I love to upcycle hoops that I’ve had sitting idly in my jewellery box… and of course, they’re usually ones from Kmart!
There has been quite the demand for a tutorial on these boho-chic leafy hoops via my Instagram @kate_alderton_design … so here it is! My second ever tutorial for you and my very first tutorial on statement earrings.
This tutorial will be shorter than the last one, as these earrings are so simple to make and involve very few steps.
First, let’s go over what you will need for this project.
I’ve got myself some silver hoops but you can pick whatever colour and size you like (or have lying around already). You’ll then need some sturdy string – I’ve used jute string, which is my favourite because of its strength, colour and its minimal effect of the environment. You will also need a strong glue and most importantly some fresh leaves. I Like to pick a plant that has small leaves on a long stem, as this makes things far less fiddly to execute further down the line. Lastly, you will need a needle with an eye large enough for your string to thread through comfortably.
Step Number 1: Attaching the string and wrapping the hoop
The first thing to do is to cut some string about a wingspan and a half long (I’ve got fairly short arms so this may not be the most helpful measurement for you). You’re going to be making one whole hoop with a single piece of string so it’s better to cut more than less if you’re unsure.
You want to start at the back of your hoop (the bit that goes behind your ear) and glue the end of the string so that it’s pointing down the inside of the hoop. This means that when you start wrapping your long piece of string around the hoop, you can go over the glued section and cover it up.
Take the long end of the string, bring it up to the very end of the hoop and start wrapping tightly back over your glued section.
Continue wrapping tightly until your glued section is covered and keep wrapping around the entire hoop until you reach the front end of the hoop.
Step Number 2: Coiling your leaves
Once you’ve reached the front end (that goes into your ear) you can bring in your leaves. I like to make my earrings with three stems of leaves but you can make yours thicker by adding extra stems or finer by taking some away.
When you start with your leaves, you want the leaves to be facing up your hoop towards where the front of your earlobe would be.
With your sting that is still attached to the hoop, you’re going to make a loop that comes up to the side of the hoop that is facing you and that sits to this side of the leaves.
This part can get fiddly trying to hold everything in place at once so don’t try to rush it too much.
Then take your long end of string and thread it through the middle of the hoop, back up behind the leaves then through the back of the loop and towards you.
Pull this knot tightly, making sure the leaves are tucked inside the knot.
Continue these loop knots the same way as you did the first one, pulling tightly each time to secure the leaves in place. As you do these knots more and more, you will get more consistent with spacing them out evenly along the hoop.
If you’re going to run out of leaves partway through, you can easily lay news stem on top of your old ones as you go and you will never see where they stop and start as long as there’s an even amount of leaves throughout.
Once you reach the end, snip the remaining leaves off so that they line up with the end of the hoop. And that’s the coiling part done!
Step Number 3: Adding frills
You could easily finish your hoops as they are now, but if you want them to look like more of a statement then adding these frills is an easy and effective way to to do it.
Taking your needle, thread through the end of the string, then head back under the last coil you completed, creating a loop. You’re going to bring the needle back through this loop from behind and pull it tightly.
Using the same technique, thread under the next coil from front to back, creating a loop, then head back through the loop from back to front.
This is actually the same technique as you used for coiling your leaves to the hoop but you’re threading through a different section and not trapping any leaves inside the coils.
Continue through each of the coils around the hoop. I like to do two knots per coil in the lower part of the hoop to bulk it out more but one knot per coil will look nice and neat.
Finally, once you reach the end, you can tightly pull the end of your string to the underside of your hoop and glue it there where you can’t see it so obviously. Once the string it stuck down, you can snip off the end AND THAT IS IT, MY FRIENDS!
If you enjoyed this tutorial, you can head to my Instagram and let me know what else you’d like me to make into a tutorial!