How to Make Recycled Plastic & Gem Statement Earrings

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Recycling is a creative way to repurpose and reuse items that might otherwise go into the trash. This approach is perfect for jewelry making, especially if you love budget-friendly materials. For a stylishly eco-conscious project, try making these recycled plastic and gem statement earrings. Made with a plastic container that once held blueberries, these earrings incorporate plastic in the most useful way. After all, every little bit counts when it comes to recycling. These earrings are a great way to show Mother Nature a little extra love -- on Earth Day and beyond.

Use clear plastic food packaging as a base for your next set of earrings.
(How to Make Recycled Plastic and Gem Statement Earrings)
  • Plastic fruit or vegetable packaging
  • 16-gauge flat wire
  • Strong craft or jewelry glue
  • Scissors
  • Flat-back rectangle gems (2)
  • Blank earring posts (2)
  • 4mm flat-back round gems
Clean the plastic packaging before you repurpose it for your DIY project.
How to Make Recycled Plastic and Gem Statement Earrings

Cut a plastic square measuring 2 x 2 inches. This size provides enough working space.

Don't forget to wipe off dust particles and lint from the plastic square.
How to Make Recycled Plastic and Gem Statement Earrings

Glue the rectangle gems to the plastic, followed by 4mm round gems around each one. Leave them to dry overnight.

Note: The total quantity of 4mm gems depends on the size of the rectangle gems.

Glue the gems of your choice to the plastic backing.
How to Make Recycled Plastic and Gem Statement Earrings

Cut around each set of gems. Trim the plastic in large snips to ensure even edges.

Trim the plastic to size.
How to Make Recycled Plastic and Gem Statement Earrings

Trim the plastic so that both pieces look similar in shape and size.

Compare the pieces to make sure they look alike.
How to Make Recycled Plastic and Gem Statement Earrings

Cut three strands of flat wire, measuring 1/2 inch each.

Keep the wire straight and flat.
How to Make Recycled Plastic and Gem Statement Earrings

Turn the first plastic and gem piece over. Glue one wire strand to the center of the back side and use it as a guide for placing the other two wires.

Use the middle wire as a guide for the remaining strands.
How to Make Recycled Plastic and Gem Statement Earrings

Glue the remaining strands of wire to each side of the middle strand. To create a "fanned" look, glue the two wire strands at an angle.

Wire makes for a great accent material.
How to Make Recycled Plastic and Gem Statement Earrings

Glue an earring post directly above the wire.

Adhere the earring post under the edge of the plastic.
How to Make Recycled Plastic and Gem Statement Earrings

To complete the earrings, repeat Steps 6-8 with the second plastic and gem piece. Leave them to dry overnight.

Let the glue dry completely before you wear the earrings.
How to Make Recycled Plastic and Gem Statement Earrings

Once you finish the first set of earrings, you can use the leftover plastic packaging to create additional pairs (or to make a statement necklace). Because this project requires very little plastic, you can make several pairs with just one plastic container. Try experimenting with gems in different colors and shapes for a look that's all your own.

Use different types of gems and wire for one-of-a-kind combinations.
How to Make Recycled Plastic and Gem Statement Earrings
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