JEWELRY TUTORIAL: Staggered Triangle Earrings from Upcycled Giftcards

I still have several old gift cards left over from making the Geometric Necklace, so I decided to make some earrings. I made three pairs, in different styles, but with a lot of the same materials and using triangles. They are all fairly easy to make, but I'm starting by showing you all the easiest pair to make. Keep in mind, I wanted to do a faux metal finish, but if you like this style and want a different color or faux metal, feel free to use other colors. For a warm metal like copper or antique gold, use a red painted base before adding the copper or gold paint. For bronze, use the same black base as this pair, before adding the bronze paint. These are meant to have an aged or tarnished appearance, which can help mask any imperfections in the base coat...which definitely happened with these earrings.

For this design, I wanted to make it simple and sophisticated. These staggered triangles are all the same size. By off setting them evenly, it adds an art nouveau style detail on both the front and back. This is a great style for doing a contrast of two different colors or faux metals. I wanted to do a different metal for one layer, but I only had Chrome paint and couldn't think of a future use for a different color metal finish.

The finished earrings

  • 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
  • Fine tipped non-permanate marker - This is for marking lines for the triangles, and holes for drilling. You want one that can be easily wiped off with water
  • 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. The drill bit is from a 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 me, it's not a pretty thing
  • Small sponge brush - The small sponge brush is for dry brushing
  • 2 Paper plates - The paper plates are 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
  • 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 a small 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 wireball stud with loopclip on with loop style, should you chose to. Any of these will work great
**I am affiliated with Amazon, and receive a small compensation if you chose to purchase something through the links. The money goes to fund more projects.**


1) With the old scissors, cut one triangle that is 1" wide, along one long side. Take that triangle and flip it to the other long side against the angle from that triangle you just cut. Use the fine tip marker to trace the side of the triangle onto the card. Do this twice more, marking a total of 3 triangles on the card, with one already cut out. Use the old scissors to cut out the 3 triangles from the card. Use the diagram below as your guide. This isn't a template, but just a visual guide to accompany my instructions for cutting out the 4 total triangles. Set the scraps aside for a future project.

2) With an emery board, gently sand the sides of the triangles, round the corners, and rough up the front and back sides of the card.

3) Squirt a thin even layer of E6000 glue on the bottom 2/3 on the back of one triangle. Press this piece on top of another triangle, so only that 2/3 section is adhered to the other triangle. Press down gently and use your fingernail to gently remove any excess glue. Do this for the other two triangles too, so you have two staggered triangles earrings. Let the pieces dry for about 30-60 minutes.

4) After the pieces have dried, flip them over. Using the marker, 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.

6) Head outside with your trash bag, black plastic spray paint, chrome spray paint, sponge brush, paper plates, and earrings. Spread the trash bag down on your work surface. Place your earrings face down on the trash bag. Spray the earrings with the black spray paint. Carefully pick up the earrings by the edges and place on a dry spot of the trash bag. Let the earrings dry.

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.

9) Bring your supplies and earrings, minus the trash bag, inside. It's time to add the hooks to the earrings. I use the two plier method when working with jump rings. With the two pliers (one in each hand), open a jump ring. Slide the hole of one earring onto the jump ring. Slide on one earring hook through it's loop. Close the jump ring. Do this for the other earring too, but make sure the other hook faces the opposite direction.

The finished front and back of these earrings.

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

I'd love to see what you've created using my tutorial! Send me an email, , and I'll likely share your project here...with you permission of course. Happy making!


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