Animal Print Earrings (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg.

Animal Print Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

These animal print earrings are a fun, chic accent to spice up an outfit.

Animal Print Earrings

You can also do a bit of recycling in the process of creating the earrings.

Animal Print Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

And if you know someone who loves animal print clothes and accessories, this is the perfect gift!

Animal Print Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Supplies:

  • A piece of scrapbooking paper with an animal print design.
    I purchased mine at my local craft store, in the aisle where they sell individual sheets of scrapbooking paper.
    This is what I used:

    Scrapbooking paper for Animal Print Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • Chipboard (crafting cardboard cut into shapes). I used 2 pieces of 1.75″ (45mm) round chipboard for the leopard-print earrings.
    I got the bag of chipboard shapes at my local craft store.
    You can also find them online.
    This is what I used:

    Chipboard circles for Animal Print Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • Cardboard rectangles cut from the back of an old notebook. I used 2 pieces of 1.18″ x 2.17″ (30mm x 55mm) notebook cardboard for the reversible white zebra / pink zebra earrings.
  • Mod Podge – (a water-based sealer, glue, and finish) – a small amount, for attaching your paper shapes to your cardboard / chipboard pieces.
    Available in most craft stores and online.

    Mod Podge for Animal Print Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • Scissors – for cutting your animal print paper.
  • Pencil – for marking where to cut and punch.
  • Ruler – for measuring your paper shapes; also for measuring where to punch the holes.
  • Permanent marker (such as a Sharpie) to color the edges of your cardboard shapes.
    I used black.
  • 4 jump rings – 2 medium size jump rings, plus 2 smaller jump rings.
  • A pair of earwires.
  • Flat nose / chain nose pliers for opening and closing jump rings.
  • Tool for punching hole(s) in your earrings.
    You could use a paper punch that makes a small 1/8″ (3.2mm) hole.
    Or you could carefully poke the hole with an ice pick.
    I used a Crop-A-Dile punch (if you can’t find one at your local craft store, you can find them in an online search).
    This is what I used:

    Crop-A-Dile Punch for Animal Print Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • Optional: Metal eyelets to reinforce the punch holes (and to add a bit of stylish detail!).
    I bought a box of hundreds of these 1/8″ (3.175mm) eyelets in various colors, in the paper-crafting aisle at my local craft store (you can also find them online):

    Box of metal eyelets for Animal Print Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • If you’ll attach metal eyelets to your earrings, you’ll need one of the following:
    • An eyelet setting tool (from a craft store) – I used the Crop-A-Dile punch’s built-in eyelet setter; or
    • A jewelry hammer with a ball end (you can use the ball end of a chasing hammer), plus a steel jeweler’s block or other sturdy, smooth surface for hammering:

      Chasing Hammer and Steel Jeweler's Block - Rena Klingenberg

Are These Earrings Sturdy?

Yes – even though they’re made from cardboard and paper.

By the time you’ve adhered the paper to both sides of the cardboard, and applied three coats of Mod Podge to each side and edge, the earrings will be very sturdy and durable.

They’re also lightweight, so they’re comfortable to wear even though they’re “statement size”! 🙂

How to Make
Animal Print Earrings

If you’re using cardboard from the back of an old notebook (as I did for my rectangular earrings), measure and cut out the cardboard pieces.

You’ll need 2 pieces of cardboard (or chipboard) for each pair of earrings:

Cutting cardboard for Animal Print Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now it’s time to cut our paper shapes that we’ll Mod-Podge to the cardboard.

Since we’ll be covering the front and back of each cardboard piece, we’ll need to cut out 4 paper shapes for each pair of earrings.

You can use the same animal print on both sides of the earrings (as I did with the round leopard print pair):

Paper cut out for Animal Print Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

. . . or you can put different prints on the front and back of them (as I did with the rectangular white and pink zebra earrings):

Paper for front and back of Animal Print Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Make each piece of paper slightly larger than the cardboard shapes (later we’ll trim the paper pieces to fit the cardboard edges precisely).

Move your cardboard earring shapes around on your animal print paper, till you find the part of the animal print you like best for them.

Then use your pencil and ruler to mark where you’re going to cut the paper:

Measuring and cutting paper for Animal Print Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now use your Sharpie marker to color the edges of each piece of cardboard:

Coloring cardboard edges for Animal Print Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

The colored edges make the finished earrings look much nicer than the raw cardboard edge would:

Coloring cardboard edges for Animal Print Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now it’s time to Mod-Podge the animal print paper pieces to the cardboard shapes.

Read and follow the instructions on the Mod-Podge bottle.

Spread out a small sheet of waxed paper for a work surface.

Place one of your cardboard earring shapes on the waxed paper.

The instructions for each step are below this photo:

Mod Podging for Animal Print Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • Photo 1:
    Use your fingertip to scoop up a small dollop of Mod Podge; spread the Mod Podge in an even layer over the entire surface of your piece of wood.
  • Photo 2:
    Place one of your paper cut-outs where you want it to be on your cardboard shape, pressing the paper down onto your wet Mod Podge layer and smoothing out any bubbles or wrinkles in your paper.
  • Photo 3:
    Turn the cardboard over and use scissors to trim the paper edges to an exact fit at the cardboard edges.
  • Photo 4:
    Scoop up another fingertip-full of Mod Podge and spread it evenly and smoothly over the entire top surface of your earring, covering your paper and the Sharpie-inked edges of the cardboard.

You can dry your Mod Podge quickly using a hair dryer on low setting. (Be careful not to blow your lightweight earrings away!)

When the first side of your cardboard shape is completely dry, turn it over and follow the same steps to attach your second paper cut-out to the other side of the pendant.

Dry the second side thoroughly.

Then apply two more coats of Mod Podge to each side of your earrings, drying thoroughly after each coat.

Now both sides of your earrings are covered with paper, plus 3 coats of Mod Podge:

Paper attached to earrings for Animal Print Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

At this point you may want to use your Sharpie marker to color the white edges of your animal print paper, around each cardboard edge.

Now it’s time to punch a hole in the top center of each earring.

Use a ruler and pencil to mark where you’ll punch (being careful not to get too close to the top edge of the earring):

Measuring to punch the hole in Animal Print Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Then use your punch tool to make a hole right where your pencil mark is.

(You could use a small 1/8″ paper punch, or an ice pick to punch the hole.)

Punching the hole in Animal Print Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

You can leave the punched holes as-is:

Holes punched in Animal Print Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Or you can attach a metal eyelet to each hole.

If you decide to use eyelets:

From the front side of the earring, thread the eyelet through the punch hole:

Attaching an eyelet to Animal Print Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Flatten the unfinished eyelet end on the back of your earring.

I used my punch’s built in eyelet-setting tool (but you could also place your earring on a steel jeweler’s block and use the ball end of a chasing hammer to flatten the unfinished eyelet end):

Attaching an eyelet to Animal Print Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now it’s time for the finishing touch – attaching the earwires to our animal print earrings!

Set out your earwires and the two pairs of jump rings (2 medium size jump rings, plus 2 smaller jump rings).

If you’re new to using jump rings . . .

See my quick tip, How to Open and Close a Jump Ring.

Use your flat nose and chain nose pliers to twist open your medium size pair of jump rings.

Then thread one of the opened jump rings through the hole of one of your earrings:

Attaching jump ring to Animal Print Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

String the unopened smaller jump ring onto the larger opened jump ring, and twist the larger jump ring shut:

Attaching jump rings to Animal Print Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Twist open the loop of one of your earwires. Attach the opened loop to the smaller jump ring, and twist the earwire’s loop shut again:

Finished earring for Animal Print Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Attach the remaining jump rings and earwire to the other earring.

Your animal print earrings are finished!

They may look something like this:

Animal Print Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Animal Print Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Animal Print Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

 

Want to Learn How to Design
Your Own Wire Jewelry?

Design and Make Artistic Jewelry Components Class In my Design and Make Artistic Jewelry Components video class, you’ll learn how to get great ideas for wire jewelry designs – and then follow my easy system for turning those ideas into successful pieces of jewelry.

By the end of this online video class, you’ll be designing and making your own artistic earwires, clasps, connectors, and pendant bails.

You’ll also learn my tips for making wire jewelry more easily, with more professional looking results.

 

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Comments

  1. Hi Rena, thanks for the lovely tute. I think I might use that with some great floral paper that has a really nice raised texture instead of printing on it. I’ve had it sitting around and it’s so pretty I haven’t really wanted to use it for anything yet.
    I like the cardboard cutouts with the copper eyelet idea, makes them much more sturdy.
    Rebecca B.

  2. Stephanie says:

    What a fabulous idea! I would love to make a pair of earrings with some vintage or victorian paper 🙂

  3. Thank you, Rena, for sharing this awesome project! It is super inspiring being surrounded by so many creative people which are congregated together by you! Again, super cute-creative project!

  4. Maretha Hines says:

    I love the animal print earrings. I have learned so much from you. You always have such wonderful ideas for jewelry

  5. Both of these are so cute and if my mom was still here I could see her wearing them everywhere.

  6. Jann Olson says:

    These are so fun and easy! I think young girls would love making them. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

  7. Thanks for the cute ideas, and the how to!

  8. Oh wow, so fun! Thanks for making such a detailed tutorial for earring-lovers!

  9. Wow those earrings are absolutely lovely!! I showed them to my oldest daughter and she asked me to do them!!

  10. Very cute. I made some that were similar back in 2012. They were a big hit. Family and friends loved them.

  11. I love these and I think I may have all of the supplies to make them. I recently purchased a TON of beads from a guy. His wife was a jewelry maker and she passed away. He really wanted to get rid of them so I think I got a pretty good deal. But I am not really a jewelry maker so I may have to come back and check out your videos so I can learn how to utilize all of these beads.

  12. Oh these look adorable! AND such an easy way to accessorize too!

  13. So Cute!! and a great tutorial!

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