Friday, May 20, 2011

How to make earrings out of buttons and other things

Can you ever have enough earrings? (The answer: no.) With just one inexpensive trip to the craft store you can make post earrings with things you may have found at a tag sale or have tucked in your sewing drawer gathering dust. Start by buying a small package of earrings posts in the jewelry supplies and a good glue if you don't have one. I like E6000 medium viscosity glue, also available in the craft store.

As you can see, I use this glue alot. The great thing about it is that it starts clear and dries clear, is very strong and waterproof, and has enough body to it that it can hold the items together as they are drying, unlike super glue which is thin.

To make earrings out of two matching buttons, make sure the back of the buttons are fairly flat to glue the posts to them securely. Although typical  buttons with holes that show in front will work, they will still look like buttons. Buttons that look the best are the ones that have a plain front that are designed to be sewn onto the garment from the back only. If they have a metal or plastic loop like some of these do, carefully cut the loop off with wire cutters. If they have a raised metal back like the others here, very carefully use pliers to flatten the back of the loop so it is more flat. Be careful not to crush the front of the button while doing this.

These earrings were all made from vintage buttons- can you even tell that was their former life?

The same can be done with collar and cufflinks. Very few men wear french cuffs anymore (alas) so beyond collectors and very sharp dressers, these sit in the drawer. Why not take those family heirlooms or estate sale finds and remake them into something you'll wear often? Cut the cuff link posts off with wire cutters and replace them with the earring posts with a little glue.

Sometimes you'll find some great clip-on earrings at a thrift store or get as a hand-me-down. Try wearing these for a few hours- ouch!

These vintage pieces were all made from clip-on earrings and are from my personal collection. I love them and wear them often!

You don't have any treasures lying in your sewing or jewelry box? How about agates, shells or even small pebbles?

They also make great earrings! Find small rocks with a flat back that are similar in size and color and glue earring posts to the back- instant organic natural art jewelry! Not for everyone, but I have sold lots of them and wear them myself often.

These are my ultimate treasures I found at a tag sale. I changed them from clip to post earrings and oh- they are heavy and hurt to wear. Be careful that the button, cufflink rock or clip-on earrings you choose are not too heavy to wear as posts. I still suffer through the pain to wear these occasionally because they are so fabulous! (This does not extend to high heels, however.....)

 There is a lovely etsy shop I love called Whimsy House that sells jewelry and other things made out of vintage findings. Although you could put some glue on a couple of buttons, these treasures are really something special. You probably don't have the quality vintage findings she uses; you probably don't have the jewelry artisan skills she has; and you don't probably don't have the knack for putting more than one vintage finding together to make something very special. That's the thing about artists who use vintage things in their work- searching out the vintage things are the secret ingredient! Go here and find something you can't live without!


  1. Many thanks, Page! I appreciate your sweet comments. Great blog!


  2. Thank you for visiting my jewelry blog. This is a great post...I might try to do small rock studs.



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