Friday, January 14, 2011

Make Dog Earrings from Toys

Before: toys in the toy box.
It is a dreaded task. Nobody in our family likes cleaning out the toy box. I hate sorting the toys. My kids hate my queries. The task always takes longer than any of expect....but sometimes cleaning out the toy box yields nice objects that can be used for jewelry making.

I have no idea what the origin was for these two dog figurines. They were never a family favorite. They were buried at the bottom of the toy box where they inevitable sunk quickly (probably in the initial toss) and sat undisturbed for who knows how long. In short, these little dogs were destined to become earrings.

After: Earrings by
Two surgical steel earring hooks
Two small screw eyes
Two dog figurines


Step 1
Select two matching figurines. We used two dogs, but there are many small toys that make great earring components.

Step 2
Make or select the ear wires. We used commercially made surgical steel ear hooks because the color matches the screw eye and we have a lot of them on hand, but consider the style ear wire and color metal when selecting findings for your earrings.

Step 3
Gather your tools and materials.

Step 4
Place the screw eye in the center of the back of the toy figurine. Make a divot and then begin screwing the screw eye into the back. You do not need to drill first, just mark and begin screwing the part into the toy.

Use your pliers for added leverage when screwing in the eye. It may be easier to hold the screw eye with your pliers and turn the toy figurine to secure the finding.

Step 5
Attach the ear wire to the screw eye. Adjust the screw eye or the finding to be sure the earring hangs straight.

Step 6
Repeat to create second earring.

Related Tutorials
How to Make an Ear Wire Jig 
Make Earrings from Grommets
Make Earrings from Steel Wire
Make Earrings from an iTunes Gift Card
GeltDesigns Tutorials by Topics

Further Reading
"Beaded Jewelry with Found Objects: Incorporate Anything from Buttons to Shells"; Carole Rodgers; 2004.
"Jewelry and Accessories from Everyday Objects: 19 Unique Projects Inspired by Found Objects and Ready-Made Materials"; Tair Parnes; 2007.
"Semiprecious Salvage: Creating Found-Art Jewelry"; Stephanie Lee; 2008.
"Junk Jewelry: 25 Extraordinary Designs to Create from Ordinary Objects";  Jane Eldershaw; 2008.
"The New Jewelry: Contemporary Materials & Techniques (Arts and Crafts (Lark Books))"; Carles Codina; 2005.

New & Noteworthy
"Jewelry Upcycled!: Techniques and Projects for Reusing Metal, Plastic, Glass, Fiber, and Found Objects"; Sherri Haab, Michelle Haab; 2011.

Day 55.  Month 3. Jewelry from Found Objects.  $ spent to date: 0
Found materials: toy dog figurines
New Jewelry a Day.

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