Tuesday, 15 March 2016

How To Alter Clip-on Earrings into Pierced Earrings

I love vintage earrings! 1950s clip-ons in particular, often catch my eye!
They are large, brightly coloured, statement pieces, But there is no way I could get through an entire evening wearing them. I have come to the conclusion that they are torture devices!!!! 

For this reason, I have been experimenting with converting clip-on earrings into pierced earrings. 


Clip on earrings
Epoxy resin 
Earring posts
Scrap of card
Skewer or toothpick
Heamostat or tweezers
Metal file

On most vintage clip on earrings I have bought, the clip is simply glued on and can be snapped off easily by pulling it sharply away from the base. This pair however is slightly different because the clip is part of the earring back and can't be pulled off.

On this pair it was necessary to cut the clip off using strong scissors, as close to the base as possible. It wasn't difficult, the metal is quite soft and relatively thin.

Once the clip is removed, you are left with a flat backing.
If the cut edge is sharp, or any glue from the original clip remains, a file can be used to gently smooth down the surface.

I used an ordinary metal nail file.

Smoothing over the sharp edge until it is no longer sharp.
I also roughed up the surface of the earring back to give the resin a better surface to grip, this only needs to be done gently.

Once your earring backs are free of any glue or sharp edges you can begin adding the earring posts to the back.
At this point I want to mention that your earring needs to be clean on the surface to get a strong bond using epoxy resin. It won't stick to a dirty or greasy surface so give it a quick wipe over.

I got this epoxy resin on amazon and it is extremely easy to use!

Squeeze equal amounts of both tubes, on to a surface that can be discarded after use.
(I tend to use a scrap of cardboard packaging or an empty cereal box)

Use a skewer or toothpick to mix the two ingredients together.
You can hear a very quiet snapping/cracking noise, that is just the two compounds combining.

Using the skewer, dab a little epoxy resin to the earring post. A little goes a long way. I always tend to use too much, a small dab is plenty.

And gently lay the post on the earring back.
The earrings needs to be kept straight or it will slide off before it has a chance to stick in place.

After 5 minutes or so the resin is dry and won't slip about. The cardboard scrap and skewer can just be thrown away.

After about an hour, the resin is fully dry and strong.

When working with an epoxy resin, you need to work with small amounts at a time because it dries pretty fast. If I wanted to bond a few items, I would only do three or four and wait for them to dry before starting a fresh with a new disposable surface and skewer and mixing together some more resin to work with. 
Once the resin is semi set, it won't bond the two surfaces together and you can feel when it is semi set because it suddenly goes from easily spreading to a little bit stiffer and doesn't want to come off the skewer. It doesn't set slowly, it is completely workable for between 5-10 minutes and then it suddenly becomes unworkable and dries in seconds.

I have acquired some beautiful clip on earrings recently and have converted them all to wearable pierced earrings.
They now sit happily in my earring tree, and are being worn regularly!



P.S. Thank you Uncle Peter for helping me with a manly task (...well as manly as crafting gets)


  1. Very cool tutorial. Thank you for guiding us through the steps that you take to turn clip-ons into post earrings. You instructions were crystal clear and the end results here could be any prettier. Three cheers on now being able to enjoy so many more pairs of earrings that call your name.

    Big hugs & many sincere thanks for all of your fantastic recent blog comments,
    ♥ Jessica

  2. This is such a clever tip! I have a couple of pairs of clip on earrings that I never wear because ow, and this seems like the perfect solution. Thank you so much for sharing! I will have to give this a try very soon.

  3. Very clever! I am the other way around - I don't have pierced ears! x

  4. This is super clever!!! I have so many clip on earrings that I love but I really think wearing clip ons can be a little painful sometimes. The backings can be way too tight! I think I'm going to use this tutorial. Very helpful! xx Belle

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