If you’re anything like me, you’ve had to go without wearing your earrings every now and then. Or maybe you never got your ears pierced at all.
It can be hard to find clip-on earrings, particularly in fun designs or something that doesn’t look like someone’s Aunt Agnes would be wearing. That led me to look into how to make my own clip-on earrings.
If you’ve gotten tired of not having the right earrings to match your outfit or mood for the day, how do you make clip-on earrings from scratch? To make clip-on earrings, you’ll need an earring finding, which will either be a metal post or a wire dangle. You’ll use glue and a fabric pad to attach the jewels or beads that you want to add to your post earrings and use pliers to open and close the jump ring to attach dangle earrings.
Of course, there’s more to it than that, which is why I’ve created the ultimate guide to making your very own clip-on earrings from scratch.
How to Make Clip-On Earrings
When you start looking at jewelry making, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The part of the earring that attaches to your ear, whether it is a clip-on earring or not, is an earring finding.
1. Choose Your Earring Finding
For a clip-on earring, the finding includes a clip that holds the earring in place on your earlobe, as opposed to a pierced earring, where a post or hook goes through your earlobe.
If you’re converting a pair of earrings to clip-on earrings, you can decide what type of findings you need by looking at the original earrings.
If you’re starting from scratch, you will need to determine two things:
- What kind of material you want your earrings made out of, such as gold or silver.
- Whether you want dangling or post clip-on earrings.
2. Design Your Clip-On Earrings
The first part of making your clip-on earrings from scratch is to decide what kind of earrings you want to make. Do you want dangling clip-on earrings or post clip-on earrings. Are you planning to glue crystals to a post, or do you need to make elements out of beads that you’ll then add to your earrings?
Organize all of your materials. Lay out possible designs on your workspace to get a feel for what will go best. If you’re designing the earrings to match an outfit, make sure your outfit is nearby for inspiration.
Some ideas for one-of-a-kind clip-on earrings include:
- Design beads or charms to dangle from your earrings by using headpins. Use jump rings to attach these dangling elements to your clip-on earring findings.
- Cross stitch design on a piece of plastic canvas and glue it to your post clip-on earrings.
- Take a pair of matching vintage or funky buttons and cut the shanks off of the buttons with a pair of flush cutters. Glue the buttons to your clip-on earring findings.
3. Making Your Clip-On Earrings
You need to have all of your materials laid out so that you can make your clip-on earrings efficiently (and avoid having to search for beads with glue on your fingers).
The materials you need:
- Clip-on earring findings
- Jump rings or glue to attach decorations
- Decorations, assembled if necessary
- Jewelry pliers for jump rings, if using
- Craft adhesive, if using
If you need to make the decorations for your clip-on earrings, do so now.
If any of the elements need to be glued as part of the assembly, make them with enough time to dry before you attempt to make your clip-on earrings from scratch and attach the decorative element to the clip-on earring findings.
If you’re making a clip-on earring with a post, attach the decorative elements to each clip-on earring finding. Allow them time to dry before you proceed to wear the earrings. The type of material will dictate what kind of glue you need.
If you are making dangling clip-on earrings, open a jump ring and attach the decorative element or elements to your clip-on earring finding. Using jewelry pliers, carefully close the jump ring. Repeat on the other side.
Converting Other Earrings into Clip-On Earrings
There are two ways to can convert other earrings into clip-on earrings. You can convert post earrings or you can convert dangle earrings, keep reading to learn how to do each.
Converting Post Earrings to Clip-On Earrings
If you are using already made earrings and converting them into clip-on earrings to wear, follow these easy steps.
Start by picking our clip-on findings that match the metal finish of your earrings and feature a pad for gluing that is the right size for your earrings: you don’t want it to be too big or too small.
- Using flush cutter pliers, cut off the post from the back of the pierced earrings, cutting the earrings as close as possible to where the post meets the back of the earrings.
- Using a nail file, file the back of the earrings where the post was until the surface is smooth.
- Take craft adhesive that is specifically designed for the metal or plastic earrings and place a small amount of glue on the glue pad of the clip-on earring finding.
- Center the earring finding onto the decorative element that you have removed the pierced earring post from.
- Repeat the process with the other earring, and allow the craft adhesive to dry according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Converting Dangling Earrings to Clip-On Earrings
If you are going to make your clip-on earrings from dangling earrings that you already have, you will need to get clip-on earring findings and jump rings that match the metal finish of the dangling earrings you plan to convert.
- Using jewelry pliers, open up the jump ring that is holding the decorative element of the dangling earring in place.
- Remove the decorative element from the pierced earring finding. (Keep in mind that the process may be slightly different depending on the style and attachment of the pierced earrings.)
- Open a jump ring with your jewelry pliers and insert it through the decorative element that you plan to use. Insert the jump ring through the loop on the clip-on earring finding.
- Close the jump ring with your pliers, leaving the decorative element attached to your clip-on earring finding.
- Repeat the process for your other dangling earring to make your second clip-on earring. Now you’re ready to wear your earrings.
This short video by The O’Neil Sisters on YouTube is the absolute BEST tutorial I found for converting dangle earrings into clip-on earrings. Enjoy!
Why Do Clip-On Earrings Hurt?
Clip-on earrings do not have to hurt. Different factors may affect how uncomfortable your clip-on earrings are. The main reason for discomfort is wearing a clip-on earring that has incorrect tension.
Adjusting the tension can help make your earrings more comfortable, especially if you’re wearing them for an extended period of time.
How Do You Make Clip-On Earrings Less Painful?
Adjusting the tension on your earrings can help them feel more comfortable. Another quick and easy remedy for your earrings is to keep the foam pads on your earrings. You can even cut out adhesive foam pads in advance and keep them on hand for use with your clip-on earrings.
How Do You Make Clip-On Earrings Tighter?
To tighten your earrings, you will need to use either your thumb and forefinger or a pair of pliers.
Squeeze the outer portion of the bottom of the “U” in the clip-on earring finding to slowly tighten the grip. Make small adjustments each time so that you don’t make the clip-on earrings too tight.
Try the earrings on after every adjustment until you get to your ideal tightness, where the earring sits comfortably on your earlobe.
If your earrings are too tight, they may cause pain and discomfort when you wear your earrings, but if they are too loose, they may fall off when you’re wearing them.
How Do You Use Clip-On Earring Converters?
To use clip-on earring converters rather than make your own clip-on earrings, you just need to use jewelry pliers to remove the section of the pierced earring that goes through your ear.
You then need to open the small hoop on the clip-on earring converter and place it around the hole on the pierced earring, closing the hoop with pliers.
Are Clip-On Earrings Bad for Your Ears?
Any earring can traumatize your earlobes. If you convert from pierced earrings to clip-on earrings, there is a risk for your earlobes tearing because the tissue of the lobes is softer.
What tends to be more likely to cause issues with the ear is the heaviness of the earrings, so when you make your own clip-on earrings from scratch test out different patterns if you are looking at making long, dangly earrings.
Typically, using clip-on earrings will not cause the earrings to tear through the tissue of the earlobe, but you’ll still want to be careful if the earrings are heavy.