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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fabric Button Earrings Tutorial

I was originally planning on sharing a T-shirt remake with you today.  I got it all finished, and it looked cute.
And then I put it on.  It was like the puffy pirate shirt....only...puffier.  I could not in good conscience tell my readers..."Hey!  You should totally make this shirt!"  So I've been kinda scrambling, trying to come up with something new to show you.  And then it dawned on me.  Why not share an old favorite technique that you've never blogged before?
I love jewelry, and earrings are my favorite kind.  I wash my hands a million times a day as a stay at home mommy of two little ones, so rings are out.  Bracelets also just get in the way (how life changes, as a carefree kid-less gal, I was addicted to bracelets).  Necklaces just get yanked on.  So do earrings quite often, I have to admit, but they are easier to protect from little hands!  Which makes them my go-to accessory.  I don't quite feel complete without them.
Which brings me to today's tutorial:
how to make fabric covered button earrings.
Okay, first you need the necessary tools.  Head over to JoAnn with a coupon, and pick up one of these in the smallest size (I think it is 5/8 an inch).
Cut out the button pattern circle from the packaging,
and use it to cut out two circles of the desired fabric.
Next, place one of the fabric circles on the white rubber thingie :), roughly centered.  Then place one of the metal button forms on top, roughly centered.
Push it down into the center of the white rubber thingie, trying to keep the excess fabric even around the edges.  It may take a few tries to get it right.
Next, use your fingernail to tuck the fabric down into the center of the button form.  Try to smooth out any wrinkles along the edges as you do this.
Then take the button back, and remove the loop (I use my regular jewelry pliers to do this).
Then place the button back in the center of the button form, and put the blue plastic thingie on top.
Using one hand to hold in place, take your other thumb and press down evenly and firmly on the blue plastic thingie.  This pushes the button back down into place.
It should secure all the loose ends BENEATH the button back.  If it doesn't, you can give it another try.  Just take a paper piercer (don't use your seam ripper just because you have it on hand and you're too lazy to go find the paper piercer...that will mean you have to go buy a new seam ripper like me) and stick it in one of the holes of the button back and gently wedge it out.  Then go again.
Once you have the button back properly in place, pop it out of the white rubber thingie.
Time to attach an earring post.  I buy my posts and nuts from Blick Art Materials.  You'll want to use the 8 mm posts for this.
Get out some E-6000,
and get a wee little dollop of it on a toothpick, and spread it over the back of your earring post. 
Place it into your button form, centered on the button back as much as possible.  It's likely it won't lie perfectly flush, as the button back may not be perfectly flat.  Don't worry about it, the E-6000 with adhere it anyway.
Now, place your earrings somewhere WAY out of reach, and DO NOT touch them for 48 to 72 hours, while our beloved E-6000 cures.
Once it's done curing, you have yourself a lovely set of new earrings!
What I love about this project is that it requires literally scraps of materials.  Or, for example, you can take the ugliest fabric known to man,
and make some pretty awesome earrings out of it.
Endless possibilities here.
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