With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I decided it was about time that I kick my butt into high gear and start making some gifts so that I don’t find myself madly crafting until the wee hours the night before.  (Yeah, I do that a lot.)  For my mother-in-law, I knew that I wanted to make her some jewelry to wear to work; she wears a uniform, so her jewelry is an important daily fashion statement!

While I was wandering through Dollar Tree, I was looking for things that would match her work shirt, which is a bright, royal-ish blue.  One of the first things I found in the right color was a plastic table cloth.  But how could I turn that into jewelry?  And then the answer struck me: fused plastic!  A little ironing and cutting later, I had these fun, funky confetti earrings.  Want to see exactly how I made them?  Read on…

Project estimate:

  • Plastic tablecloth(s), $1 and up
  • Iron, on hand
  • Towels, on hand
  • Parchment paper, on hand or $1 and up
  • Pin or needle, on hand
  • Large split rings, $1 and up
  • Jump rings, on hand
  • Earring hooks, on hand

Total:  $2 and up

I wanted to alternate between two different colors of “confetti”, so I chose two plastic tablecloths:  one in light blue and one in dark blue.

Cut off a small section of tablecloth.  Fold the piece in half twice so that there are 4 layers of plastic, then sandwich the piece between two towels.  (You are supposed to also use parchment paper for this step; I was out of it, so I just used a couple of frayed, older towels so I wouldn’t care if they got bits of plastic stuck to them.  It also gave the plastic a neat texture!)

This next part isn’t an exact science, so you might need to experiment a little to get it just right.  With your iron on a medium-ish setting (I used the “rayon” setting on my iron), iron over the top towel to heat the plastic underneath.  Check the progress frequently; you want to heat it just enough that the four layers all bond into one sheet, but not so much that you melt holes in the sheet.  If you mess up, don’t fret – you still have plenty of plastic left to play with!

(Tip:  melting plastic can release toxic fumes; make sure you do this step in a well-ventilated area!)

Cut the fused plastic into small squares.  The don’t have to be exact – in fact, variations in size and shape will make the finished earrings look more interesting!

Use a pin or needle to poke a hole in the corner of each piece.

To assemble the earrings, I used 12mm (about 1/2 inch) split rings, the kind of rings the look like mini key rings.  Just like keys, thread the pieces of plastic onto the ring.  If you are using more than one color of plastic, alternate colors as you add pieces.  I put 15 pieces on each earring, but you can add more or less to get exactly the look you like.

Use jump rings to attach earring hooks to each split ring.

Voila!  Think anyone will guess that they are made out of plastic tablecloths?  I’m pretty sure my mother-in-law is going to love them!