Introduction: Marbled Earings

Ever since I discovered marbling a few years ago it has become my favorite muse. I've used it to add designs to various products and it was about time I made some marbled jewelry. After playing around with shapes, sizes and colors I finally came up with a design for earrings which are simple yet bold, unique and classy.

What's marbling you ask? Well it's simply the process of floating a thin layer of paints on water, swirling them around and transferring the resulting design onto fabric or paper. Every design is a pleasant surprise!


For marbling:

- marbling paints (Jacquard marbling paints give the best results) You could buy them on the following link:

- paper (I have used handmade paper, but regular printing paper would also work)

- water (duh)

- alum

- plastic tray

- bowls / small containers (to mix the paint)

- waste newspaper

- thin paint-brush / stick

- hand held fan (just a piece of cardboard would work)

For earrings:

- earring hooks: You could buy them on the following link:

- pencil

- metal ruler

- cutting board

- cutter

- craft glue

- scissors

- flat paint brush (around 1/4 inch)

- long nose pliers

- thin copper or brass wire

- 1 lb cardboard

Step 1: Paper and Paints

Since I used handmade paper which has a rough surface the paint will easily stick to it, but if you are using a paper with a smooth surface you will need to coat it with alum. For that mix alum with water (1 tablespoon of alum for 1/2 litre of water) in a bowl and apply it on one side of the paper using a brush. You'll have to wait for it to dry before proceeding to the next step.

As for the paints, pour the colors of your choice into separate bowls and stir using a stick or brush. Just try different color combinations and have fun!

Step 2: Putting Paints in Water

Fill up a tray with water and skim the surface with a sheet of newspaper to remove any dust. Then put the paints one after another in the water using a stick or brush making long strokes and making sure not to touch the surface of the water. It would be better to use a different brush or stick for each color. Once you have put all the paints spread them evenly by fanning using a hand-help fan or a piece of cardboard.

Step 3: Making the Designs

This step is fun and meditative. Move a thin stick or brush along the surface of the water is a sweeping motion to make designs.

Step 4: Marbling the Paper

And now for the most magical step. Place the paper into the water gradually from one side to the other so that no air bubbles get trapped in between and mar the design. If you are using "alumed'' paper, put alum side down. Then lightly dab the surface of the paper for about five seconds and then lift it from one side holding two corners, and behold the beautiful flowy design! You'll have to let the paper dry for a day or two before you can finally begin making the earring.

Step 5: Making the Shape of the Earrings

I made various kinds of marbled earrings but the one I liked the best was an abstract pyramid shaped earring. To make this one, cut out a 6cm x 6cm square piece of 1 lb cardboard and mark lines on it as shown in the picture above. Next, cut out the triangle shapes using a cutter and metal ruler. The two end triangles marked in red in the picture will be discarded. Stick the remaining shapes onto the non-marbled side of your marbled paper using craft glue. Each piece should be back in its initial position as it was in the square before it was cut. Make sure to leave a little gap between the pieces (you can use a cardboard bit as a spacer). Then cut out the "kite" shape making sure to leave a gap of about 1cm from the edge of the cardboard. Next, apply glue on the flaps and fold them over and stick them to the cardboard. Do this on both short sides and one long side of the shape leaving the last flap for later. After that fold the piece at all the joints and form the 3d pyramid-like shape and secure it by sticking the final flap. Repeat this entire step because earrings are usually worn in a pair :)

Step 6: Attaching the Hooks

Cut an approx 1cm long thin bit of brass or copper wire and bend one end into a loop. Then insert it through the bottom of the earring and push the other end out from the summit of the pyramid. Next, insert that end of the copper wire through the loop of the earring hook and bend it into a loop such that both are interlocked. Repeat this process for the other earring and voila, your fashionable earrings are ready!

Step 7: Other Marbled Earings

Be creative, have fun and come up with your own marbled earring designs. To give you ideas, above are images of some other marbled earrings I've made.

This instructable is part of the 'jewelry challenge'. If you like it do drop a vote.

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