Wellnesting | Creating a Happy Handmade Home

DIY Gold Nugget Earrings

DIYStephanie1 Comment
DIY Gold Nugget Earrings from Wellnesting

Hello, friends! It's been a while.

These past few weeks have been crazy busy. I volunteered my cake making services for my best friend's wedding and thus spent the last week in a cloud of flour dust, toiling away into the early hours of the morning. It was so much fun, both the baking and the wedding itself, but now it's over and I'm back in DC resting my love-filled bones.

I whipped up these earrings early last week so that I might have something to wear during the wedding. I was inspired by the vibrant gold tones of the Virginia foliage in early fall and wanted something to complement the peachy-coral colors of the wedding. After some experimenting and lots of half-baked (pun intended) attempts, I ended up with these.

I love them more than I thought I would, and, in all honesty, more than I love most things I make.  They're perfectly imperfect, and I find myself reaching for them most mornings rather than my standard pearl or diamond studs. I call that a win.

Want to give 'em a try?

DIY Gold Nugget Earrings from Wellnesting

Here's what you will need to make your own...

DIY Gold Nugget Earrings from Wellnesting

Supplies

Gold leaf kit (I got mine from Amazon)
Butter knife
Crazy glue
Earring posts and backs
Polymer clay
2 paint brushes (not pictured)
 

DIY Gold Nugget Earrings from Wellnesting
DIY Gold Nugget Earrings from Wellnesting

Start by making two small, equally sized balls out of polymer clay. I initially made mine a little bigger than they appear above, but I found that rather than looking pretty and dainty, they were kind of overpowering and clunky. So I simply removed some of the excess clay until I got a size that felt right.

Take one of the clay balls and press it slightly into the table, flattening the back. Then using the flat edge of your knife, press against the sides of the ball, working your way around all sides until you get an imperfectly shaped "nugget". When you're done with the sides, slightly flatten the top as well.

Do the same to the other clay ball. They don't have to look the same, in fact I think having them look slightly different adds character, but try to make sure they are both roughly the same size.

Bake in a 275 degree oven for 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your earrings.

DIY Gold Nugget Earrings from Wellnesting

Once your earrings are baked and cooled, apply a dab of crazy clue to the flat part of your earring post. Center your clay nugget on the post and hold until the glue has dried.

DIY Gold Nugget Earrings from Wellnesting

Next, take your earrings and, holding by the post, apply a thin layer of adhesive size to the clay. Place them on a piece of wax paper and let dry for about 30 minutes.

Once the size has cured and is still slightly tacky, pick up a piece of gold leaf and gently lay over top of your earring.

DIY Gold Nugget Earrings from Wellnesting

Use your finger to gently smooth down the gold leaf, making sure to cover all sides of the earring, and wrap any remaining leaf under at the bottom so the bottom edges (next to the post) are adequately covered.

Using a clean, dry paint brush, smooth the gold leaf so it lies flat against the earring and any leaf not directly touching adhesive gets brushed away.

Let dry for another 10 minutes, then finish up by brushing a thin layer of sealer over top of the gold leaf.

Let dry completely before wearing.

DIY Gold Nugget Earrings from Wellnesting
DIY Gold Nugget Earrings from Wellnesting
DIY Gold Nugget Earrings from Wellnesting