Monday, November 17, 2008

Paper Jewelry

I have been trying to find a way to incorporate my love of reusing things in my jewelry. Finally, by complete accident, it hit me. I was making some earrings with paper charms and needed some extra paper to back them for added strength. I decided to use a cup o noodle package to back them and cut out my shapes. When I was done I realized that the cup o noodle package looked better than the paper I was gonna use in the first place. So, my cup o noodle earrings were born! I also made some with a beer package of my hubby's that I saved.

These are so simple to make. Once you get the hang of it you'll be looking at your cereal box in a whole new light.

There are several ways to make these depending on whether or not you have a die cut tool/machine. I'm gonna show you how to make them with a die cut tool, and one method without. Another option for cutting is paper punches. I don't have any of these, so I'm not gonna show that way, but you can get them with the paper crafting supplies at the craft store in many shapes and sizes.

You'll need:
die cut tool, or scissors and pencil
old paper packaging
card stock (optional)
hard finish modge podge
foam brush
hoop earrings

for a necklace/pendant you'll need a jump ring and some pliers

If using the die cut tool follow the directions that came with it to cut out your shape. I had to cut the package to fit through the machine. You'll need two for earrings or one for a necklace. Also cut out the backing pieces from your card stock or remaining packaging. If the shape you are using is not symmetrical, like mine, be sure to cut your backing pieces from the opposite side you cut your front pieces so they'll line up when glued together. I still make this mistake.
You will now have two front and two back pieces.
If you do not have a die cutting tool/machine you can cut out a design by hand. For this tutorial I cut a design out of a package by simply following the design. You could also use a stencil or a compass to draw a shape on the back of the package and cut that out. Here's what I used.
If you want to back these, lay them on a piece of paper and trace around the shape. If your paper has a design you want to show on the back make sure you trace your shape on the back side of the design. Now cut out the shapes you traced.
The next steps are the same for either method you are using.

If you are covering the backs, just brush some modge podge, or another glue, to the wrong side of the back piece and attach the front and back pieces together. You only need a thin coat or it will run out the sides and make a big mess. Make sure the two pieces line up well. Let this sit until dry. For the pieces I cut with scissors the backing piece came out a little bigger than the front. After I glued them together and they dried I cut off the excess with an exacto knife. You may have to do the same with yours.

Next, coat the fronts with a thin layer of hard finish modge podge. Basically that's just what I had on hand, but you could also spray them with a clear coat spray paint to seal them. Let these sit until dry. Then do the same to the backs.

Last, decide where you want the top to be of each piece and punch a hole with a small hole punch. Slide them on a hoop earring, and your all done!

For a pendant you will need to put a jump ring in the hole so that it can be hung from a necklace.
Using pliers, twist the jump ring open. Don't pull the ends apart. Slip the jump ring through the hole and twist it back closed.

Tips: I don't recommend using thin paper (like printer paper) because it will wrinkle up when glued.

Get creative! I'm gonna try using fabric scraps for this too. If it works I'll let ya know.

I love making these. I won't throw away any package now without assessing whether or not it can be used. I love that I'm keeping at least a little bit of trash out of the landfill and giving it another life. Please feel free to make as many of these as you like, for personal use or profit. The more people recycling the better!

1 comment:

  1. What a great idea...thanks for the directions.