Are you getting your recommended daily dose of glitter? These earrings let you flaunt a little sparkle power while keeping that evil pixie dust neatly sealed away. (Though, I'll be honest, I'm still picking the fallout of this project out from under my fingernails. You've been warned...)
Step 1: Tools and Materials
A couple quick notes about gel caps:
- They're cheap and easy to find at any supplement or health store, but they tend to come in packs of 100 or more. So unless you're planning to make earrings for 50 of your friends, you'll probably have a few left over.
- They dissolve in water. We're going to be sealing them with clear nail polish, because any water-based lacquers or gloss finishes will make them go all mushy.
- Needle nose pliers/wire cutters
- Round nose pliers
- Bead scoop or pointy spoon
- Awl or thick needle
- A large piece of paper (to cover your workspace for easier cleanup)
- Gel capsules
- Earring hooks
- Jump rings (optional)
- Head pins (at least 1/4" longer than the gel caps)
- Clear nail polish
Step 2: Poke Some Holes!
Using the awl, poke holes in the tops and bottoms of both gel caps, just big enough to fit the head pins. Putting the pin all the way through the capsule (instead of just putting a shorter pin through the top) will stop the capsule from pulling apart when you hang it to dry later. If you're using fine glitter you may lose a tiny bit out the bottom hole while filling. But once the head pin is installed it'll seal up the hole.
Step 3: UNLEASH THE GLITTER.
Seriously though, put down a piece of paper before you start messing with the glitter. If you spill on the paper, you can pour it back into the container. If you spill on your table, you'll be finding glitter for weeks.
Make sure your hands are clean and dry before handling the gel caps (too much moisture on your skin can make the capsule mushy). If you're using glitter from a jar, a bead scoop like the one shown makes it pretty easy to scoop glitter into the capsule. Fill the larger half all the way, then fill the smaller half about halfway full.
Carefully slide the two halves of the capsule together until they 'click' shut. If they don't click, you may have filled them too full. This isn't a huge deal, since the head pin and nail polish will hold the two halves together. Just make sure that when you fill the other capsule, it ends up the same size.
Repeat the process for the other capsule.
Step 4: Add Head Pins and Hooks
Using your wire cutters, cut the ends of the head pins at an angle to make them pointy. Gently work the point through the holes that you punched earlier, then pull it all the way through the capsule so that the head seals off the bottom hole. Trim the head pins, leaving about 1/4 inch.
Note: You'll need to be very careful for the rest of this step, as the gel cap can be torn pretty easily as you manipulate the wire. I find it useful to brace the wire against my thumbnail as shown in the fourth picture to avoid applying force to the gel cap.
Bend the wire at an angle as shown in the third picture, then use your round nose pliers to bend the wire into a closed loop. Then, attach the capsules to your earring hooks either with a jump ring or by bending open the loops at the bottom of the hooks themselves.
Step 5: Seal It Up
Since gel caps dissolve in water, you probably want to seal them before wearing. The best thing I've found is clear nail polish, since anything water-based will do the exact opposite of what we're trying to accomplish. After sealing, I've run these earrings under the sink with no ill effects. Maybe don't leave them immersed in water for extended periods just to be safe.
Apply a coat of clear nail polish, making sure to get full coverage, and hang your earrings to dry. After the previous coat is fully dry, apply a second coat for good measure. Apply a third if you're paranoid like me.
Step 6: Wear and Enjoy!
Go forth and sparkle!