Sunday, August 28, 2016

Converting clip-on earrings to dangle earrings

The last time I shared a DIY for modifying clip-on earrings for pierced ears, I used a pair of rose-shaped earrings. Thus it is only appropriate that for my second post on the subject, I am also using rose earrings!
The matched set I inherited from my grandmother was probably made in the 1950's (the golden age of clip-on earrings). The resin flowers were in excellent condition, but the brass findings were tarnished and sorry-looking. I've had them for going on 20 years, and I might have worn them once in all that time. I'm sometimes hesitant to defile an antique, but I figure earrings are made to be worn, and if they weren't getting worn as clip-ons, I could do them better honor by converting them to a style I would actually use.

A pair of needle-nosed pliers handily removed the backings from the plastic with just a little twist and no damage to the flowers!

I decided that I would dangle the flowers from chains, much like my homemade wire-wrapped geode earrings, but how to attach them to the chains?

It seemed like they would balance best if I just attached the chain to the back of one of the rear petals, but unless I wanted to punch a hole in the flower (I didn't) I would have to use glue to make a new attachment point.

It was time for me to try, for the first time, my 5-Second-Fix adhesive!

From the posts of a couple of retired stud earrings, I formed arches with the aid of my round-nose pliers, then I cut off the excess.

Then, I dabbed a tiny amount of 5SF onto the back of the flower, dropped the arch into position, and cured it using the UV light.

Unfortunately, my shaky hands were not up to the task of holding the arch in place, even for 5 seconds, while the resin cured, so it kind of collapsed against the petal instead of standing up as I would have liked.

Fortunately, the coating of 5SF was light enough that I could tilt the wire back where I needed it, and then it stayed there long enough for me to apply one more coat of the adhesive to lock it into place. This was my first experiment with 5-Second-Fix, and, while I wouldn't try to make these earring hooks pull a truck, I feel reasonably certain that they'll hold up to everyday use.

I followed the same steps on the other flower, and then I was ready to make them dangle.

Originally, I used bits of chain (salvaged from previous necklace-shortening projects), but after wearing them a day, I found that the flowers spun around too much and were facing backwards as often as they were facing forwards, so I decided to replace the chain with something a bit more structured.

Enter the oval earring pendant hoops! These came in a beading kit I got ages ago (seriously, I think I was like 10), and it took me until now (age 33, thanks) to realize what they are good for: hanging a dangling bauble from your ear and ensuring it will consistently face the same direction!
With my yellow roses duly suspended from their new supportive hooks, I can wear them with confidence, secure in the knowledge that their backs will never be facing forward! 

I also think they are a great complement to my new green hair!

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