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Beauty & Fashion

DIY: Origami Pinwheel Earrings

Making your own earrings probably sounds a little difficult, right? But while there are plenty of super-challenging ways to make jewelry, there are also more simple DIYs out there. We wanted to find something you could do yourself that goes beyond simple hand-assembled jewelry (think: adding charms to wire), and we believe we’ve uncovered the perfect project!

These origami pinwheel earrings likely look difficult to construct, but are actually quite simple! This is a great craft to tackle with girlfriends while you hang out at your next sleepover. Just think—everyone can leave with great memories AND a fun parting gift!



Materials and supplies:
Scrap paper (these are gum wrappers!)
Scissors or crafting knife
Flat nose pliers
Small paintbrush
20-gauge wire (.925 sterling, 24 ct gold or low-allergy brass)**
Wire cutters
Chasing hammer and metal surface
Round nose pliers

*You could use Mod Podge as a sealant, but if you want your jewelry to last through the years, you’ll want something hardier. Try this versatile VOC-free sealer from Earth Safe Finishes.

**Rio Grande has recycled sterling silver and Hoover & Strong has recycled gold for sale.


  1. You’ll begin by making tiny origami pinwheels. You’ll need flat nose pliers to make ’em this small! Starting with squares of paper about 1/2 inch wide makes for delicate, minimalist earrings. New to origami? Pinwheels are a fun project to start learning with. Check out this video from Traditional Origami for a free origami pinwheel tutorial.
  2. When you’ve got two pinwheels ready, use your small paintbrush to coat the interior of the pinwheel with your sealant. It’s important to start with a very thin layer on the interior before you start sealing the exterior. This makes for a longer-lasting earring.
  3. Use the very tip of your pinky finger to secure the center of the pinwheel, leaving the tips’ interiors coated in sealant but slightly open for body (and the impression that they’re catching the wind).
  4. Once the interior is sealed and dried, seal the exterior, front and back. One trick is to pierce the center of the pinwheel with a needle so you can paint both sides of it and let them dry simultaneously. Put at least two coats on the exterior. If your origami begins to unravel because of the moisture from the sealant, use your flat nose pliers to reform it. Paper is very forgiving.
  5. Stick the needle with your pinwheels somewhere free of debris to let the pinwheels dry. Meanwhile, use your wire cutters to cut two 2 1/2-inch pieces of 20-gauge wire.
  6. Use your chasing hammer to flatten about 1/4 inch on the end of each wire. With round nose pliers, twirl the flattened edge up to make a loop. These are your ear wires.
  7. When your pinwheels are totally dry, take them off the needle and poke them with the ear wires so the folded side touches the curled-up end of the wire. With your round nose pliers, bend the wire 90 degrees about 1/4 inch away from the pinwheels. Hammer the entire wire for durability. Experiment with hammer textures on the long end of the ear wires.
  8. Be sure to make the ear wires long enough so they don’t slip out of your piercings!

Source: Lisa Garber and CraftFoxes

What do you think, PI gals? Have you ever made your own earrings? Would you be willing to try these out? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Image: Craftfoxes


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  1. AChild0fGod

    Posted by AChild0fGod on June 3, 2014 at 16:48

    That is so cool!! I love making jewelry, and I will definitely try this! Thank you for posting! 🙂

  2. May All Your Bacon Burn

    Posted by May All Your Bacon Burn on May 31, 2014 at 22:55

    Ah! I love this ^^

    I want to make origami crane earrings some time.

  3. spyder

    Posted by spyder on May 29, 2014 at 21:15

    So cute!

  4. hobbithobbithobbit52891

    Posted by hobbithobbithobbit52891 on May 29, 2014 at 18:32

    would do this if i had any talent.