a tight tube.
    • Make sure that you wrap the entire strip around the quilling tool.
  5. Slide the wrapped paper off, then glue the end down to hold its shape. Hold the wrapped tube securely between your fingers so that it doesn't unravel, then slide it off of the quilling tube. Loosen your fingers until the tube expands to your desired width, then glue the end down.
    • Keep the tube flattened—don't let it push out like a telescope.
    • Craft glue will work just find for this, but super glue will work even better because it dries fast.
    • How much you let the tube expand by is up to you. Keep in mind that your finished earring will be about twice the width of the expanded tube.
  6. Pinch the disk into a tear-drop shape, then make the remaining 4 petals. Find the side of the expanded disk that you glued down. Pinch that side between your thumb and index finger so that the disk turns into a tear-drop shape.
    • The petal should hold its shape thanks to the crease.
  7. Make 4 more petals using the same process. Wrap, glue, and pinch the remaining 4 strips to make 4 more petals. Always start wrapping with the 6 in (15 cm) end of the strip.
    • If you used only 3 in (7.6 cm) strips, then it doesn't matter from which end you start wrapping.
  8. Glue the 5 petals together to form a flower, then allow them to dry. The pointy ends of the petals should all meet in the center of the flower; the rounded ends should be on the outside of the flower. Once you have glued the 5 petals together, set them aside so that the glue can dry.
    • You can use craft glue or super glue for this, but super glue will dry much faster.
    • If the flower isn't holding together, set it on top of a corkboard, then use straight pins or T-pins to hold it in place as the glue dries.
  9. Coat the flower with decoupage glue, if desired. You don't have to do this, but it will make your earring more durable and help it last longer. Choose a decoupage glue, such as Mod Podge, in a finish that you like, then apply a light coat to the front and sides of the earring with a brush. Let the earring dry, then flip it over and do the back.
    • Decoupage comes in many finishes, including glossy, satin, and matte. You may also be able to use a varnish instead.
    • Try to get the inside of the quilled paper as well. This will help protect it further.
    • How long the decoupage takes to dry depends on how heavily you applied it. Because the project is so small, it shouldn't take more than 20 minutes; it may take up to 1 or 2 hours, however.
  10. Secure a fish hook earring to the top of the flower with a jump ring. Use a pair of pliers to open up a jump ring. Slide a blank, fish hook earring onto the jump ring, then slip the jump ring through the top edge of the flower. Use the pliers again to close the jump ring.
    • When opening and closing the jump ring, pull the ends past each other--don't pull them away from each other.
    • Sometimes, there may be a gap in the jump ring. Pinch it shut with the tips of your pliers.
    • The jump ring should slide right through the quilled loops on the flower petal. How many loops you slide it through will vary each time. Just try to get however many will fit in the jump ring.
  11. Repeat the entire process to make a second flower earring. Cut another set of 3 in (7.6 cm) and 6 in (15 cm) quilling strips. Glue them together to make 5 longer strips, then wrap, glue, and pinch them into petals. Glue the petals together, then insert a jump ring and fish hook through the top petal.
    • Make sure that you use the same colors as you did for your first flower.
    • Once you do this, your earrings are ready to wear!

Making Chunky Beaded Earrings

  1. Choose a colorful page from a magazine with colors that you like. Don’t pay attention to the image itself as it won’t be visible in the finished bead. Instead, look at the combination of colors. An image that covers the entire magazine page will work much better than a mostly-white page with some text and tiny images.
    • You can also use a page from a catalog or calendar, or even a sheet of wrapping paper.
    • The exact size of the paper doesn't matter, as long as it is at least 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 cm) long.
  2. Cut your paper into a ⁄2 in (1.3 cm) wide strip. The strip can be anywhere between 10 and 12 inches (25 and 30 cm) long. Use a ruler and a pen or pencil to draw the strip first. Cut the strip out using a sharp part of scissors. You can also use a metal ruler and a craft blade instead. This will create a bead that is shaped like a tube or cylinder.
    • If you prefer a bead that tapers on both ends, cut a ⁄2 in (1.3 cm) wide triangle that’s between 10 and 12 inches (25 and 30 cm) long.
    • If you want a longer earring, then cut the strip wider. For example, a 1 by 12 in (2.5 by 30.5 cm) strip will give you a bead that’s 1 inch (2.5 cm) tall.
  3. Wrap the strip tightly around a toothpick. Place 1 of the narrow ends of your paper strip against a toothpick. Make sure that the color you like is facing out, then wrap the strip around the toothpick to make a tight cylinder.
    • If you cut a triangular strip, begin wrapping from the ⁄2 in (1.3 cm) base of the triangle, and finish wrapping at the point.
  4. Glue the end of the strip down to hold the bead together. Unroll about ⁄2 inch (1.3 cm) of the paper. Coat the underside with glue, then press it back down onto the bead.
    • Any type of liquid craft glue will work just fine here. Super glue will also work, because it dries nice and fast.
  5. Stick the toothpick into a ball of clay and let the glue dry. If you don’t have a ball of clay, you can use an eraser, apple, potato, or even an orange instead. As long as you can stick the toothpick into it, you’re good. How long it takes for the glue to dry will depend on what you are using.
    • Most glues will take about 10 to 15 minutes to dry. Some may take longer. Read the label on the bottle of glue to find out how long you should wait.
    • While you are waiting, use the rest of the magazine paper to make a second, matching bead. It may not look identical, but it should look very similar.
  6. Seal the bead with clear varnish. Do not remove the bead from the toothpick just yet. Instead, take the toothpick out of the ball of clay and hold it between your fingers. Apply a coat of clear varnish to the bead with a paintbrush, then stick the toothpick back into the clay.
    • Varnish comes in many different finishes, such as matte, satin, and glossy, so pick the one you like the best.
    • For a more durable finish, you could use an epoxy sealer instead. In a pinch, you can even use clear nail polish!
  7. Allow the varnish to dry before you pull the bead off of the toothpick. How long it will take for the varnish to dry really depends on what you are using. It can take as little as 20 minutes to as long as 2 hours. Many types of varnishes also require an additional curing time of 24 to 48 hours, so double-check the instruction label on the bottle.
    • You must allow the varnish to cure. If you don’t, the bead will feel tacky and pick up fingerprints and dust.
    • Once the bead is completely dry, slide it off of the toothpick.
  8. Slide a 4-mm bead and the paper bead onto a 2 in (5.1 cm) eye pin. Choose a gold or silver 4-mm bead that matches your eye pin, and slide that on first. This will add an element of design to your earring as well as keep the paper bead from sliding off. Once you have that on, slide the paper bead onto the eye pin.
    • If you don't have any gold, silver, or glass beads, you can add a pretty charm instead.
    • If you don't like the look of gold or silver beads, try a glass bead instead.
    • If you can't find a 4-mm bead, try a 3-mm bead instead. The key here is to create some sort of stopper so that the larger, paper bead doesn't fall off.
  9. Add a second 4-mm bead, then cut the eye pin down to ⁄4 inch (0.64 cm). Choose another 4-mm gold or silver bead that matches your first one. Slide it onto the eye pin so that it sits right on top of the paper bead. Use a pair of wire cutters to cut the rest of the eye pin off so that it's sticking out of the 4-mm bead by ⁄4 inch (0.64 cm).
    • If you added a charm to the bottom of your eye pin, you don't need to add a 4-mm bead on top of the paper bead. Just cut the eye pin down so that it sticks ⁄4 inch (0.64 cm) above the paper bead.
  10. Use a pair of round nose pliers to twist the wire into a loop. Hold the earring in 1 hand and a pair of round, needle nose pliers in the other. Pinch the end of the eye pin with the tips of the pliers, then twist the pliers. Keep twisting them until the ⁄4 in (0.64 centimetres) bit of wire rolls into a circle.
    • Don't worry if the loop isn't perfectly flat. This will actually make it easier to attach it to the fish hook earring!
  11. Attach the earring to a blank fish hook earring. Twist the end of the loop you just made either towards or away from you to create a gap. Slip it over the loop at the bottom of a blank fish hook earring, then twist the loop back shut.
    • Treat the loop you made like a jump ring. Open and close it by sliding it past the base of the eye pin. Don't pull it apart like opening a drawer.
    • Once you have the first earring completed, repeat the process to add the second bead onto another eye pin and fish hook earring.
    • After this, you can wear the earrings!

Tips

  • If you can't find a design that you like, make your own! Draw directly onto a sheet of paper, or create it on the computer, then print it out.
  • Handle your earrings with care. Even if they are sealed, they still shouldn't get wet!
  • Use gold fish hook earrings for warm colors, such as red, orange, and yellow. Use silver earrings for cool colors, such as green, blue, and purple.

Things You’ll Need

Cutting Intricate Earrings

  • Thick cardstock
  • Craft punches, die cuts, or craft blades
  • Small hole punch, thick needle, or awl
  • Dimensional sealer (e.g.:Dimensional Magic)
  • 2 pliers
  • 2 jump rings
  • 2 fishhook earrings

Creating Quilled Flower Earrings

  • 5 strips of 3 in (7.6 cm) quilling paper
  • 5 strips of 6 in (15 cm) quilling paper
  • Slotted quilling tool
  • Craft glue or super glue
  • Decoupage glue
  • Paintbrush
  • 2 pliers
  • 2 jump rings
  • 2 fish hook earrings

Making Chunky Beaded Earrings

  • Colorful magazine page or wrapping paper
  • Pen or pencil
  • Ruler (metal if using craft blade)
  • Scissors or craft blade
  • Toothpick or thick needle
  • Craft glue
  • Clear varnish
  • Paintbrush
  • 2 2 in (5.1 cm) eye pins
  • 4 4-mm gold, silver, or glass beads
  • 2 fish hook earrings
  • Wire cutters
  • Round needle nose pliers
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