How to Make Recycled Plastic & Gem Statement Earrings

by Kirsten Nunez

Use clear plastic food packaging as a base for your next set of earrings.

How to Make Recycled Plastic and Gem Statement Earrings

Recycling is a creative way to repurpose and reuse items that might otherwise go into the trash. This approach is perfect for jewelry making, especially if you love budget-friendly materials. For a stylishly eco-conscious project, try making these recycled plastic and gem statement earrings. Made with a plastic container that once held blueberries, these earrings incorporate plastic in the most useful way. After all, every little bit counts when it comes to recycling. These earrings are a great way to show Mother Nature a little extra love -- on Earth Day and beyond.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic fruit or vegetable packaging
  • 16-gauge flat wire
  • Strong craft or jewelry glue
  • Scissors
  • Flat-back rectangle gems (2)
  • Blank earring posts (2)
  • 4mm flat-back round gems
Step 1

Cut a plastic square measuring 2 x 2 inches. This size provides enough working space.

Step 2

Glue the rectangle gems to the plastic, followed by 4mm round gems around each one. Leave them to dry overnight.

Note: The total quantity of 4mm gems depends on the size of the rectangle gems.

Step 3

Cut around each set of gems. Trim the plastic in large snips to ensure even edges.

Step 4

Trim the plastic so that both pieces look similar in shape and size.

Step 5

Cut three strands of flat wire, measuring 1/2 inch each.

Step 6

Turn the first plastic and gem piece over. Glue one wire strand to the center of the back side and use it as a guide for placing the other two wires.

Step 7

Glue the remaining strands of wire to each side of the middle strand. To create a "fanned" look, glue the two wire strands at an angle.

Step 8

Glue an earring post directly above the wire.

Step 9

To complete the earrings, repeat Steps 6-8 with the second plastic and gem piece. Leave them to dry overnight.

More Ideas for Recycled Plastic and Gem Statement Earrings

Once you finish the first set of earrings, you can use the leftover plastic packaging to create additional pairs (or to make a statement necklace). Because this project requires very little plastic, you can make several pairs with just one plastic container. Try experimenting with gems in different colors and shapes for a look that's all your own.

Photo Credits

  • How to Make Recycled Plastic and Gem Statement Earrings

About the Author

Kirsten Nunez is a lifestyle writer and author focusing on crafts, creativity and health. Since 2010, she has been sharing DIY projects at WildAmor.com (formerly Studs & Pearls). In May 2014, she published a craft book, "Studs & Pearls: 30 Creative Projects for Customized Fashion." She lives in San Francisco.