Today I will detail how I made these Christmas tree earrings using a shopping bag. Yep, a shopping bag. These are the perfect Christmas gift for someone on your list, or accessory to wear for your next holiday get together.
- Straight edge
- Glue stick
- Mod podge or other sealant
- Jewelry findings to back earrings
- Round nose and flat nose pliers
- Wire cutters
- Beads of your choice to accent your tree
- Craft Knife
- Cut the 2 side edges of the shopping bag to lay it out so that you have a single layer, long piece of paper. To form the shape needed for the earrings, your strip of paper needs to be at least 24 inches long. Here it is 31.5 inches. You can glue together 2 magazine pages at the edges to get a long enough piece, or use giftwrap.
- On your cutting surface, mark the 3 points of your triangle; the base I used was one inch, and the point should be half way between the base points at the opposite end.
- If you make lines on your paper, they will show up in the bead, so I like to line up my straight edge (bought this at Wal Mart awhile back for $5 in tools), and cut with my craft knife.
- Here is my long, skinny triangle:
- Starting at the base of the triangle, begin rolling the paper around a toothpick.
- When you get to the last few inches of the triangle, run your glue stick along it and continue rolling, adhering the tip to keep the bead in place.
- Carefully slide the bead off of the toothpick
- With your thumb and index finger, grab the bead at the center and put the toothpick at one end. Pull the middle of the bead towards the toothpick to form the cone (tree) shape.
- Seal the bead while it is still on the toothpick. I used Martha Stewart’s decoupage sealant here. Mod podge, diamond glaze, or polycrylic are other good choices. Some people use clear nail polish with good effect. Stick the toothpick into styrofoam to dry. Apply at least 2 coats of sealant, 3 is ideal. After the last coat, remember to remove the bead from the tree from the toothpick after about a half hour or so. Leaving it on too long can cause it to stick to the wood, which is just not cool.
- Place your beads on the headpin, starting at the bottom of the tree, so that the end bead is against the flat disk of the headpin.
- Using your needle nose pliers, bend the wire to a 90° angle, as close to the top bead as you can get
- Grab the wire at about 1/4 inch from the bead as shown:
- Using your free hand grab the end of the wire and wrap it around the round nose pliers to form a loop as shown:
- Wrap wire around a couple of times then cut off excess with wire cutter. Attach to earring findings and that is it!
Here is a pair I made from the shopping bag and embellished with red and silver fingernail polish before sealing.
Here is a pair made with giftwrap. I love how the red and green stripes.
I hope you enjoy making your own. Warning: making paper beads is quite addictive. For more paper bead jewelry, polymer clay, recycled paper projects, and all kinds of other crafty DIY, visit my tutorials page or connect with SBLC on facebook.