JEWELRY TUTORIAL: Stacked Triangles Earrings from Upcycled Giftcards
Today, we're moving right along with making earrings to coordinate with the Geometric Necklace. Yesterday, I showed you how to make a pair of Staggered Triangles Earrings. Today we're making a glittery pair of Stacked Triangles Earrings. These are also pretty easy to make. For these, I wanted something simple, but with a little extra sparkle. I have lots of glitter left over from making these Silver Glitter Boots and my Glitter Tommy Gun. The construction of these isn't much different than the previous pair. The only extra materials are for the glittery center triangles. Let's get right into the tutorial...
- One old giftcard - I used one old plastic giftcard for these earrings, and had some scraps left over. You need a giftcard that is smooth and doesn't have impressions from numbers or writing, that has warped the plastic
- Old sharp scissors - Cutting through the plastic can cause some damage to your scissors, so use old scissors. However, they need to be sharp enough to easily cut through the plastic. I used large cheap ones from Dollar Tree, that work great for many projects
- Emery board file - You can get a small pack of these from a dollar store, or you can buy a large pack and use them for many projects.. They are great for filing the plastic to make the edges smooth and rough up the shiny surfaces. I prefer them to sand paper for projects like this one
- Dremel with a 5/64 drill bit - I prefer using a Dremel Rotary Tool to a hand crank one for this, because it gets through the plastic quickly and easily. The bit I chose makes holes that my jump rings easily fit into without being too large. It was from this 7 piece drill bit set
- An old magazine or phone book - Something to use under the pieces as you drill holes
- E6000 glue - The E6000 Glue is my favorite and the best glue for these sort of projects. It makes a strong bond and is easy to use without a lot of mess
- Black plastic spray paint - I used a Valspar Gloss Black Plastic Paint. If you use a spray paint for plastic, you don't need a plastic primer
- Clear shiny finish spray paint - You need to seal the spray paint before adding the next paint. The Valspar Gloss Clear Spray Paint makes the finish very shiny, which I love
- Chrome spray paint - I love the Valspar Silver Brilliant Metals one. For these earrings, we're not going to use it in a normal way. If you spray the sealer on after you apply the Chrome, you will lose the chrome finish...trust me, it's not a pretty thing
- Small sponge brush - The small sponge brush is for dry brushing
- Paper towels - This paper towels are for the dry brushing
- Paper plate - The paper plate is also for dry brushing
- Trash bag - This is to protect your work surface when working with the spray paints outside. I use a trash bag that I've opened up on the sides
- Clear nail polish - This is for adding the glitter to the center triangle
- Silver and Black fine glitter - This 3 to 1 glitter mix replicates the faux metal effect. If you want a color pop in the middle, this is a good time to chose a color. I suggest still mixing in a bit of black or silver (or other coordinating metal to your paint choice). You can mix multiple glitter colors with the neutral glitter. That's up to you
- Plastic spoon - For applying the glitter carefully to the earrings
- Small jar or plastic container - For containing the mixed glitters
- Small soft paint brush - To brush off the excess glitter gently
- Newspaper or a folder - To cover the work surface for glitter application, so the excess can be poured back into the container
- 2 silver wire jump rings - I make my own with 22 gauge silver craft wire, since I make a lot of jewelry randomly. You can buy jump rings in a pre-made jump rings pack, should you want to. If you make a lot of jewelry, it's faster and cheaper to make your own. If you don't, a pre-made pack will work well
- Wire cutters/nippers and a small dowel rod - Should you chose to make your own jump rings, you'll need these. You will wrap the wire around the dowel rod to create a tight spiral. Use the wire cutters/nippers to cut jump rings from the spiral. Remember, jump rings are even circles
- 2 Jewelry pliers - I use the two plier method when working with jump rings, because jump rings are tiny and hard to handle with just fingers. My pliers and wire nippers are from a pack of 5 jewelry making tools
- 2 Leverback earring hooks - I prefer the leverback style of earring hooks, because they stay on my ears well, and the metal doesn't bother my ear piercings. you can use the fish hook/French wire, ball stud with loop, clip on with loop style, should you chose to. Any of these will work great
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1) With the scissors and the old giftcard, follow the diagram and cut out 4 triangles. The two larger ones (purple) should be even in size with each other. The two smaller ones (light blue) should be even in size. If you want, use the marker to draw the shapes on the back of the giftcard before cutting out your triangles. Set the large scrap (blue) piece aside for future projects.
2) With the emery board, sand the edges, round the corners, and rough up the front and back sides of each triangle. Rub the filing dust off.
4) After the pieces have dried, Use the marker to place a centered dot toward the top of the flat edge. Do this for both earrings. These serve as indicators for drilling the holes for the earring hooks.
5) Put the old magazine or phone book down on your work surface. Place the triangles onto the magazine or phone book. Using the Dremel with the 5/64 bit in it, on a low setting, drill a hole through each earring where those dots are. Use the emery board to sand any rough spots across the holes.
The pieces have been glued together and drilled.
I had a lot of problems with the drying, because paint kept seeping under the pieces as they were drying and the humidity wasn't helping either. This is usual for me. Don't fret about it being perfect, because the chrome treatment will disguise some imperfections.
7) Flip the pieces over. Spray paint the front sides black. Carefully move the pieces to a clean spot on the trash bag. Let the pieces dry.
Excuse the crappy paint job...sigh. Real metal is textured sometimes right...yeah.
8) Set a paper plate aside. Spray a small amount of chrome paint onto this plate. Dip the sponge brush into the chrome paint on the plate. Pounce the brush on a clear spot on the plate to get some of the excess off the brush. Place one of the earrings in your hand, face down. Pounce the sponge brush onto the earring back. You'll get paint on your hand, but you can scrub this off later. You aren't trying to cover up the black fully. You want some of it to show through, for the aged effect. Reload the brush with paint as needed, making sure you pounce off some excess paint before adding paint to the earrings. You can spray more paint onto the plate if needed too. The paint dries fast, so only spray a small amount at a time. You aren't trying to cover up the black fully. You want some of it to show through, for the aged effect.
Here is what my paint plate looked like. The solid chrome circle is the old paint. The circle layering that one is what freshly sprayed chrome paint looks like. The zig zag section is where I've pounced off excess paint. The splatter is from spraying the paint onto the plate. You can see there is just a little paint on my sponge brush.
Paint both earrings like this, and place them on a different paper plate, chrome side up. Let the paint dry. When they are dry, flip them over and paint the front sides the same way. Place them on the plate to dry. You can wash the paint off your hands while the earrings are drying.
The earrings should look like this when you are done pouncing on the chrome paint. I painted all of mine at once, but if you are only making the pair in this tutorial, you can see them at the bottom of this photo.
9) Take the pieces and supplies, minus the trash bag, inside. Place the newspaper or folder on your work surface. Place the stacked triangles earrings down onto that paper. Mix your glitters into the small container, stirring them with the plastic spoon. Set your clear nail polish bottle and small soft paint brush on this work surface.
10) With the clear nail polish, paint an even layer of polish on the center of one triangle. With the spoon, scoop up some of your glitter mix and generously sprinkle it on top of the wet nail polish. With the back side of the spoon, press down gently on the glitter. Pick up the piece and gently tap off the excess glitter onto the paper. Use the soft paint brush to gently dust off any excess glitter that is around the small triangle. It's ok if you can't get it all off. If you've used neutrals, metallics, or colors that match the finish of your pieces, it's unlikely anyone will notice any random glitter flakes. Do this to the center of the other triangle too. Let them dry for about an hour until hard.
Repeat Step 10 once more, to deepen the glitter effect. After this 2nd polish/glitter layer has dried, paint on a last coat of just clear nail polish to seal in the glitter. After this layer has completely dried hard, you can use the soft brush to dust off the excess a glitter a little harder. Though, again it's ok if you can't get it all.
This is how the pieces will look after you've added the glitter centers.
12) Get the 2 pliers, 2 jump rings, and 2 earring hooks. I use the two plier method when working with jump rings. With the 2 pliers, open the 2 jump rings. Slip one jump ring onto the hole of one piece. Slip the loop of one earring hook on that same jump ring. Using the two pliers, close the jump ring. Do this for the other earring too, but make sure the earring hook is faced the other way when you slip it on. Once you've done this step, YOU ARE FINISHED!!!
These are what the earrings look finished.
This pair of earrings is finished, but there are a total of three different tutorials for my geometric triangle earrings.
This is all three pairs of finished earrings.
1) Staggered Triangles Earrings
2) Stacked Triangles Earrings
3) Separated Triangles Earrings
1) Staggered Triangles Earrings
2) Stacked Triangles Earrings
3) Separated Triangles Earrings
I'd love to see what you've created using my tutorial! Send me an email, email@example.com , and I'll likely share your project here...with you permission of course. Happy making!