This is one of those easy projects that I’m kicking myself for not doing sooner — it took less than an hour, and has already made my life so much better. At least, as much as (15 pairs of!) new earrings can improve one’s life.
A few years ago after my grandmother passed away, my mother and I went through her jewelry box together. She wore a lot more jewelry than either my mom or I do, but it was so nice to pick out a few special pieces. Both of us actually wore two of those necklaces on my wedding day, and it turns out my aunt did too.
In addition to necklaces, I also ended up with a lot of clip-on earrings. My grandmother didn’t have pierced ears, but she wore earrings every day and had quite a collection. Most of us have probably come across a lot of clip-ons in thrift and vintage stores, and I’m always so intrigued by how fun they are. But man, they’re a pain. How can they be both so tight that they make my ears hurt, and yet so precarious that I’m afraid they’ll fall off at any minute and I’ll lose them? I think I’ve invented a new paradox.
Anyway, that’s when it struck me: why don’t I just turn my clip-on earrings into regular old earrings? First, I bought some metal posts, backings, and dangles at Michaels for a few dollars:Then I proceeded to wait two years. But this past Saturday after spending the whole day on a long run, I was feeling bad that I hadn’t tackled any DIY projects and decided to take on this quick and easy project at long last. (Guilt and endorphins make me remarkably productive.)
- Strong glue (this is the one I used on my wedding guest favor magnets and more recently on our silverware starburst mirror, so I know it holds really well)
- Needle-nosed pliers (I’m sure people who make jewelry more often would suggest having special jewelry tools, but my pliers worked just fine thankyouverymuch)
- The posts, dangles, and backings I’d bought at Michaels
Step One was to remove all the clip-on backings. I had no plan going into it, but it proved to be pretty easy — in most cases I just gave them a hard twist with my fingers or a yank with the pliers and they popped right off.In a few cases, I did have to break out my dremel with special metal cutting attachment (affiliate link — read our policies).But if you don’t have a dremel, you can still take on 75% of clip-on earrings — just be sure not to get the ones with the really thick clips, like these red ones:I was left with a beautiful pile of detached clips.I decided that I wanted most of the earrings to be studs rather than dangles, so Step Two was just flipping each earring upside down and placing a post on the back with a moderate dab of glue. For the larger earrings I thought it would be strange for the post to be in the exact center (because the earring would end up covering too much of my ear), so instead I glued the posts closer to the top. This was also helpful in cases where ripping off the clip had left an uneven surface in the center, since I didn’t have to worry about putting the new post directly on top of that part.I did make two of the pairs into dangles, just working with the architecture of the earring to figure out the best approach. For this pair there was a metal bar across the back that I could attach the dangle to:And for this pair I just left a portion of the original clip-on apparatus, slid it through the dangle eyelet, and then pressed it closed with my pliers.The glue I used is super strong, but dries really slowly so I just left everything to dry overnight. I also left the windows open, since the packaging is covered with warnings about how toxic it is. In the morning, I had a bunch of “new” earrings, ready to be worn! I’ve given all the backings a good yank, and all feel very secure — it’s very strong glue.
(Sharing at That DIY Party, Two Uses Tuesday, A Bowl Full of Lemons, All Things Thursday, Think and Make Thursday, Weekend Retreat Link Party, Link Party Palooza, and Tip Me Tuesday – and Featured at Tip Junkie.)