Thursday, January 20, 2011

Make Earrings from Paper

After: Pink Paper Earrings by
These earrings are not a new design. We've made earrings using paper rescued from the recycling bin, scrap rubber and scrap copper since my art school days when I was given an assignment demanding that I create jewelry using nothing but trash and scraps.

Later variations and versions of these earrings were included in 500 Earrings, Making Designer Mixed-Media and Memory Jewelry and 1,000 Jewelry Inspirations.

Colorful paper comes to our house almost daily in the fall in the form of catalogs. Scrap copper is easily found in the metal scrap bin of our studio beside the bench shear used for cutting sheet metal.

Copper wire
Pink paper
24-gauge22-gauge or
20-gauge copper sheet
19-gauge copper wire

Wet/dry sandpaper
Disc cutter

Doming block
Flex shaft, Dremel or drill press
Micro-drill bit set (#61-80)
Half round file
Needle files 
18-gauge cup burr or wire rounder

Disc cutter
Step 1
Select the copper sheet metal. Clean the metal. Sand away any scratches or damage.

Step 2
Cut the metal into four identical sized disks.

Use a gauge to pick bit
Step 3
Drill a hole in the center of each disk. Use a doming block to dome the disk. Sand and file the disk until it is jewelry smooth.

 Step 4
Cut up pieces of paper. Stack the paper and rubber. Use the same drill bit to drill a hole through the center of the stack.

Step 5
After: Paper earring by
Assemble the earring. Make a loop at the end of the wire. Feed the wire through a copper domed disk, the rubber, the paper, a second piece of rubber and then a second domed disk. Bend the wire at a right angle. Measure 2-3/4 inches and bend the wire in an arc. Cut the wire at about 1/4 inch below the initial loop. Bend the loop so it is slightly open and acts as a catch for the ear wire.

Step 6

Repeat to create a second earring.

Related Tutorials
How to Select a Cup Burr
How to Measure Wire
How to Measure Drill Bits
How to Make Jump Rings
How to Use a Disc Cutter 
How to Dome Metal 
How to Smooth Sharp Wire Ends

Blog Index
NJAD Index by Topic
NJAD Index by Type of Jewelry 

"500 Earrings: New Directions in Contemporary Jewelry (500 Series)"; Lark; 2007.
"Making Designer Mixed-Media and Memory Jewelry: Fun and Experimental Techniques and Materials for the Home Studio"; Tammy Powley; 2007.
"1,000 Jewelry Inspirations: Beads, Baubles, Dangles, and Chains (1000 Series)"; Sandra Salamony; 2008.

Further Reading
"The Art of Jewelry: Paper Jewelry: 35 Creative Projects (Lark Jewelry Books)"; Marthe Le Van; 2006.
"Altered Paper Jewelry: Artful Adornments from Beautiful Papers"; Jenn Mason; 2008.

Grobet Jewelry Making Kit

Day 61.  Month 3. Jewelry from Found Objects.  $ spent to date: 0
Found materials: scrap copper, rubber, paper
New Jewelry a Day.

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