How to Make Beautiful Earrings from Paper | Alison Kolesar | Skillshare

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How to Make Beautiful Earrings from Paper

teacher avatar Alison Kolesar, Artist and Illustrator

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Materials: Here's What You'll Need


    • 3.

      Getting Started


    • 4.

      Adding Color


    • 5.

      Adding the Wire


    • 6.

      Last Steps


    • 7.

      Ideas and Variations


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About This Class

In this class I'll show you how to make fun, colorful earrings for yourself or your friends with materials you probably already have at home. Paper earrings may sound like they'd be too delicate to last, but I've been making them this way for years and they're actually strong and durable.


Meet Your Teacher

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Alison Kolesar

Artist and Illustrator


I've worked as an artist and illustrator for many years although my academic training was in history and art history. I've illustrated over a 100 books, mostly how-tos on crafts and gardening. I also love to paint in watercolor and create collages as well as making papier mache birds, painting rocks, and creating paper jewelry. You can see some of my work at my Etsy store, Alisonsart as well as my website

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Alison Cola. Sorry, I'm an artist and illustrator. I enjoy working in all kinds of different media and making things with my hands as well as painting and drawing. In this video, I'm gonna show you how to make unique colorful paper earrings. Paper earrings may sound like they'd be too delicate to last, but I've been making them this way for years and they're actually strong and durable, though I wouldn't recommend wearing them in the shower. One of the beauties of paper hearings is that they're very light If you don't like to wear big earrings because you don't like feeling way down than these air for you, the possible variations are endless. You could make a pair to match your favorite outfit or a necklace that you love. You could make it for yourself or as gifts for your friends and family. Once you have a few basic supplies, which are not very expensive, oil need will be a little time and your design imagination There will also be giving you a few ideas along the way. Your project will be to make your own pair of paper earrings 2. Materials: Here's What You'll Need: a word about materials. The paper I use is 100% rag watercolor paper. That means it's really made of cotton that would like most paper. You could use ordinary cardboard, but it wouldn't last a swell Wood fibers are acidic and overtime regular cardboard will discolor and yellow anything glued to it. And you don't want to risk that with your beautiful creations. Watercolour paper comes in different thicknesses. I used this £300 paper, the really stiff stuff for the front of my earrings, and the £180 pay for a median wait for the backs. You could also use all medium weight, paper and glue a couple of pieces together for the fronts. When it comes to any tiny little pieces of paper that I might want to collage on top, I tend to just use whatever I have to hand. I most often use watercolor paints to provide color, but that's really up to you. You'll get stronger colors if you use acrylics Hogwash. But watercolor can have lovely effects. If you let the different colors run into each other, you can also build your watercolor up in layers to deepen the colors, and then sometimes the starting point for me is a painting that didn't work out, and I'm happy to cut up. Using markers is also a possibility, but it's important to know how they're going to react. When you put the varnish on top of the end, test your markers by drawing with them on scrap paper and then paintings of varnish over them to see what happens. But I found the colored sharpies tend to change color and that flare pens run. In this video, I'm going to be using a micron pen, which seems to work just fine. Other things you will need are wire that's thick enough to hold its shape, but not so thick that it's hard to manipulate. Why are cutters, scissors, a small pair of needle nose pliers and another pair of regular players? Some ordinary white glue hearing findings? You can get these at any craft store or most big department stores, and lastly, water based varnish you might also want to for some of your designs include some little glass beads because they'll catch the light and provide a sparkle that your paper calm provide just by itself. 3. Getting Started: So let's get started. Your first decision is going to be the shape of your ear rings. They can be square like these, or rectangular over teardrop round. No. Call this shape. They couldn't be representational like a fish. Are these little birds We're heart or even a butterfly? And it's also possible to join two shapes together in a nearing like this. I'll talk about that later, probably for your first effort. It will be better to choose a simple shape. Complicated shapes can be difficult to make sure that the fax and the front match really well together. So for now, what I'm going to work on is this. It's a sort of triangle with a rounded edge. Move these out of the way I added the colored paper so that you'll be able to see more clearly what I'm doing. So this is the shape I'm going to be using a little triangle with around its side. I don't know if you can see, but one side is smoother than the other, and it's the smooth side that I want to be the outside of my earrings. When I've caught one. I will usually use it as a template to cut the 2nd 1 just to make sure that they're the same size. I was actually the backing paper. So here's another one for the second front. This is the stiffer paper for the front. So one front one back. And here comes the second back. The backing paper also has a smooth side and a rough side. And again, you want the smooth side to be the one that faces out once you put them together. So here we have second front on second back. 4. Adding Color: color. Here's where the decisions you make really start to make your earrings unique. I sometimes draw or paint directly onto my earing front or appended base color and then collage other papers on top. Think about how colors work with each other. I'm gonna show you one design where I use a lot of similar colors together all blues and greens. But it could be fun to use really different colors to let an orange pop against a blue background, for example. I speeded the next bit up, but you'll see that I draw my design on both fronts, and then I start painting, working on both earrings at one. Since I won't look to match, I avoid painting bits right next to each other to let sections dry so the colors weren't bleed into each other. Once the fronts are done, I paint the back pieces and noticed that I color around the edges a bit, too, just to make sure that no white paper ends up showing 5. Adding the Wire: next comes adding the wire. Here's where are painting project becomes more like structural engineering. Cut a piece of wire that's going to be a little less than twice the height of your hearing . Then taking your needle nose pliers, wrap the wire around one. Conserve the needle nose pair and then clamp the wire underneath with the other pair. Then, without disturbing the loop, gently pull the ends out. Mine is going to be a fraction long, so I'm gonna treatment. Then spread some glue over the inside of their back. Peace. It's right it all the way at and then lay the wire onto the back with the loop protruding out at the top and then gently placed the front over it and hold the little sandwich together until the glue dries. You'll have a short amount of time to adjust the positioning of the wire. Make sure that the edges earl Nikkel e fitting with each other, and there you are, hearing front with the little loop sticking out 6. Last Steps: Once your glue is dry, take your hearing finding and with your pliers, gently pull open the loop on the bottom, then slit the loop on your hearing over that, making sure, but the front is going to be hanging the right way round when it's in your ear. Then squeeze the Lupin. The finding closed. To protect your hearing, paint a thin layer of varnish over it. I tend to paint both back in front and sides at the same time and then hang it somewhere where the varnish won't touch anything. But you could also decide to paint before and to let it dry and then come back and paint the back rather than doing one thick coat. It's better to do too thin ones, because too much varnish will tend to pool towards the bottom and make a ridge. 7. Ideas and Variations: If you'd like to add a bead to your hearing, one place would be at the top, and in that case simply slide the beads onto the wire. After you've created the loop and before you splay the ends, open a bead at the bottom of the hearing. One like this needs a slightly different process. You'll need to make a second loop at the bottom of the hearing that will hold the bead so you have the loop at the top and then a loop at the bottom. The ends of the war inside the hearing will no longer be symmetrical, but just make sure that you have enough of the wire caught between layers of paper that it won't pull out. If you want to make a hearing with two parts like this, the process is basically the same. It's just with one part. You will make your loop at the top, leave space for the top piece of paper, put on the bead and splay the ends of the wire out below the bead to catch the second part . I like to paint my designs myself, but you could also glue origami papers on tough of the basic structure. Or you could use a mix of papers that you found and that you created yourself. I still recommend painting the sides, though, as leaving them white makes the hearing look unfinished. Now it may have occurred to you that this method doesn't have to be confined to hearings. You could just as easily used them to create pendants for a necklace. Here's one that I've made. The only thing that's really different is that in order for your element to sit flat around your neck, you want to twist the wire loop at the top around by 90 degrees. So now you know how it's done. Let your imagination go wild. The sky's the limit. Have fun and please post pictures of your own paper hearings so that we can all enjoy them .