Geeky Circuit Board Earrings




Introduction: Geeky Circuit Board Earrings

My sister saw a set like these in a catalog for about 20 bucks. I'm cheap, so I didn't let her get them and made my own. The catalog is sold out now, anyway.
I should mention that this is my first Instructable, I'm new to the site.

Update June 21, 2007: I just found a great bracelet that would match nicely, courtesy of llama13, who I just noticed links to here. Thanks, llama13!

Another update, September 24, 2007: Make a processor belt buckle while you're at it! Wow, we're getting an entire wardrobe here! Who volunteers to make the IC chain mail?

Step 1: Collect Materials

The first step is to get all of your stuff. You will need:
Circuit Board
Earring Hooks (two)
Jump Rings (I used four, but didn't decide to until later)

Bandsaw (or similar device to cut the circuit board)
Needle nose pliers--it's waaaay easier if you have two pairs
Drill press with 1/16" bit
File or Sandpaper

Step 2: Cut the Board

Next you have to select an area of the board to use. It helps if you use a board with duplicate areas. I used an array of little surface mount components. I would recommend only using surface mount boards, as regular ones will be bulky. Keep an empty area towards the top to attach the hooks.
After selecting the area, cut out the board. I used a bandsaw with a wood blade because I'm too lazy to change blades. It didn't splinter, so I guess it worked. Test it on a scrap board. And of course, don't cut off any body parts. As my dad says, a blade can't cut you if your fingers aren't in front of it.

RaNDoMLeiGH brought up a good point that I hadn't thought of in the comments. Read her comment for a better description, but the basic point is, WEAR A DUST MASK! The dust produced by sawing through silicon can give you a huge assortment of unpleasant respiratory problems, namely lung cancer and silicosis. Wear a mask, use a saw with a vacuum setup, wet it down, whatever you need to do to avoid breathing the dust. It's a much bigger issue than solder. This goes for the next step, too.

Step 3: Smooth Edges

The bandsaw left a lot of rough edges, so I used some medium grit sandpaper to smooth them out. You might see little bits of copper traces sticking out; take them off. You can use sandpaper, a file, cheese grater (not recommended :-)) for this step. I tried a belt sander, but it didn't work.

Step 4: Drill Holes

Drill holes in the tops of the boards to attach the earring hardware. A 1/16" bit worked perfectly. Use a piece of scrap wood to support it, and go slowly to prevent splintering. Slow and steady wins the race.

Step 5: Add Hooks

Next, add the hooks. You will need two jump rings and a hook for each earring.
Use the pliers to open all four jump rings. Hook a ring through each earring's hole and squeeze it shut. Then, use the other jump rings to link the first rings and the hooks. Pay attention to direction so that the earrings hang right.
You will notice that in the images that one earring has two rings and the other only has one. I made the one-ring version first, but it hung sideways, so I added another ring to make them hang straight.

Step 6: Present

You are hopefully done! If not, run screaming around the block a couple of times. It won't help, but it will give your neighbors something to laugh at.
Congratulations! You have just saved about $19.89!



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    81 Discussions

    Thanks, I Made It. I used circuit boards out of servo motors. I have about 10 pair. I sprayed the boards with contact cleaner then with Urethane Seal Coat Coating,Clear,16 oz. for safety. The Image upload doesn't work. SORRY no pics

    Awesome! Ceramic capacitors and SMD/T resistors look the best

    hi, good ones, take a look here:
    i am doing this kind of scrapping for years now
    the ear rings i made were lightable

    I made a pair with a ram drive that i ripped the little black boxes off of. (i don't know what they're called)I cut off the section of that black box.It took me a few minutes but I keep getting comments everywhere I go!! : ) P.S. I would post pictures but it's not working.

    This guide inspired me a lot to make a pair of earings for my sister
    I used a HDD circuit board and 2 clips to make my set and a CD case to make the support for them
    They came out great
    Thanks for the idea

    1 reply

    Btw people.. i appreciate whatever u say about the toxity of the solder.. but i REALLY USED TO EAT SOLDER!!! ALL TYPES!! (and even lead solder.. if lead is that brown thing inside the solder!!!!!)

    2 replies

    Eat solder - not smart. Old school solder is generally an alloy of lead and tin. Lead is a heavy metal and accumulates inside the body. Eat enough over a period of time and you WILL have health problems. "The brown stuff" inside solder is flux - generally rosin (hence the name "rosin core solder"). I can't imagine it being too good for you either, but at least it's organic ;-) P.S. people DO understand that just because something is organic does not mean it won't kill you - right??

    I tried this with a wood blade like that and rendered my blade unusable after cutting 4- 5" circles. Of course, I was cutting through some pretty heavy duty components! Next time I'll try a hack saw blade.

    Not nicely done, bloody dangerous. If you notice, the earings sold in the magazine have not had components soldered to them. Solder is toxic. Those earings are putting heavy metals onto your sisters skin, and into her blood stream, which could eventually lead to sickness and death.

    8 replies

    I have to disagree with you on this one. For starters, the only possible toxin in solder is lead, which cannot be absorbed directly through the skin. These earrings do not even come into contact with the skin, they hang there. Secondly, there is no way to know that the solder even contains lead. Most solder nowadays is lead-free silver. Plus, even removing the components leaves a thin layer of solder on the circuit boards. And the recent recall of toy rings containing lead was because they could be swallowed. If you are worried that the toxic solder will kill you, go check your plumbing. The pipes are soldered together.

    She handles them, putting them on, it can be transfered to food, beverages, and so on.

    Also, while they are trying to make companies move to lead free solder, due to problems with melting points, to this day many companies still use lead based solder.

    The earings made appeared to not have burn marks or signs of removal. Printed circuit boards usually do NOT have solder on them. As i recall the coating is zink.

    Pluming, however, has been required, *and done* with lead free solder for a very long time. The solder I have, which I use to repair pipes, is lead free. The solder I have for electronics is good old 60-40.

    No disrespect is intended in's simply concern for your sister *and any people who read this*'s health.

    Confusion alert! I don't understand what you are saying. First you said that the earrings are toxic, then you said that PCBs use zinc. Zinc can be found on the nutrition facts of your fortified bran flakes. You expected burn marks? You don't believe in my Mad Desoldering Skilz?;-)

    i dont have mad skillz, all i got is mad desolder-all-over-my-pantz-with-hot-solder skillz, i need me some desoldering wick

    never had solder on my pants while desoldering, only when I accidentally use way too much and it dribbles. Yay for solder-resistant denim!

    Your examples here have soldered on chips. That is the toxic element. The solder. Not the plain, unused circuit board that you copied the idea from. They are not using toxic, used circuit boards. Your circuit board, however, is used. And has what is almost unquestionably lead based solder all over it.