Arte Es Vida


Earrings From The Toybox by arteesvida
December 11, 2006, 1:01 am
Filed under: Non-Traditional Jewelry

My children have learned by now that nothing is safe if they leave it out in my line of sight.  Not because I am one of those tough moms that will throw away anything I trip over, but because I am one of those crazy moms that will turn just about anything in to a piece of jewelry!  Just about anything wooden or plastic can be drilled, and some metal pieces (such as Monopoly pieces) can be attached with split rings or wire wrapped and used, too.  This is a great way to use up odds and ends of board games that are missing stuff so they are no longer playable rather than throwing everything away!  (You can also use the boards themselves to make cute wall shelves!)

 

 

 

 

Basic Supplies:

Toy box odds and ends

·           small doll shoes (Barbie shoes work great)

·           game pieces (scrabble tiles, dice, mah-jongg tiles, checkers, small dominoes, etc.)

·           legos (and lego people)

·           small puzzle pieces (wood or heavy cardboard)

·           small plastic animals (the little dollar store farm sets work well)

·           jacks (plastic or metal)

·           board game tokens and figurines

Split rings

Earring fish hooks

You may also need one or more of the following:

A drill or rotary tool (I used a cordless dremel) with bits appropriate for the item you are drilling (A diamond core drill bit works well on just about everything. There are also special drill bits for glass and metal.)
 

Craft wire for wrapping (as an alternative for drilling)

A large sewing needle (for thinner plastic pieces)

Jewelry Grade Adhesive

Dirctions:

Anything light enough can be dangled as an earring.  The problem you will encounter most often is HOW to attach a split ring so you can dangle it.  In some cases you will get lucky and the toy will already have a loop or a hole at the top ready to go, but most of the time you will have to create your own loop.  The two easiest ways to do this are:

  • Wire wrap the whole piece and create a loop at the top.  This won’t require any special equipment but it will partially cover the piece you are wrapping which may make it lose some of the funky effect.
  • Drill a hole in the top and either loop the split ring through the hole, or set an eye pin in the hole and loop the split ring through the eye pin.  The Lego and doll shoe earrings were done the first way, the scrabble tile earrings were done the second way.

A drill or rotary tool works very well for most of these projects.  You may have trouble with it melting the plastic items as it drills through and glomming up your drill bit with the plastic.  You may need to experiment a bit on scrap pieces.

Another option for the thinner plastic pieces is to use a large sewing needle.  First heat the tip of the needle with a candle or lighter until the tip turns bright red, then quickly puncture the needle through the plastic.  You can get a clean neat hole fairly quickly that way.

For pieces such as the scrabble tiles where you don’t want to drill front to back, thus ruining the letters, you can drill down about 1/8th of an inch with a small drill bit.  Then you trim an eye pin to a length that matches the hole you drilled, dab some glue on the end of it, and set it into your drilled hole.  This will create a charm loop on the top that you can attach your split ring too.

Once you have created a way to attach your split ring, you are almost done…just run the split ring through your toy and then through your earring fish hook and close it securely!

These can make unique, inexpensive presents!


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