So. You've made a new DIY type of friend...you want to impress this person and show off your skills that you can "MAKE" too... but you only have a short amount of time to crank something out! Also, you don't have bandwidth to order parts either...So what do you do?? Make a pair of earrings!
To impress that Guy: Make yourself a pair of these earrings.
To impress that Girl: Make her a pair of these earrings.
You can't go wrong. And how do I know??? Because? Well, wood.
2 variations, so you can even go the extra mile and make 2 different pair! I'm impressed with you already.....
Step 1: Gather "the Stuff"
Here is where you hit up your stash, art supply store, your garage, your nana's craft closet... wherever the goods may reside. Below is my list of components I used
- a rectangular dowel of balsa wood
- Jewelry bench pin set up ( or another method to cut the wood)
- Black ink pad
- thick-ish jewelry wire
- rubber stamp
- gold acrylic paint (optional)
- a mill & drill bit(or dremel or whatever you want to use to drill a hole into the wood)
- earring wire in desired color (i chose silver)
- beading head pin
- small decorative beads (optional)
- round nose pliers
- jewelry grade sand paper (Like 3M or what your local art supply store carries)
Step 2: Set Up and Saw
If you are fortunate enough to already have lightweight wood in cube and rectangle shapes then, again, I am impressed. I on the other hand was not so fortunate. Feel free to skip ahead past this step then if you already have your desired shapes.
For the others more like me, here we go!
- The very first thing you should do is protect your eyes and clothing. If you are sawing wood, you'll want to keep the wood shavings/pieces from sticking to your clothes. Unless you like the appeal of wood chips on clothes, then I wont stand in your way... Goggles should be worn as well.
- Now. I did not set up this bench pin the right way, im not ashamed to mention. I had limited space and just wanted to get rolling. If you are interested in properly utilizing a bench pin, you can learn more here
- I took my balsa wood, measured and cut out my shapes.
The cube shapes are 2.5mm on all sides.
The rectangles are 5mm x 2.5mm
If you set up your bench pin properly, then it should be relatively easy for you to maintain a 90 degree angle when sawing through the wood. If you do not achieve that perfectly flat side, no worries! That is what sand paper is for! You will smooth out these rough sides with fine grit sandpaper in a later step
- If you prefer to use another method to cut the wood. Feel free. This is your gig after all! I used my jewelry saw to cut right through the very very soft balsa wood dowel. It took only a couple of seconds to plow all the way through. I cut 2 of each size (or I tried to do this)
Step 3: Smooth Out Those Sides!
- The next step is to smooth out those sides that have wood chards jutting out or are just rough from the sawing.
- I used the most coarse grit in my pack of 3. 120 grit. This eliminates the bigger pieces of wood chards effectively.
- Then I skipped down to the finest grit (320) and smoothed the sides down even further as pictured. Just rubbing the pieces back and forth with light pressure did just the trick
Step 4: Stamp / Decorate the Wood
I chose floral type stamps and black archival ink for my decorative aspects
- For this project, you only need to utilize one area of the stamp at a time. That means that if your stamp is of a flower with distinct leaves, then you'll only need to dab part or the whole leaf into the ink and then onto your block. Get creative! and see how things come out.
- You can also just test on a scrap of paper before applying to the wood.
- Using your chosen stamp, dap it into your ink pad and then on to your wood block.
*** dont go crazy pressing too hard into the ink OR onto the wood. med - light taps onto each! Dabbing too hard onto either will result in smudging or your lines being thicker than intended.
Step 5: Drill Your Holes
This is where it can get tricky....
- I used the mill to get my holes into the long wooden blocks. The drill bit selected needs to be long enough to fit all the way through , and straight down, without piercing through the side walls.
- I initially attempted to use a very thin drill bit. It ended up not being long enough to go through all the way or even half way. So I switched to a bigger drill bit that made a bigger hole.
Step 6: Add the Hardware and Findings
It's time to put the bead onto a headpin or jewelry wire.
- The first step is to add a decorative bead to the looped end of the head pin to act as a stopper. If a dead end head pin is being used then proceed to put the bead on it
- Next another decorative bead can be added to the top of the wooden bead to finish off the decorative aspects of the earring.
- You will want to cut off excess headpin wire or jewelry wire at the top and bottom of the earring, as you don't need it. Once you have just about 2mm or so of wire beyond your beads, use your round nose pliers to bend the wire into a loop as pictured. If you are using a headpin, then you'll only want to cut off the top of the wire (not your headpin...it's your terminator). I added beads and charms to the bottom of my earrings as you can see.
- Lastly, add the earring hook to the loop you've made at the top of the bead!
Step 7: Tine to Shine!
Get creative! There are countless variations you can come up with to make these really unique and look like you bought them!