Monday, May 11, 2015

DIY Earrings from old credit cards

Goldfish die and credit cards expire. These are the facts of life.

But one of them won't decompose if you keep it around, and that, in itself, can cause problems. What does one do with all the old credit cards that aren't good for money any more? One can only keep so many scraping and phone-screen-protector-flattening tools. One could, boringly and wastefully, throw the expired cards in the trash, or... one could make jewelry out of them!

That was the novel use I put to a couple of my cards in the recent past, producing the outsized paisley rectangle earrings you see below.

 If you'd like to make your own, here's what you'll need:
  • An old credit card
  • Scissors
  • Thin paper (I used printed tissue paper)
  • Spray adhesive
  • Varnish
  • A drill
  • Earring hooks
Start by cutting two rectangular strips out of an expired credit card. These are from the top and bottom of the card, so no numbers are present, but one of them has a magnetic strip.

I'm not sure what good an expired magnetic strip will do any thief, but just to be safe, I rubbed a magnet all over it to garble the data.

Then, clip off the corners so they are rounded and will not stab anyone.
Cut a strip of paper a little longer than the length of the plastic strip, and several times its width.
Spray the backside of the paper all over with a light coating of spray adhesive.

I found it was helpful to put the paper inside a shoebox first, so the spray was less likely to get everywhere.
 On a hard, flat surface (I am using a hardcover book), carefully begin wrapping the card piece up in the paper. You want it to be very tight.

Wrap it several times, until you can no longer see the card through the paper.
When you're done wrapping, cut the paper down the length of the credit card.

I cut mine flush with the edge of the card, but I think it would glue down more smoothly if you actually cut somewhere in the middle of the card.
With your scissors, trim the excess paper so only about a centimeter hangs over the edges of the card. Round the edges of the paper. Or cut into points, whatever floats your boat! These edges are going to get folded down, so their exact shape doesn't matter, but I think rounded or pointed is less likely to get lumpy and bumpy than a straight-across cut.
Prepare some glue! I used the extra glue leftover from clearing the nozzle of the spray adhesive, but you can use any paper glue for this portion.
Coat the ends of the paper with glue.
Fold the paper edges over so you are left with a rectangular shape.
Next you'll want to drill holes in one end of each earring to insert the hooks. I used a Dremel with a fine diamond tip.
Here are the holes. In the upper corner, you can see the edges of another set of earrings I made with smaller pieces of credit card cut crosswise.
After drilling the holes, I coated the nearly finished earrings with several coats of satin varnish, to protect them from the elements and help keep the glued-down edges glued down! I would call this step optional.
Attach earring hooks, and you are done!
Wear your new avant garde earrings! I chose to pair them with a pretty bohemian chiffon sundress.

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