Apr 8, 2011

New Free Tutorial - Zebra Stripe Copper Post Earrings by York Avenue Studio

New Free Tutorial!  Zebra Stripe Copper Post Earrings by York Avenue Studio

Zebra Stripe Copper Earrings by York Avenue Studio

This tutorial is a follow up to the Tutorial for Zebra Stripe Polymer Clay Cane.  Using the zebra cane slices, you can make these animal print earrings!

Zebra Stripe Copper Post Earrings by York Avenue Studio

Recycled copper circle earrings with bold black and white zebra print, handmade with my own original design. I created a zebra pattern with polymer clay and used slices of a reclaimed copper tube to fashion these gorgeous post stud earrings. Great care was taken to polish the clay to shine like gemstones and the pattern continues through the back of the earrings, which means there is no skin contact with the copper!

The tiny circles are ½ in diameter and the posts are sterling silver with comfort backings. Each earring weighs 1.5 grams, nice lightweight yet solid sturdy design.

I have these for sale in my Etsy Shop, but for those fellow crafters that follow me, here are the steps to make a pair for yourself!

Materials for Zebra Stripe Copper Earrings
The photo above shows what I started with:

1.  Zebra print polymer clay, which you only use 4 slices
2.  Extra clay, junk clay, enough to fill the copper circle
3.  2 copper tube slices - I will tell you how I made mine in a second...
4.  Sterling silver posts and backings
5.  The greatest tool - a toothpick!
6.  Sandpaper - 400grit, 600grit, 1200grit, 2000grit
7.  Dremel rotary tool with polishing wheel

I started by slicing my copper tubing.  I had saved this 6 foot piece when we had a new dishwasher installed, it was the water line and was tossed out to the curb.  I grabbed it for "someday" and stored it.  I used a little handheld pipe cutter from Lowe's working with leather gloves.  I sanded the edges smooth.

The ridges shown on the sides of the copper in the later photos is my inexperience with cutting pipe.  The tool cuts a groove and as the tool is wound around the pipe, I tightened it and went around again, tighten and around, etc. until the pipe is cut through.  My groove was off a bit, well alot and made several grooves, but eventually cut clean though!  I actually like the "stripes" because they match well with the zebra theme!

Next, I rolled the spare clay (brown) into a log that would fit the center of the circle and with the copper circle flat on the table, smashed the clay down to the bottom, leaving spare above the top rim.  I took the sterling silver earring post, mine has a ball and loop, and pressed it into the clay on the bottom until the ball and loop sunk enough and then covered it with clay, using the toothpick as a roller.  Then, I turned the copper ring on the side and sliced the clay on the top rim flush and flat.  The baked clay will hold the post in place.

The zebra slice is then centered over the post and pressed thru and down to rest on the back.  Trim the spare clay to leave a nice circle on the backside.  For the front, the zebra slice is pressed on and trimmed.

I baked mine at 265 degrees for 25 minutes and let cool.

Sand with 400grit, then 600grit, then 1200grit and 2000grit.  Finish up with the dremel tool.

Zebra Stripe Copper Earrings by York Avenue Studio

I really love the contrast of the zebra to the copper metal.  These are so fun to make and done in no time.  I hope you enjoy the tutorial and spread the word to family and friends who enjoy handmade jewelry.