Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Outsource your jewelry box!

Hi! Do you think these are interesting?

Or these?

How about:

Or even:

If you like the look of hand-coiled wire earrings, but don't wanna coil them yourself, you can outsource the job. Seriously, it's super easy.

Here's what you do.

Wait for it...




Go to Staples. Buy a box of these:

How easy was that?

There are lots of fancy-shaped paper clips available; I plan to try this experiment with others as I find them. But it was the antique-gold finish of these, and the elegant swirls, that really grabbed me. The box cost $2.99.

To make a pair of earrings, you'll need minimal supplies. As in, 2 paper clips and 2 earwires.

For some designs you'll need a pair of pliers, just to open and close the earring finding. But for many,
you won't need any tools at all. You can just thread the earring loop onto one of the paperclip ends, and follow the shape around until the earwire is centered at the top.

I find it's best to start them all with this move:

I just flipped up the 'u'-shaped paperclip part, so it ends up being above the musical note. Then I uncrossed the wires of the musical note, so there are two swirls side-by-side. Like this:

You can simply thread on your earwires and wear them like that -

Kinda cute? That's a two-second earring. Can't be bad!

From that starting point, I just experimented and twisted and wiggled them into all kinds of fun shapes. I wrapped parts of the wires around a pencil to make some extra loops and curves. You can add a bead or two for variety.

But really, I think the wirework is the real focus. Oh, man, I looove these paperclips!

Wait til you see what else I'm going to do with them.


  1. Second picture from top- I WANT THOSE! And I want a necklace to go with them, thank you very much. ;)
    Seriously, you rock!

  2. Now I finally have something to do with those owl-type paperclips I love so much!

  3. OK, seriously, Michelle, do you just search for these things?! I LOVE the musical paper clips (I'm a piano teacher) and I love beading. What a great, quick, darling project. Thanks!

  4. Wow. What a great idea. Where do you come up with these ideas?

  5. you must write book on jewelry.your thinking is so good.

  6. Hmm...I'm starting to think outsourcing isn't all that bad! Seriously--would have NEVER thought to use paperclips!! I'm in awe of your creativity!

  7. Seriously, those are awesome.

  8. Loving the way your creative mind works! These are very clever and cute. Thanks for showing them off!

  9. Way cute! Who knew there were such cute paperclips out there?

  10. So clever and creative! These look fabulous! Fantastic job and gorgeous designs. Thanks so much for joining The Sunday Showcase Party. I greatly appreciate it! Hope you are enjoying your week! ~ Stephanie Lynn

  11. Decent! I used to work at a Staples and have since avoided it...If they still have them I may go in...LOL!