If you are looking to jazz up your fall wardrobe on a budget, look no further than DIY accessories. With a bit of clay and creativity, you can create so many new jewelry pieces! I’ll show you how to create two types of fall-inspired homemade earrings – faux brass earrings & faux leather earrings.
I started out with the idea of using clay to ‘set’ a stone, like you would see in metal jewelry. Once I made a brass pair of homemade earrings, I couldn’t resist trying different coloring techniques, which resulted in the faux leather you see below.
- Air-Dry Clay
- Clay Press (optional but very desirable)
- Clay Tools
- Utility Knife
- Adhesive Flat-Back Faux Pearls
- Gold Paint
- Brown Ink Pad (it’s ideal to have two different colors, like this and this)
- Fish Hook Earring Wires
Step 1. Play with the clay a bit to smooth it out. Place a hunk or ball of clay into the press, put the press on the tightest setting (9) and roll it through. You don’t absolutely have to do this when working with clay but boy, will it make it much easier to achieve a smooth look. Step 2. Once the piece of clay is ready, use one of the clay tools to cut two small rectangles – whatever size you’d like for your homemade earrings.
Step 4. Punch two earring-sized holes in the tops of the rectangles. You can use just about anything you have on hand with a sharp round tip – paperclip, earring hook, push pin, etc. I used a paper crafting tool.
TIP: Don’t get too close to the edge because it will rip but don’t get too far because your earring hook won’t fit properly. If you are unsure, go ahead and test this with an extra piece of clay and an earring hook. Step 5. Make two tiny strips of clay by rolling a tiny piece of clay between your hands, like when you make playdoh snakes as a kid.
Step 6. Place the flatback adhesive pearls towards the bottom of the rectangles and slowly form the tiny strips around each of the pearls. This creates the look of a bezel setting, like you see with metal jewelry. Step 7. Use the utility knife to gently press a design into the rectangle. Don’t push all the way through! You might want to do this on a somewhat soft surface. Doing this on a hard desk/table surface is more likely to result in cutting through.
Step 8. Paint the rectangles (front and back and the bezel setting) with gold paint. Step 9. To tone down the bright old, apply brown ink to create a ‘brassy’ look. I applied the ink with a makeup sponge.
TIP: If your etched design isn’t visible enough after the paint has dried, run a bit of black marker or even a teensy bit of black paint or ink into the design. Wipe the ink/marker/paint away immediately, leaving some of the ink behind on your design. Works like a charm.Step 10. Let air dry according to instructions and then place them on an earring hook. You’re done!
Now, to create the faux leather look, you follow all of these steps but skip painting them gold. Instead, work with the brown inks to ‘dirty’ up the clay. To make it really look like leather, I added a bit more black marker to the etched part and created a few ‘nicks’ in the clay with the clay tool. This adds to the worn leather look.
Leave a comment telling us which you prefer – the faux brass homemade earrings or the faux leather homemade earrings?
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Katie is the creative mind behind lemonjitters.com, a blog dedicated to all things crafty. Her interests are ever-changing and currently include: kitschy kitchen timers, digital design, eating lots of chocolate and paper crafting.