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.


5 comments:

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

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    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!

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

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

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

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