Introduction: Quilled Pi Earrings
Pi Day is fast approaching, and you'll want to have the proper accessories for the occasion! XD
Here I will demonstrate how to make these elegant quilled Pi earrings, perfect for wearing to your Pi Day celebration!
Step 1: What You Need
You will need:
- quilling paper in desired colors. This project uses two colors (of course, if you really want it to all be the same color, you can do that too...). I like blue, so I'll be using light blue for the π symbol, and a darker blue for the circle.
- a quilling tool (you could use a thick needle or something, but the quilling tool makes it easier)
- a scrap of paper
- a pencil
- a glue stick (for shaping the circle)
- white glue
- a scrap of wax paper
- a toothpick (optional, for spreading glue. It helps keep things a little neater by not working with gluey fingers)
- earring hooks and jump rings OR 22-gauge or so jewelry or craft wire (such as Wild Wire), needle-nose pliers, and wire cutters. I recommend using pre-made earring hooks, as they make things simpler, but I don't happen to have any right now so I'll be using wire.
Step 2: Draw Your Design
Trace the end of the glue stick on the scrap of paper, and draw a pi symbol in the circle. I searched Google Images for a pi symbol, and found one in a circle that I liked, and based my design on that. Try not to make the sides too thin. I had to draw it a few times before I got a design I liked. Don't worry about it being super precise; the quilled pieces won't match it exactly anyway.
Step 3: Make and Assemble the Quilled Pieces
Squeeze a little splat of glue onto the wax paper.
To make the circle, wrap one of the paper strips around the glue stick. Once it's wrapped one full time around the glue stick, begin applying glue to the strip. Continue gluing and wrapping until you get to the end of the strip. Be patient, and try to line up the edges of the paper strip as well as you can. Set it aside.
To make the π symbol, you'll need three pieces of the other color paper. One will be half of a paper strip, and two will each be one-third of a paper strip.
Take the longer piece, and roll it up with the quilling tool. Remove it from the tool and let it "spring" a little to loosen it. Hold it up to your drawn design and squeeze it, to estimate the fit. Tighten or loosen the coil as necessary, then glue down the end. Pinch the paper spiral into the shape of the top of the π. This mostly means smashing the middle as much as you can, and pinching one end downward.
Then take one of the shorter pieces, and roll it up. Estimate the size of the coil, as you did with the top piece, and glue down the end. Pinch the coil into the shape of the left leg of the π symbol. This mostly means smashing the middle as much as you can, and pinching a squared end on one end of the paper coil. Then just tweak the other end so it points a little bit to the left.
The second leg is the trickiest part. Make this coil slightly looser than the others. Then hold the middle of the coil off-center, and smash it like the others. To get the curve at the end, you'll need to tweak the outside layer of the coil, while pinching a squared end on one end, and sort of twisting the other end while pinching a point on the end. I had to tweak it several times to get the shape right, but finally I got a nice curved point.
Take a couple of inches of paper of either color, and roll it up. Glue down the end without releasing it, to keep the paper rolled tight. Remove the quilling tool, and reinsert it to move the bent end out of the way, leaving a round hole.
Now put a little bit of glue on the top of the ends of the top piece (you can look and see where the piece touches the circle). Position it in the circle, and hold it in place for a couple seconds. Then put glue on the ends of the left leg, and position it in the circle, holding it in place for a couple seconds. Finally, glue the right leg; it may take a little more holding in place to keep the curved end from pushing the piece out of place. Finally, glue the small tight circle to the top of the large circle.
Repeat to make the second earring. Note that if one of the coils gets flipped over while you're making this, you'll have some pieces spiralling in different directions than others. If you are bothered by that sort of thing, make sure to pay attention to the orientation of the coils while you're shaping the pieces. In the last picture, the earring on the left looks a bit wonky because it was the first one I made and I used half a strip for the second leg instead of a third of a strip.
Step 4: Add the Hooks
If you are using pre-made hooks and rings, attach them as normal (I haven't actually done it, but instructions are easy to find). But if you are using wire, just use the needle-nose pliers to make a little ring, and cut it off with the wire cutters. Repeat for the second earring. Open the little ring slightly, and put it through the small paper circle. Then pinch it closed. Then use the pliers to form a little hook, as shown. If you have an existing earring hook to use as a guide, that will help you see how to shape it. Cut it with the wire cutters, and wrap the non-hooked end into a little circle, as shown. Open the little circle slightly, and hook it on the little ring. Then pinch it closed. Make sure the hooks are pointing in opposite directions, otherwise one of the earrings will hang backwards.
Step 5: Time to Celebrate!
Now you are ready to celebrate the wonders of mathematics in style! Have fun! :-D
(And while you are no doubt gathering your favorite pie recipes, may I recommend this simple and versatile butter pie crust? ;-) )
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