These earrings are easy-to-make steampunk or industrial-style jewelry. You can also use the basic template to make necklaces, bracelets, pins, or as charms for fascinators/hats/hairpins.
Step 1: Materials
You'll need the following:
- Access to a laser engraver/cutter (I used a Universal Laser Systems VLS 3.50)
- 1 1/8''x4''x24' sheet of basswood
- Acrylic paint
- Mod Podge
- cup for water and Mod Podge
- E6000 glue and applicator.
- Jewelry wire
- Jewelry pliers
- Flat gearcharms in assorted sizes and colors (copper, gold, silver, brass, black, etc)
- Earring hooks
- Rings, beads or other findings to put between the gears and earring hooks
Optional for other types of jewelry:
Step 2: Cutting the Gears
Cut the gears out from the basswood using your laser engraver on the "Basswood" or "General Hard Woods" setting using the template below.
The .pdf is sized for a 4" x 24" sheet of bassword. The .svg files can be resized and/or added to the drawing software of your choice
All red lines indicate cuts.
Step 3: Painting
Paint the gears on the top, bottom, sides, and inside the center hole. I usually paint all the gears I've cut so I have some saved for future projects. Make sure to do all colors you think you might want in sets of two for future earrings. Leave to dry overnight.
When they have dried, add a coat of Mod Podge and let dry overnight. This protects the paint and increases the shine of the surface.
Make sure to identify the "front side" of the gear before using it. The "back" side of the gear will look flatter. The front side should always be facing out in any project.
Step 4: Gluing
Glue one of the gear charms onto a small wooden gear with the E6000 glue. Glue the small gear onto a large one in a 5 o'clock position, making sure the spokes are pointing the same way for both gears. Contrasting colors for the large and small gear give a nice effect, you can even make each earring of a pair have opposite colors.
Step 5: Connecting the Earring to the Hook
If you are using a ring to connect the earring:
- Open the ring with jewelry pliers.
- Insert in in the small hole of the larger gear.
- Insert the ring into the loop of the earring hook, making sure that the end of the hook is pointing in the opposite direction from the front of the gear.
- Close the ring.
If you are using a bead:
- Cut a piece of jewelry wire with scissors - about 5" or so, depending on the bead.
- Insert in the small hole of the larger gear, with half of the wire on either side.
- Wrap the left half of the wire 3 or so times around the right half, then cut the left half.
- Use the jewelry pliers to push the coils of the wire together, and to push in the little bit of wire left when you cut it.
- Insert the right half of the wire into the bead.
- Insert the wire into the loop of the earring hook, and repeat steps 3 & 4. Make sure that the end of the hook is pointing in the opposite direction from the front of the gear.
- After you do the other earring, double-check to see that each earring is the same length.
Step 6: More Ideas
Here are some examples of other ways you can use the wooden gears.