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round paper earrings

Today’s post comes to you via special request from Twitterer thatlaurachick. Woot!

I love earrings the way some women (with more closet space) love shoes. The way some obscenely rich people love Prada bags and BMWs. The way – just to bring it down to earth a little – some people love fantasy novels and polyhedral dice; I collect them, and I have way too many.

But as with shoes, and as with fantasy novels, there are a lot of shitty, poorly made and just plain ugly earrings out there. As well as many that are over-the-top and outrageously priced. Unlike shoes and readable fantasy novels, however, it’s easy to make your own earrings.

Here’s one specific method for making incredibly lightweight, inexpensive earrings out of paper. Use whatever paper you have around the house – ticket stubs, greeting cards, invitations, flyers, little tiny leftover bits of scrapbooking paper too small for anything else but too pretty to throw away, etc. And if you don’t wear earrings, try putting these little paper circle pendants on a necklace or bracelet instead.

What you’ll need:

  • pretty paper (scrapbooking paper, old book pages, atlas pages, sheet music, greeting cards, etc. It should be heavier weight than just printer paper, though. Things like wrapping paper will only work if you glue it to a sturdier base of cardstock or similar first.)
  • a circle cutter or circle punch (or you can use other shapes)
  • an old or cheap paintbrush
  • varnish / sealant (easily obtained from any hardware store – get the water-based kind for easier cleanup)
  • medium or large sewing needle
  • earring hooks
  • jump rings
  • needlenosed pliers
  • rounded needlenosed pliers

Putting it all together:

1) Start with your paper and your varnish. Put a light coat of varnish on one side of your paper and let it dry. The paper may curl up a bit – don’t worry about this. Once it’s dry, put a coat of varnish on the other side of the paper and let that dry. You can do two coats of varnish on each side, or just one – it’s up to you.

When everything is dry and you’re done with all your varnishing, flatten the paper by curling it gently in the opposite direction or leaving it under a heavy book for a while.

2) Take your circle cutter or circle punch and cut eight circles from your paper, whatever size you like. (Well, you probably don’t want to make them too big.)

3) Determine which side of your paper is Side A (the pretty, want-it-to-be-seen side), and which is Side B. Using a needle, place two of your circles together, B sides touching, and poke a whole through them near the edge. Not too close or they may tear, but not too far in. Do this with all of your circles, in sets of two.

If you have any trouble getting the needle to go through, start with a smaller needle and then use the larger one. Like people do with gaugeing their ears – same principle. Minus the pain, of course, unless you also drive the needle through your finger, which is really not recommended.

This is the basic premise of the whole thing. From here on, I’ll explain how to make exactly the set of earrings in the first photo in this post. As you can see at the end of the post, though, there are plenty of other variations you can come up with using this basic varnished-paper-circle-with-hole-punched-in-it setup.

4) On four of your circles (that’s two sets of two) poke another hole on the opposite side from the first one. These are your top circles.

5) Open up a jump ring. Take your top circles and put the jump ring through one set of holes. Use your pliers to close up the jump ring, nice and tight so the paper can’t come off. Now put a jump ring through the second set of holes. Don’t close it yet.

Next, take your other circles, the ones with only one hole punched in them, and put them onto that same jump ring, then close the jump ring.

6) Attach more jump rings for extra dangliness if you wish, then affix your earring hooks. All done!

As I mentioned above, there are lots and lots of other designs that can be made with this basic method. Get creative and see what you can come up with!

Play around with different metals (colours) for your jewelry findings, and with different sizes and shapes of jump rings. You can get jump rings that are triangular or square, and probably some other funky shapes if you look around a bit. For the red and white patterned earrings shown at the top of this post, glue a couple pieces of thick paper together, varnish them, and poke some holes in the bottom to hang glass beads on jump rings from. Play around and see what you come up with!

Leave a comment


  1. I love all your tutorials! Amazing stuff
    Jorden aka MrsWhiffin on SB

  2. I love these earrings and the fact that you can make them yourself! Wow! I thought it was extra complicated, lol. I don’t wear earrings though but I could make them as a gift!

    Have a great weekend!

    Tanja aka tanchyka from swap-bot

  3. Oooo! These are easy! Now I just need to find all my opera ticket stubs from last year…. :D Thanks Tally!

  4. I LOVE your blog! You combined 2 of my favorite things – paper & earrings! I can’t wait to go through my scrap paper drawer and start making some of these!
    (cowinaroundagan from swapbot)

  5. You are way too crafty for me woman. I can’t keep up! LOL. But I love it!!!

    HayleyK from SwapBot

  6. These are cute earings and a great tutorial too!!! I think I might have to give these a try.

    Craftymom85- swapbot partner for Comment on my blog

  7. Great tutorial, those ARE cute earrings.

    I am your friend mimitabby from swapbot

  8. Those earrings were really cute (all of them). And I love the name of your blog. I find myself saying that a lot!!!!!

    Im Jajones_3d on swapbot

  9. admin

     /  September 13, 2010

    Thanks everyone, glad you like them! There seems to be a general idea out there that jewelry making has to be a)really expensive and b)pretty difficult. But I’m discovering that neither of these has to be true… :)

    @thatlaurachick – opera ticket stubs sounds like a GREAT idea for these. Let me know how they turn out!

  10. Love those earrings… Was just thinking of some earring projects because it’s my daughters birthday today and she asked me to create her some earrings…

  11. These are soo cute! I’m going to have to try making them. It would be a great way to use up the papers in my scrap pile!

    Samantha (Flutterflies22-SwapBot)

  12. ooh cute ones! I love earrings too ^^
    I’m sure to try this! Thanks
    ~Riechan from Swap-bot~

  13. love your blog. i always go places and say i can make that! I need a way to change my dads work shirts into shirts for me. Any ideas?

  14. Hi there! I’m solsuny from Swap.bot. I love your blog!!! Full of great ideas, I’ll visit it often. And I’ll try to make those earrings!!!
    Nice tutorials

  15. So pretty! Makes me almost wish my ears were pierced so I could make and wear some! :) This is homekeepingheather from Swap-bot.

  16. Love your blog. I think I can make some of these things, and will love trying!

    Parnter on swap-bot “Comments on your Blog” -Deidreart

  17. great tutorials…I’m sure they take a lot of time to put together

    april (rainbowafterrain81 comments on your blog swap)

  18. Sandy

     /  August 27, 2011

    I do this kind of stuff with earrings all the time, but I use empty gift cards because they are thicker and I can play around with the patterns

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     /  August 20, 2013

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