Monday, October 14, 2013
Ear Cuff Display Holder Tutorial
I have done an extensive search online for diy ear cuff displays / holders and haven't found any. I need a few displays for a B&M store where I will be selling my ear cuffs.
Naturally, if you can't find it, you make it :)
I made a couple of displays and decided to share a tutorial here because I can't be the only one looking for this info.
I needed a display that was fairly plain. I wanted the focus to be on my ear cuff and not on the display.
I will post some photos soon of a display that I've fancied up making it suitable for gifting or selling.
What you need:
1. Polymer clay (I used black)
2. Wire (I used 12ga aluminum wire)
3. Round nose pliers
4. Wire cutters
5. Optional - Something to smooth the seams (I used a crochet hook)
Find an adult ear, use yours or a friends or any ones that will sit still while you shape your wire. ( I do not recommend using a random stranger on the street, you may get arrested for that ).
Shape your wire in an approximate ear shape. We are not trying to make an ear, we are trying to get a kinda earish shape but most importantly, we are trying to get the correct size.
Shape your wire, using the round nose pliers, then cut it off the roll with your wire cutters.
Condition your clay with your hands, you don't need a pasta machine.
Roll your clay into 2 snakes, making them a couple inches or so longer than your shaped wire so you can coil the ends. The thickness of the snakes is your choice, mine is about double the thickness of the wire.
Roll one end of your first snake into a coil. Make the coil as large or small as you want.
Place one end of your wire on the coil and center the rest of the wire along the clay snake. At the opposite end of your wire, roll another coil and place it on the end of the wire. Tear off any unwanted excess clay before rolling the coil if needed.
Now cut a piece of wire longer than your ear shape and place it on top of the ear shape. This will create the opening we will need to attach the ear shape to the base. This wire remains until the piece is finished baking.
Coil the end of you second snake and place it on top of the ear shape and finish off as you did with the first snake. We are making a clay and wire sandwich.
Squeeze the seams together along the edges of the 2 pieces of clay to seal. Now put as much or as little effort into smoothing the seams as you want. I made a half hearted attempt using the handle portion of a crochet hook.
Roll a long thin clay snake. Roll a coil on one end of the snake and place it over the coil on your ear shape. Wrap the snake around your ear shape, ending with a coil for the opposite end.
This serves 2 purposes, it gives the piece a bit of embellishment and more importantly, it gives the holder bulk which holds the ear cuff better.
We are finished with the holder.
Using your round nose pliers, form a shape with the wire. I made a squarish stand for this tutorial but I've also made a round stand and a heart stand. The shape doesn't have to be huge because we will use clay for stability. Obviously, don't make it tiny either.
Now place your pliers around the wire at the point where your shape is completed. Twist your pliers until the wire is standing straight up.
Grip the wire with the pliers in the bent section you just made. Using your other hand, bend the wire straight down across the shape. Now grip the wire where it lays in the approximate center of the shape. Using your other hand, bend the wire straight up again. We are trying to put the stem portion of the stand into the middle of the bottom section of the stand.
Place your ear section beside the stand where you want the ear section to sit. Add about 6" extra and cut the wire off the roll with the wire cutters.
Make a clay shape that mimics the wire shape. It needs to be a bit larger than the wire shape and thick enough to make the stand stable.
Press the wire base into the clay.
Make a long clay snake and wrap it around the base of the stand until the base is covered. Just make another clay snake and keep wrapping if your first snake wasn't long enough to cover the entire base.
Once the base is covered, you can roll another clay snake and use it to embellish the stand like I did for the heart and circle bases.
The stand is complete.
Twist the guide wire in the ear section several times to insure the wire isn't adhered to the clay.
Following the directions on your clay package, bake both the ear section and the stand.
If you use a toaster oven to bake clay like I do, just gently bend the stand wire to the side so it will fit in the oven.
Pieces baked and cooled?
Okay, good, let's move on.
Decide where you want the ear section to rest on the stand stem.
Using your round nose pliers, create a stop where you want the bottom of the ear section.
I made a figure 8. You can make a zig zag, a circle, or whatever in the wire.
Remove the guide wire from the ear section and insert the stand wire into the ear section using the openings made by the guide wire.
We added 6" of wire before cutting the stem of the stand to accommodate the stop we just made and to give us extra wire at the top of the ear section. I finished the top by forming a simple coil with the extra wire. You can make any design you want or cut the extra wire short and finish with a small loop.
Make these ear cuff displays as plain or elaborate as you want.
You can also coat them with clay glaze, I tend to leave most of my clay items natural.
I hope that this tutorial will be of some assistance to those searching for a diy ear cuff display.