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Cost
$ $ $ $ $
Difficulty
• • • •
Time
30 mins

These earrings are not all they appear. They are made from paper beads encased in electrician’s heat shrinkable plastic tubing!
These beads look like porcelain but they are actually rolled paper encased in shrunk plastic tubing. There are lots of opportunities to use non-jewelry making components in your designs - you just have to use your imagination.
You can buy bead rollers from Cbar5Creations on Etsy and electrician's tubing on Ebay.

Posted by Helen Bowen from Worcester, England, United Kingdom • Published See Helen Bowen's 7 projects »
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  • How to make a set of paper earrings. Deceptive Drops - Step 1
    Step 1

    Gather your supplies. In addition to the items shown, you will need your camera, a printer, some glue, jewelry pliers and a bead reamer or similar pointy object.

  • How to make a set of paper earrings. Deceptive Drops - Step 2
    Step 2

    If you've completed one of my other projects (Time for Tea, Temple Tassel or Polymer Porcelain project), you can use the same willow pattern plate photograph. If not, you’ll need to take one! If it’s a very large plate, a section will suffice. Use a high quality setting on your camera and ensure good lighting. Print it out so the pattern is the same size as the pattern on the plate. You are going to need a patterned paper piece that extends to 5” (15cm) wide by at least 6” (18cm) long. An inkjet or laser printed image is fine for this project. Cut a rectangle of patterned paper that is 5 inches wide by at least 6 inches long. I managed a 5” (15cm) by 8.5” (25cm) rectangle from my image.

  • How to make a set of paper earrings. Deceptive Drops - Step 3
    Step 3

    Cut the paper into strips, around 1 inch wide and 5 inches long. My metal ruler was just the right width for this! Cut six strips in total. This is enough to make two beads for this project and four more for my Temple Tassel project or another project of your own design.

  • How to make a set of paper earrings. Deceptive Drops - Step 4
    Step 4

    The visible pattern on the finished beads will be the pattern at the end inch of the paper strip. The rest of the paper will be hidden. Choose two paper strips that have similar pattern density at the end (you want the earrings to match-ish!).

  • How to make a set of paper earrings. Deceptive Drops - Step 5
    Step 5

    Apply a small amount of glue to one end of a paper strip (the end that will be visible on the bead). Slide the other end of the paper strip into the groove on the bead roller and begin rolling, slowly and steadily, keeping the bead uniform. Press the gluey end down firmly and leave to dry for a minute or two.

  • How to make a set of paper earrings. Deceptive Drops - Step 6
    Step 6

    Slide the paper bead off the bead roller and push inside the end of the electrician’s tubing so it overlaps the end by a whisker, no more. Cut the tube to the right length with a tiny overlap at the other end of the bead.

  • How to make a set of paper earrings. Deceptive Drops - Step 7
    Step 7

    Slide the bead onto a bead reamer, or similar pointed object, then heat with the heat tool. Within seconds the tubing will shrink around the paper bead. Turn the bead to ensure the shrink is even and pay particular attention to the ends.

  • How to make a set of paper earrings. Deceptive Drops - Step 8
    Step 8

    Now thread a spacer bead, bead cap, paper bead and another bead cap onto a headpin.

  • How to make a set of paper earrings. Deceptive Drops - Step 9
    Step 9

    Turn a wrapped loop above to secure them. Attach to an ear wire of your choice and repeat in full for a second earring.

  • How to make a set of paper earrings. Deceptive Drops - Step 10
    Step 10

    Make four more beads with the remaining paper strips from step 3!

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