Fabric Scrap-Busting Series: Statement Earrings
It's been a little while since the last post in our scrap-busting series so we're excited to be sharing this post today! These statement earrings not only vacuum up fabric scraps, but they also make use of all of those buttons you've collected over the years that are currently languishing in a jar or drawer somewhere.
We're constantly writing down ideas for this series, and when we saw these earrings that were recently released as part of Rachel Comey's Fall 2019 collection we were inspired to make our own variation. While the fabric pieces you use can be any width or length, we chose to cut out mostly rectangular pieces.
We don't see any drawbacks to using angled or amorphous pieces, and it actually may lead to less waste fabric waste! Depending on the length of the fabric pieces you end up using, you can tie your fabric into cascading knots, braids, or even bows. In addition to leaving a lot of room for creativity, these earrings come together so quickly!
After batch finishing the edges of your fabric pieces you can easily assemble a couple sets of earrings in a single 2-3 hour window, if not quicker. Perfect for a rainy day, weekend, or a few hours in front of your favorite television show.
To get started you'll need shank buttons (regular can work too - we aren't showing that method, but do reference how to make it work in the instructions below), rectangular pieces of fabric, thread, scissors, needle nose pliers, and kidney ear wires.
Once you have everything assembled, cut your fabric into rectangles. The strip shown above is 1.5" wide by 10" long (3.81 x 25.4 cm). As noted above, you can also use different dimensions. Longer strips will allow you to tie knots or bows, and wider strips will provide more volume. Finish all edges of your fabric.
We used a rolled hem on our serger to do this. You'll want to reference the stitch setting or stitch overview section of your machines' instruction manual to determine a starting point for stitch settings. If you don't have a serger you can finish the edges using a rolled hem or by turning and stitching.
Below we're showing you two ways of attaching the fabric and button to the kidney ear wire, but first we wanted to show you how we're using the kidney ear wire. It can be hard to see clearly once the fabric and button are attached. Once your fabric is prepared and you have your button picked out you'll be sliding them on to these ear wires.
You can simply leave the ear wire as is, which will result in a dangly earring. You can also adjust the size of the loop with needle nose pliers to make the earring hang higher or lower. If the buttons you're using are bulky you may want to reform the ear wire loop entirely.
Unclasp your ear wire loop. Then using a pair of needle nose pliers fold the hooked edge up and around to form a new loop. You may need to adjust the size of your loop so that there is enough room for your button and fabric. You can also use a pair of needle nose pliers to coil the end of the hook around the wire to create a more secure finish.
Mark the center of your rectangle with a pin. Using the pin as an anchor, tie a knot.
Remove the pin, and then insert your ear wire.
Slide your button onto your ear wire.
Once everything is in place use a pair of needle nose pliers or your hands to fold the ear wire up into a loop. Hook the wire closed above the fabric and button in order to anchor everything in place. For added security you can coil the end of the hook tightly around the wire.
Adjust the wire as needed so it sits comfortably, and then repeat for the other earring.
Find the center of the length of your fabric. Thread your needle, and anchor your thread at your finished edge.
Wrap your thread around your fabric, causing it to cinch together, a few times.
Slide your button down your thread until it meets your fabric. If you're using a regular button here you would simply attach the fabric piece to the button through the button holes.
Insert your ear wire through the button shank or attached button, and then wrap the wire back up and around the fabric and button. Hook in place or coil the edge of the wire closed.
Repeat the previous steps for your subsequent earrings!
We had so much fun making these earrings, and we're hoping you do as well. In addition to being earrings we also think these could be attached to a safety pin to be pinned on jackets, sweaters, or bags! If you try this tutorial out let us know how your earrings turn out below.