Monday, February 22, 2016

DIY St. Patrick's Day Shamrock Earrings (Part 1 of 2 - Green)

These tiny polymer clay applique-style earrings are a cute way to wear a subtle touch of St.Patrick's Day flair. Whether you prefer a traditional Irish trefoil shamrock or include lucky extra leaf to make  four-leaved clover, the creative choice is yours. :) Today's post is Part 1 of 2, showing you how to create these classic green shamrock earrings, with Part 2 on Wednesday detailing how to create the pot-of-gold inspired golden earrings.  To make these earrings, you will need clay as well as a few basic jewellery-making supplies; however, you can easily apply the same technique to create a simple pendant (make a hole for your string) or brooch/hairpin (glue to the back) without using any wires as all if you wish.

  • Roll two small (approximately 10mm diameter) balls of black clay. I have four, as I was making two pair.
  • Trim two eye pins to size.  You can trim and insert without a bend, or for a stronger hold, leave it a touch longer and create a loop to better grip into the polymer clay as shown.
  • Gently insert the bent end of your eye pin into a ball and carefully smooth insertion point closed and shape the ball back into round if/as needed. Repeat for the second ball. 
  • Press gently with your finger to flatten the ball into a pillow-bead. Careful - direction matters: make sure your eyelet of your pins are either both in the same direction.  Sideways to attach directly to a standard earring loop and front-back to attach via a single jump ring.  A pair of each are made for demonstration.
  • Using three small amounts of subtlety different shades of green clay (you can mix yellow or light green with a grass-green clay to create your own custom shades), one at a time for each shade, create a tint ball, roll into a tiny cane, cut off wee little pieces, and shape these into balls - four per shamrock. 
  • Place for balls into position on your black base, flatten slightly with a fingertip, and then add a center vein to each leave using the tip of a sewing needle (or clay stylus). These are VERY tiny, so don't stress about little imperfections - just part of being perfectly imperfectly handmade!
  • Repeat until you are happy with your design.  They should look like a set, but no need to match precisely.  Vary your shamrock shades, size, and placement for visual appeal.
  • For a little extra flair, you can add a few glass seed beads if you wish.  The needle is helpful for positioning, and then you can press into place with your finger or the blunt end of a toothpick.
  • Bake to manufacturer's directions for your chosen clay and cool completely before continuing to attach to earring ear wires.  If using glaze (optional) apply prior to attaching your earring hardware.
  • For jump ring attachment as shown in the green earrings, use small pliers to open your jump ring. Always open/close jump rings sideways, never pull them open. Slip the ear wire and eye pin loops onto the jump ring, taking care to ensure your bead is facing pattern-out for wear.
  • For direct attachment as shown in the gold earrings, use small pliers to open your ear wire loop to the side, the same way you would a jump ring. Slip the eye pin loop onto the earring, taking care to ensure your bead is facing pattern-out for wear.


  1. This looks so much easier than I thought! Are you getting into making jewelry again?

    1. Hi Janet! It is so much easier (and fun!) than it first appears. Do give it a try. I am really enjoying playing with clay (both air-dry and oven bake polymer) lately - part of my creative stretching. :) As for the jewellery making, not in terms of selling just for laying with new techniques and sharing ideas here. Thanks for saying hello!

    2. Ooops...meant to type playing with new techniques. :)

  2. Such a cute idea, I'd wear these all year round!

    1. They could definitely be worn anytime - I would too! Stay tuned for the gold DIY details later today. :)


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