Thursday, March 29, 2012

DIY: gauged earrings (plugs)

I started stretching my earlobes when I was 15. (Was that really 7 years ago?!) My mom wasn't pleased with it, but I just loved it. I'm currently sized at about a 0. I plan to go bigger, but not quite yet. Anyway, my main issues with having stretched earlobes have always been versatility and price. I mean, you can't go into every accessory store and find earrings that will fit your lobes, much less that will fit your taste. If you go into a run of the mill place like Hot Topic, they only have things like tattoo print, animal print, skulls, and some other oddities. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, but when I want something specific, I usually can't find it. If I DO end up finding it, it's at a tattoo/piercing shop, and I have to pay about $30 a pair. Not for me.

I decided to make my own. It's affordable, easy, and you can be so, so creative with it. but WARNING: do NOT try to stretch your ears with polymer clay. This project is only appropriate for those who are satisfied with/want something to fit their current size.

HERE. WE. GO (sorry in advance for the weird color... idk what my camera was up to :S)

2. POLYMER CLAY (i use sculpey... but basically the small pack of any polymer clay will do. choose color if you know  you want that color, or white if you want to paint your own)

3. piece of embroidery thread, or thin yarn
4. aluminum foil
5. polymer clay glaze (i like to use satin glaze, not the glossy... just me)
6. sand paper
7. felt tip marker
8. acrylic paint in your choice of colors

Preheat your oven to about 300 degrees. Take a pair of gauged earrings that you already have, and measure the thickest part of it. Mark the embroidery thread/yarn with the felt tipped marker- you will use this to measure your hand-crafted gauged earrings.

pinch a small piece of your clay off of the mound

roll your piece of clay in a ball, then turn the ball into a cylinder about the width of your thumb. Use your marked yarn or thread to measure the center of the cylinder. If the cylinder is too big, take a small pinch of clay off of it, and then reroll it until it is the right size. If the cylinder is too small, simply put more clay onto the cylinder, and reroll.

 Repeat until you have the desired number of cylinders. If you want 3d effects on your new earrings, add them with the extra clay! Then place your earrings on the piece of aluminum foil, then on a cookie sheet (optional, but if you opt out- be careful!!). Pop them in the oven! It'll take around 20 minutes, maybe more. Check on them periodically, poking them with something like a toothpick, and if the toothpick doesn't leave a dot in the clay, they are done!

Let your new earrings cool for another 15 minutes or so, then try to put them in (carefully). If they are too big- grab your sand paper and sand around the earring, making it thinner. If you have a 3d design on the front and the earrings are too big, leave the front part alone, and sand the back parts. It'll look fine, promise. Dust off ALL of the clay powder before trying on again. When your gauges fit, dust all the clay dust off again. If you have finger prints on the 3d design, or on the front, go ahead and gently sand those too.  Next, paint them up!!! have fun :)! Depending on your paint, you might need to put an extra layer of paint on.

After the paint dries, put a layer of glaze on. Repeat two more times, so that the paint is fully protected. This process takes a while, but be patient, it's worth it!

When you're all done... PUT ON YOUR NEW FINISHED GAUGED EARRINGS! REJOICE!!!!! you've learned how to be creative AND save yourself some money!

check out the ones I made <3

hooray!!! i'm so very happy with mine. sculpey is so freakin cheap, it's just the best!

leave me pics of your creations, i'd LOVE to see them!!


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  2. I wouldn't put those in my ears if you had painted on them, it's really really not good for your ears plus the clay will actually dry out your ears.