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How to Make Stud Earrings Using Bead Caps


I like using jewelry making components in unintended ways. Why not?  By doing so,  I end with unique designs. Quite a while ago, I shared a tutorial which turned metal connectors and rondelles into stud earrings.

Making stud earrings from domed bead caps is even easier!  Bead caps come in different sizes, shapes and designs.  Some of the loveliest are those made by Tierracast in the US.  They come in different metal finishes too. 

I picked these open frame ones which I received from Tierracast. These are not too high as with conical bead cap styles. Also avoid any bead caps which have pointed edges. You can also use more solid designs but there is a reason why I chose the open frame ones - I wanted the resin clay to show through.  
I also wanted to add additional color so I used 15 mm square wood tile blanks - you can get them from my store. 

First task is to sand them. I just used 400 grit sandpaper and wore a dust mask. 

I also used a soft paintbrush to remove the sanding debris. 


Acrylic paints are the least expensive and easiest way to color craft wood.  I particularly love the Sargent brand especially their metallic paints. Good coverage. This copper colored one goes well with the antiqued copper bead caps I planned to use.  

Once dried, the colored tiles are then sealed.  I like using a water based sealer such as Mod Podge. This protects the painted surface.  2-3 coats should be fine.

I regrettably used blue marker pen for the blue tiles.  It really got messy particularly at the sealing stage as the blue pigment got onto my sealing brush and the surface I was working on. So not recommended. 



Resin epoxy clay,  the solid version of epoxy resin, is a marvelous product to use because it is also an adhesive unlike polymer clay. Woodworkers have been using it for years to fill holes etc.   It can be used as a modeling medium, in stamping and impression work and so on. 

I used the Apoxie brand in black. There is also a white version.  This is better value if you have other uses for the adhesive clay.  See this past tutorial on how to make a DIY earring card punch.

Another alternative is Crystal Clay which comes in black or as a mix of colors


Like its cousin, resin clay's two parts have to be mixed to activate the reaction. Just make similar sized balls of each part.  Then mix these two thoroughly. I like to wear gloves with the black because it does get messy.  There is no odor. 

You will have a couple of hours of work time before it hardens. I generally leave projects on waxed paper overnight to cure completely. 

Once thoroughly mixed, I rolled out a cylinder and then cut small slices. Each slice is then rolled into a ball. Make sure that you just fill the inside of the bead cap. Do not overfill.  
Press the bead caps down onto the wood tiles. There should be contact between the clay and the wood. 


Any slight excess of clay can be removed with a toothpick or similar implement.  


Once fully cured, there is just one more step. Glue on the stud posts.  I used Starbond Medium for this job. You can also use Super New Glue or E6000 which also comes with precision tips

I deliberately glued the posts off-center.  


You can also omit the wood tile entirely and just place the stud posts directly on the clay.  No additional glue is needed because the clay will bond to the stud posts!


Like this idea?  Please let me know in the comments whether you would like to see round wood tiles for this sort of project. 









Update : I generally use a mannequin for modeled photos. "Bertha" is not quite life size so here is what the bead cap stud looks like on an actual person - me!  The studs are light - even with the wood as very little resin clay is used. The bead caps help confine the clay so you do not use too much!



Photography I used  my iPhone 8+ for final product photography in natural light. I used  the Orangemonkie studio which comes equipped with LED lights - for artificial light photography in my windowless basement studio. The Foldio2 Plus is excellent . I use the Foldio3  because I need the room for tutorial photography.  Check out my How to Photograph Jewelry Webinar .sign up for the notification so I can let you know when my ebook/class is ready. (Still struggling with the time factor!)

Before You Go:



Disclosure 
This blog may contain affiliate links. I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links. This goes towards the support of this blog and to provide resource information to readers. The opinions expressed are solely my own. They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation. 
 ______________________________ 
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM 

17 comments:

  1. Oh Pearl, what a fantastic idea! I love how the clay fills in the gaps. Such a great project!

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    1. A really easy project which delivers style! I love wearing these studs as they are light .

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  2. I remember trying to make studs using epoxy clay with the student directly into the clay. But somehow it was not level, felt lumpy and was drooping when worn on the ears

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    1. The clay can get out of shape when curing if it is too big - probably leading to the unleveled effect. There is very little resin clay used in this project so it is not heavy (especially when coupled with the light wood). It is important not to use too much - the bead caps help guide the amount. I have tested these studs myself and can say they do not droop because they are not heavy.

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    2. PS I am using a mannequin for the modeled photos - real human ears are slightly bigger.

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  3. Thank you Pearl for this great tutorial!

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  4. You never cease to amaze me at your creativity. Great idea. Glad to know that you used a mannequin - I was wondering how that person got such clear skin. It seems to me that there are endless possibilities - i.e. using buttons to match an outfit you are wearing.

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    1. Yup. Using a mannequin also avoids showing one's grey hair and wrinkles!

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    2. You are on the right track! Partially embedding a jump ring to the back (instead of the stud post) will convert this project into a button!!

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  5. These are really pretty Pearl. The way the clay outlines the bead caps is lovely. Good tutorial!

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    1. Thanks! One could use polymer clay too but more glue will have to be involved.

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  6. clever! i like to use things in unusual ways also, i can see a dangle from one of the open loops of the bead cap, filling the rest with clay to glue on post. i'm all about the danglies! ;)

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  7. Very clever idea for using bead caps! I've done this before using polymer clay and baking the two together. I'd like to see your version on a round background too. Great tutorial!

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    1. I don't remember seeing the polymer clay version! Do you have to add glue to make sure the metal sticks to the PC?

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    2. That is because I have never found PC attachment to metal sufficient on its own.

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