by Rena Klingenberg.
These animal print earrings are a fun, chic accent to spice up an outfit.
You can also do a bit of recycling in the process of creating the earrings.
And if you know someone who loves animal print clothes and accessories, this is the perfect gift!
- 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:
- 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:
- 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.
- 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:
- 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):
- 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:
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:
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):
. . . or you can put different prints on the front and back of them (as I did with the rectangular white and pink zebra earrings):
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:
Now use your Sharpie marker to color the edges of each piece of cardboard:
The colored edges make the finished earrings look much nicer than the raw cardboard edge would:
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:
- 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:
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):
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.)
You can leave the punched holes as-is:
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:
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):
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:
String the unopened smaller jump ring onto the larger opened jump ring, and twist the larger jump ring shut:
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:
Attach the remaining jump rings and earwire to the other earring.
Your animal print earrings are finished!
They may look something like this:
Want to Learn How to Design
Your Own Wire Jewelry?
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.