Make DIY Earrings from Recycled Plastic Packaging

Whenever I walk around the shopping malls and enter a jewelry shop, I get amazed by how expensive a lot of the pieces are!  If it is labeled as "handmade", the price is usually even pricier!

Being someone who loves crafts and making my own stuff, I decided to make my own jewelry out of throwaway plastic packaging.


Whenever you buy small appliances or computer accessories, they usually come in protective packaging.  This is something you don't want to throw out because the material is usually sturdy, lightweight and best of all - free!  

Possibly the most important reason for not throwing them away is because these are almost always made of plastic.

Plastic bottles, for example take 450 years to decompose.  Plastic bags take 10 to 1,000 years to decompose.  That's several lifetimes to wait for an eyesore on our beaches to disappear!  

Landfills are a sorry sight as well - so it's reason enough to try our best to make use of plastic before it reaches the trash can.

So, I hope you will try this project to make your life more earth-friendly and beautiful as well!



plastic packaging
black marker pen (ex. Sharpie, oil-based)
nail polish (clear, glittery etc.)
dangling earring components (metal ring and bent wire) or make your own
nose pliers
drawing pin / thumbtack / awl
cutting mat



1. Draw a variety of shapes on the foam packaging using your marker.  You can skip this part if you want to go straight to cutting and do not need guidelines.

2.  Cut the shapes out carefully and neatly.  I tried to use up every square inch of the thing.  Even the curved parts had a purpose (you'll see the example way down below).

3.  Make patterns on the shapes.  Bold stripes, dots work well.  Draw on both sides of the shape so it will look pretty no matter where the wind blows.

Have fun with different patterns.  Don't worry too much if the lines are not too straight.  If anyone complains, tell them it's abstract art!

Try putting shiny nail polish on the surface for a different look!  My nail polish was a bit watery so I had to pile it on in several layers.  You can also make black marker patterns and then put the shiny glittery nail polish.  See how that looks!

You can also draw on the shapes using different colored markers.  What fun you can have trying on different ways to decorate the shapes!!!

4.  After you are finished decorating the shapes, it's always a good idea to put a layer of clear nail polish over the surfaces to seal in your design.

5.  Using your thumbtack and cutting board, punch a hole into the top part of the shape.  Don't punch too close to the edges or it will tear through the plastic.

6. Now it's time to attach the shape to your earring components.  Attach the metal ring to the wire portion and YOU'RE DONE!

Another style option is to just cut strips.  Here's where the curvature of the plastic comes in handy.  Without putting any color or polish, you can already punch holes to the top portion and attach 3 strips at once unto the metal ring.   

This is how it looks dangling from my ears.

Try them all on!




I hope you have fun making earrings!  I certainly did!  I want to see your creations!  Please post the link to your DIY earrings in the comment section below so we can all have a virtual Recycled Earrings party!

Too busy to make your own earrings?

Check out the newest earrings at papemelroti shops!

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Calej lives in Japan with her husband. She designs and doodles for a living.

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