Sunday, August 19, 2012

Decorated Paper Clips and Earrings

I was in the craft store picking up yarn for my current graduation afghan and thought I would check out supplies for a project I had in mind for back-to-school gifts for my fellow pre-k aides and teachers. Then I lost all control. I was going from the fabric department to office supplies, to beads, to scrap booking, back to beads, and back to fabric again. Oh, then I had to head over to glue. All this easily added over half-an-hour to my trip. Boy, we're the kids hungry when I got home!
Well, after the kids tummies were full, I got started. This was pretty easy once I got the logistics figured out. This was the first time I had used E6000 glue. It's pretty cool. It's thick like hot glue, slow to dry like tacky glue, fairly easy to clean up before it dries, and holds like nothing I've ever used! One pet peeve, I wish the tube wasn't metal. This causes the glue to continue to come out of the tube when I want it to stop. Just a heads up.
So I bought several little odds and ends for this project. I have seen projects like this everywhere, but for the life of me, I cannot find the most recent post that inspired this project. But, here is my version of what you may have seen out there on Pinterest or craft blogs. I wanted to decorate large paper clips with buttons and gems. So, I picked up a fabric button kit, plastic buttons, red gems (already had the paper clips). And, while at the store, I thought how cute some of the scrapbook brads would be as earrings. So I grabbed those and some earring posts to attach them to, along with the E6000 glue, not pictured.

It's all really easy.
For the buttons, I used leftover fabric from my Classroom Pillows project. I only needed about a 10 square inch section of fabric. Following the package directions, I made several fabric buttons. Some buttons, I removed the toggle with jewelry pliers before making the button so they would have a flat back for attaching to the earrings. I then glued a black button and a red gem to the center of the front of the button.
When dry, I fed the buttons with toggles onto paperclips up to the smaller end (so it would be on to when attached to paper). In order to hold the button steady while the glue dried, I attached the paperclips to a piece of scrap cardboard. I laid the cardboard so the buttons where upside down and balanced flat. I then squeezed a dollop of glue into the back of the buttons so the clip ends were securely immersed in the glue. This was set to dry overnight.
I then set up the earring project. I removed the prongs on the back of the scrapbook brads and flattened any remaining metal to make the surface as flat as possible. For the flat front earrings, I simply placed a large dot of glue on the flat end of the earring post and positioned it onto the back of the brad and let it dry. For the brads that would not stay flat when laying on their front, I make sure the butterfly back was attached to the post, and after attaching to the brad with glue, I propped the earring post against the cardboard for the paperclips to hold the earring as level as possible.

Everything was allowed to dry overnight.

I love how they came out. I found a scrap piece of white cardstock and cut small rectangles. Using a stick pin, I pre-punched two holes to feed the earing posts in. That kept me from bending the card all to heck trying to force the post through the card. Just a fun little welcome back gift. Hope everyone has a great year!


  1. I love these. I have wanted to make button earrings and clips for ages; but the kits are so expensive in the UK - even online. It's hard to know what sorts to get - I am not sure if the metal ones have posts on or not.

    Anyway! Thanks for sharing. I'm over from Marvellous Monday.

    Rosie x

  2. Cute Idea, I've never made earrings before but these definitely look like something I could do. Thanks for sharing!

    I wanted you to know that I've awarded you the Sunshine Award :-)

    Thanks Anna @Bean Bug Crafts

  3. Using paper clips for making such wonder earrings is a very inspiration idea! You just prove by bove example that everything can get a new life and transform it in something beatiful!

  4. HI! I love your blog and am your newest follower. I was hoping that you would hop on by my blog and follow me back!