Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Make Lego Earrings

Let's talk LEGO® . If you live with kids of a certain age then you likely have LEGO® around your house. If not, you likely know someone who does. Perhaps you stepped on the stuff in the middle of the night in your bare feet when one of your kids called out in the night. Perhaps you spent time at your job in the day care center picking up the stuff.

LEGO® pieces come in an assortment of bright, cheerful colors and a variety of interesting shapes and sizes. Many LEGO® packets incorporate the characters of popular movies. LEGO® are great found objects to make jewelry.

Today we will share how we turned some abandoned LEGO® into hip earrings.

Step 1
Gather your tools and materials. Search through the LEGO®box to find to matching LEGO® pieces that will make attractive earrings. Although earrings do not have to be identical (and we have seen some great earrings that do not match), usually you want to design earrings that are mirror images if not matching.

Step 2
Arrange the LEGO® piece or pieces you selected; if you have more than one piece, glue the LEGO® pieces together. In our sample, we selected two matching large green LEGO® pieces that I think were included as shrubs in a LEGO® kit.

Step 3
Slide the LEGO® onto 20 gauge round wire. You can use sterling silver, gold, gold-filled, brass, copper or craft round wire. The length of the round wire you need will depend on the LEGO® you use. We like to work from the wire spool so there is no waste.

Step 4
Harden the wire by running your nylon jaw pliers over the wire. Hardening the wire will allow the wire to retain its shape after your form it into an earring. 

Use your round nose pliers to make a loop at the end of the 20-gauge wire. The loop should be large enough to hold the LEGO® piece. Pull the wire up until the loop sits against the plastic of the hole in the LEGO® piece.

Step 6
Form the ear wire. Measure about one inch above the top of the LEGO®. Use your finger, a dowel or three step wire looping round nose pliers to create an arc in the wire. We used a block borrowed from the kids' block set as a dowel. It is the green block pictured above. Continue to bend the 20-gauge wire over your finger, dowel or forming pliers and pull the 20-gauge wire so it runs parallel to the LEGO® piece. In our example, the 20-gauge wire is about 2-1/2 inches long from the top of the earring. Cut the wire from the wire spool using wire cutters.

Step 7
Finish the ear wire. Use your pliers to bend the last 1/4 inch of the 20-gauge wire slightly away from the earring. Use a wire rounder or a cup burr and your flex shaft to smooth out the end of the ear wire. Arrange the completed ear wire so it sits flat on a wood board and hit the ear wire with a leather or plastic mallet to harden the ear wire without marring it.

Step 8
Repeat using the same LEGO® to create a matching earring.

Further Reading
Tutorials by GeltDesigns
The LEGO Book
Fabulous Jewelry from Found Objects: Creative Projects, Simple Techniques (Lark Jewelry Books)
Jewelry from Found Objects
Junk to Jewelry: A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Found Objects in Jewelry You Can Actually Wear

Beadsmith Double Nylon Jaw Chain Nose 4 3/4 In (120mm)
Wire Looping Pliers 3 Round Jaws and 1 Concave Jaw
 Beadsmith Jewelry Wire Side Cutters (Nippers) Pliers
Three Step Wire Looping Round Nose Pliers 13mm, 16mm, 20mm
Wire Rounder Beading Tool
Wire Rounder Set With Pin Vise and 2 Cup Burs
 Foredom MH-5 Rotary Tool Motor Hanger
 Foredom 2230, SR motor, Jewelers Kit

Day 3. Week 1. Jewelry from Found Objects.  $ spent: 0
New Jewelry a Day. Join the adventure.

1 comment:

  1. Did a how to search on ear cuffs and found YOU! Can't say how much I appreciate the Tutorials and other info. At 65 still love to learn and I do design original jewelry which is something I have come to love. Making your blog a favorite and will be following. Thanks so much for again for the Tutorials.

    Have a great day,Doris