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How to Make Die-Cut Denim Earrings Tutorial

I started to hanker for a die cutting machine when I began making shrink plastic jewelry. Sure you can use paper punches or do the old fashioned way with careful scissor work.  However, using a die cutter is a lot faster and accurate.

There are a number of makes out there but I finally chose Sizzix's Big Kick machine. I have no association with the manufacturer.  Just a careful shopper who waited until Michaels had a 50% sale!

The Big Kick is very similar to the Big Shot - just superficial color differences.  The one I bought comes with a pair of clear cutting pads and a multipurpose platform.  The latter is to accommodate thinner dies.  The machine will take other non-Sizzix dies so the range of cutting patterns is considerably extended.

For this tutorial, you'll also need a separate die. I used the Pendant Frame die #657014 (no longer available but you can check out their other pendant dies).  The black foam covers some pretty sharp metal blades.  The demo earrings shown on the box were cut from acrylic.  I chose to go with denim using iron on denim patches. If you are recycling denim, you'll need fabric glue. Chose some pretty brads from the scrap booking section.

Sandwich the die and fabric scrap between the cutting pads. This die cutter does not use electricity - just human power! Then slowly feed the sandwich through while cranking the handle. 

Cutting out 4 of these shapes will probably take you about a minute!

Make holes for the brads in two of the shapes. A hole punch or a small slit with a sharp pair of scissors will work.

Feed the brad through the denim from the right side to the back.  Bend the tabs.

Trim the tabs shorter with some manly wire cutters - you don't want to wreck your nice flush cutters!

If you are not using iron on denim patches, apply glue to the back of the pendant including the bent back brads. Carefully back it another pendant cut out.  If you are using iron on patches, then steam press the back-to-back denim shapes.

Repeat the previous 3 steps for the other earrings. Trim the edges if you need to. Sealing the edges with Fray Check is optional. Next punch holes for the jump rings at the top.

Attach some jump rings and the ear wires and you're done! It'll go well with jeans and denim jackets.

The die cutter can also be used on a variety of materials besides fabric.  Paper, leather, plastics, thin metals (like that of aluminum soda cans) are all possible.  Here is a riveted leather pair of earrings I made with the die cutter.

There are also embossing plates to impress pretty patterns onto thicker metal.  But that is another story and perhaps another post!

Check out the links below for more ideas and inspiration on how to use die cutters creatively.

I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links.   The opinions expressed are solely my own. This supports this blog and to provide resource information to readers.  They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation.

Before You Go:
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 


  1. Great idea. (Like I need another idea) However, I'll file it away until I think "remember that great idea from Pearl?" That day will come. Thanks,

  2. It could be used to make stacked mix media jewelry right?

  3. Awesomely pretty, Pearl! I am coveting your machine. What a great denim upcycle!

  4. Yes, die cutters are wonderful for all sorts of mixed media - stacking is another great option - and upcycled projects. You are only limited by your imagination and creativity.

  5. Hi Pearl, What is the black foam? is it part of the die? What is the black platform you are using? I have a 2 tier platform and two glass plates that came with the Big Shot. The die you used is out of stock in my research so far. But I'm pinning jewelry ideas on Pinterest and want to do this!

  6. Yes, the black foam is part of the die. It protects the blades from cutting us. You only need the two perspex plates.

    The die I used is available in many places. So if it is out of stock where you looked, try somewhere else. It is actually on sale as I write if you go to the Sizzix site :

    Have fun with this idea!

  7. Thanks! I do too and will be wearing it when I wear my denim jacket!

  8. Really, really cute. So many projects ( both jewelry & other things) done with these machines. Guess I'll have to start saving for 1. Hope they aren't too hard to learn how to use.

  9. Hello, Pearl! I found out about your denim earrings project with "The Craft Gossip" and here I am! I really like them and I'll try these dies!!!Thank you for share (I pinned them, I hope you do not mind!). DanielaC.

  10. I make a lot of t-shirt fabric flowers and honestly I'm a bit sick of hand cutting them. Your process should work for t-shirt fabric, right?

  11. Daniela- I would be delighted if you pinned it and shared it! Be sure to check out other possible dies. Lots out there.

  12. Cecelia - hand cutting is so last century! Yes, these dies should work for t-shirt material.

    If you have time google quilting and fabric dies. The beautiful die cut appliques used in quilts are worth a look!

  13. These are so cute, but if you're using the denim patches, why not just iron them together and then put a Swarovski or some other brand peel and stick bling bling on the front? Lots easier than the brad. But yes, I would love to have one of the die cutters to use making my jewelry, oh to think of all the possibilites!!! LOL <3

  14. Yes I could do that, Judy. But I wanted to make sure the decoration stayed on permanently. Plus I had brads to use up!

  15. Totally loved how you used your die cutting machine for fabric earrings!! They are cute as and I love the addition of the bling and I agree a brad is a better choice than a stick on bling which will come off too easily on hot days :)

  16. Wow, I love to use my die cutter machine for everything, but had never really thought about using it for jewelry! What a fun and creative post!


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