I was Skyping with my parents this morning and my dad was telling me that they have had an exceptionally warm September, with temperatures in the 70s almost every day (this is in Wisconsin). But no matter how warm the temperatures are now, they will soon start to plummet and the leaves will start turning gorgeous colors!
In honor of colored leaves, I am sharing with you a tutorial for making these cute leaf earrings. They can be made in fall colors, or any colors you want to match your outfit.
Materials (for 1 pair of earrings)
- 14 strips of paper, each 3 inches long. You may want to use longer pieces of paper if you are using a larger diameter tool. I use paper that is 1/8″ (3mm) wide. You can use any width paper you like, you may have to adjust the size of your jump rings accordingly.
- 2 strips of paper, approximately 12″ long each (for the border). Use the same width as you did for the pieces above.
- Aluminum handle quilling tool or another small diameter item like a narrow pen, etc.
- craft glue – I love PPA (at Custom Quilling or on Amazon)
- sealant and topcoat (optional – to make your earrings sturdy and water resistant. For these I used Ceramcoat sealer as a base, and 3D Crystal Lacquer as the shiny topcoat on top)
- earwires and jump rings (I use a 5mm diameter jump ring to attach to the earring design and then a 3-4mm jump ring to attach that to the earring hook).
- Take a strip of paper and wrap the end around the end of your aluminum tool (or any other object you are using instead. The diameter of the end of my tool is 3/16″ or 4.5mm). Place a tiny tab of glue at the end of your paper.
- Hold the end with the dab of glue and make sure it tucks under the strip as you start rolling. Roll the strip of paper around the tool.
- Once you come to the end of the strip place another dab of glue at the end and glue it tightly. Carefully twist the bead off of the tool without squishing it.
- Repeat with all of your small strips so that you have 14 circles. Pinch one side of them so they turn into teardrop shapes. Then assemble them as below by first gluing three in a row, then adding on two side ones, and the last two side ones, for a total of 7 pieces per earring. (Pardon the out of focus last photo here, I was taking the photos for this tutorial while my 3 year old was investigating the tripod as if it were her job (in fact, she was saying it WAS her job). I didn’t notice it was out of focus until I loaded it onto the computer.) Make sure your design is FULLY dry before continuing to the next step of wrapping or else it will fall apart when you try to wrap it. Not fun!
- The design doesn’t look much like a leaf yet, but it will after you wrap it. Take your 12″ strip of paper and glue it to one end of the tip. Let that dry for several seconds before continuing. Hold the design by the tip now and dab glue onto all the edges. Wrap the paper all the way around snugly and adjust the shape if necessary. Again dab glue on the border all the way around before wrapping the second layer. You can wrap as many times as you’d like – I usually do 3-4 layers for this style of earring.
- After you have finished wrapping, your design will look like this:
- You can now leave them as they are and turn them into earrings, or you can add some sealer and topcoat to make them sturdy and water resistant. I almost always use a liquid sealer first which soaks into the paper and makes it stiff. Here I am using Ceramcoat All Purpose Sealer (see my full review with tips here) for the liquid sealer. I pour a bit into an empty cap, use a tweezers to dip it in and swish it around, making sure it is fully coated, and then use the tweezers to pick it up. I use the paintbrush to help get rid of some of the excess sealer on it and then set the piece on a tissue to soak up the rest of the excess sealer. I let it sit on the tissue for just a few seconds (any longer and the tissue will stick to it!) and then set it on a plastic surface to dry.
- After the sealer is dry, I add on the jump rings and earwires (you can add them to the pointy side or the curved side, your choice!), brush on some topcoat, and then hang it to dry. For this pair I used 3D Crystal Lacquer. I just squeezed some onto the earring and used a very small paintbrush to make sure all the surfaces and inside the teardrops was coated. Some other topcoats that work really well are Diamond Glaze (see my review with tips here) and PPA (see my post about it here). Click here to see all of my posts about sealants and topcoats. Why use a topcoat on top of the sealer? This type of sealer is made to soak into the paper (or other porous surface) to prepare it for painting or other projects. So it is not made to be long lasting when exposed, or very water resistant. You will get longer lasting jewelry if you put a topcoat over the sealer. So why use the sealer? It is the only way to get your jewelry to be EXTRA sturdy and stiff. It really does that job well!
- So now you are finished! Here is a finished photo showing the smallish size of these cuties:
And some more finished photos of these and the same design in other colors:
These brown and gold leaves were the first earrings I made with this design, and still my favorite color combo so far! You might notice that this pair is more round compared to the two above, meaning the wrap paper in the above pairs kind of molds to the teardrop shapes, while in the gold and brown pair it doesn’t. This is because the brown paper is a bit heavier/thicker than the other papers, so it stays in a more sturdy round shape rather than conforming to the teardrops. You find you get different effects with heavier vs. thinner paper.
Here is a nice spring green pair – probably more for spring rather than autumn! I used green mica paint on the edge for an extra pizzazz. Click here to see how to use mica paint on your paper quilling.
I hope you enjoy the tutorial and find it helpful! If you like it, please share it on Pinterest and Facebook! Feel free to leave any comments or questions, and stick around to view some more great pages here!
- Click here to view more free paper quilling tutorials!
- Click here to view paper quilling tips and tricks!
- Click here to view a list of places to buy quilling supplies around the world!
- Click here to view some of my own quilling projects, with tips so you can make your own if you’d like!
*All products and supplies mentioned in this post I purchased and/or made on my own.
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