How to Make Clip-On Earrings

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Just because a person can't wear, or for various reasons, chooses to take a hiatus from pierced earrings, doesn't mean she can't wear stylish dangling and post earrings. Create clip-on earrings in a variety of shapes, colors and finishes to suit your taste, budget and style. All you need are a few jewelry-making tools to convert pierced earrings or to create a one-of-a-kind pair of clip-on earrings.

Understanding Clip-On Earring Findings

An earring finding is the part of the earring that attaches to your ear. For pierced earrings, the finding includes the post or the hook that goes through your earlobe. Clip on earring findings consist of a clip that holds the decorative part of the earring to your earlobe. Don't get overwhelmed by the variety of available clip-on findings. Examine the earrings you wish to convert to determine the metal finish and style.

  • Metal finish options include gold, silver, copper, brass, black and rhodium, among others.  
  • For attaching the earring to your ear, choose from two options. Lever-back findings have a clip that snaps onto your earlobe. Screw-back findings have a screw that you tighten and loosen when putting on and removing the earring. 
  • Clip-on findings for dangling earrings have an attached loop for hanging earring decorations. 
  • Clip-on findings for post-style earrings have a pad onto which the decorative part of the earring is glued. Measure the gem, cluster of gems or charm you wish to attach. Choose a finding with an appropriately-sized pad for gluing.
  • Some clip-on earring findings have decorative elements already attached, such as metal swirls or balls.

Convert Post Earrings

Things You'll Need

  • Pierced post earrings
  • Flush cutter jewelry pliers
  • Nail file
  • Clip-on earrings with pad for gluing
  • Industrial-strength craft adhesive for bonding metal

Tip

  • Choose clip-on fittings that both match the metal finish of your earrings and offer an appropriately sized pad for gluing.

Step 1

Snip off the post from the back of the earrings with the flush cutter pliers.

Tip

  • Put the cutters as close as possible to where the post meets the earring.

Step 2

File until smooth the back of the earrings where the posts were attached.

Step 3

Dab glue on the glue pad of one of the earring findings.

Step 4

Center the earring finding onto the back of the earring where the post used to be.

Step 5

Repeat with the other earring.

Step 6

Allow the glue to dry according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Convert Dangling Earrings

Things You'll Need

  • Round-nose jewelry pliers
  • Flat-nose jewelry pliers
  • Clip-on earring findings with loop for attaching decorations
  • 2 open jump rings, 3-mm or 4-mm

Tip

  • Choose jump rings and earring findings that match the metal finish of the earrings you are converting.

Step 1

Remove the decorative part of the earring from the earring finding. This process may be slightly different for each pair of earrings because of the wide variety of dangling earring styles. However, the basic idea is to use round-nose pliers to open the jump ring or hook that holds the decorative part of the earring to the finding so that you can remove it.

Step 2

Attach a new jump ring to the decorative part of the earring. Open the jump ring slightly with the round-nose pliers and attach it to the earring decoration.

Step 3

Insert the end of the open jump ring into the loop on the clip-on earring finding. Pinch the jump ring closed tightly with the flat-nose pliers.

Step 4

Repeat for the other earring.

Create Original Clip-On Earrings

To make one-of-a-kind clip-on earrings, attach your original creations to clip-on earring findings.

  • Use flush cutters to cut the shanks off of a pair of matching vintage buttons, and glue the buttons to the glue pad of a pair of clip-on earring findings.  
  • Glue a cluster of jewels or crystals to a clip-on earring finding.
  • Arrange beads, crystals or charms to make your own original dangling earrings; using jump rings, attach to clip-on earring findings. 

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