Monday, April 7, 2008

In Case You Have A Spare Hour or Two

How to Make Book Earrings

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Book earrings make a great gift for anyone who loves to read, including yourself. You can make your own in a matter of hours and express your status as a bookworm or your belief in literacy. Click on any photo to enlarge it.


  1. Cut two rectangles out of cardboard, each 1 inch (2.5cm) tall by 1.75 inches (4.5cm). Use a ruler or paper cutter to get the edges square and straight. This will form the structure for the cover of your book.
  2. Locate the center of each of these rectangles and score two lines across them, approximately 1/8" (3mm) apart, centered on the rectangle. Don't score the center line if you marked it to locate the other two.
  3. Fold the cardboard along the scored lines to form the covers for your tiny book.
  4. Cut sixteen rectangles of ordinary printer paper 7/8" (22mm) tall by 1.5" (3.8cm) wide. If you have access to a paper cutter, it will help to get them even, as will stacking or folding the paper. Don't stack too thickly, though, or you'll have trouble cutting. Two stacks of eight layers each seem to cut reasonably easily, and it doesn't matter if the pages for one book are slightly different from the other.
  5. Fold each stack of eight sheets in half down the middle. Trim the outside edges so that they're once again even. These will form the pages of the books.
  6. Line up the centers of the pages with the centers of the cover cardboard. Lay the book open flat with the cover side up. Put it on a cutting mat or a spare chunk of scrap cardboard. Use a push pin to poke three holes in the spine, through the center of the pages. Do this for both books.
  7. Thread a needle and tie a knot with some white thread or thin string.
  8. Stitch down through the first hole.
  9. Stitch up through the second hole.
  10. Stitch down through the third hole.
  11. Come back the other way, up through the second, down through the first, etc. If you're using thin thread, you may want to do this figure-8 pattern a couple more times before tying it off. Loop the thread through itself on the back side a few times to tie off the stitches, then trim the excess thread.
  12. Cut two rectangles of the decorative fabric or paper, 3.25" (8.25cm) wide by 2" (5cm) tall. If there is a pattern or grain to the fabric or paper, check to make sure that your rectangles run parallel to it. These will become the covers of your books.
  13. Center one book on the decorative sheet with the cover wide open. It helps to keep each decorative cover together with one book, in case they are slightly different sizes.
  14. Score or lightly mark the decorative material around the edges of the book. In the photo, the book has been moved to show the score lines.
  15. Relieve the corners as shown. Cut at a shallow angle from the corners of the score marks to the edge. The exact angle is not important, but try to get it reasonably symmetric.
  16. Center the book on the cover and cut V-shaped notches as shown around where the spine will be.
  17. Score the decorative material on either side of the spine if you are using paper. The photo shows the cover ready to glue.
  18. Apply a generous (but not sloppy) amount of glue to the center of the decorative material and to the top and bottom flaps. Make sure to put the glue on the "back" or "wrong" side of the material, and make sure to apply glue on the entire area, all the way to the edges.
    • It helps to put a piece of scrap paper behind as you apply the glue, to catch any that runs over the edges.
    • A glue stick is a bit neater than liquid glue, but either will work.

  19. Place the book into the decorative material and press it firmly against the back, making sure the edges line up with the score marks. Fold the top flap over and press it firmly. Repeat for the bottom flap.
  20. Apply glue to the side flaps and fold them in, over the top and bottom flaps. Press firmly.
  21. Thread a string between the binding and the cover.
    • Alternatively, you could glue the string, but be sure it is secure.

  22. Tie a simple knot in the string. Pull it close to the book, then tighten it firmly.
  23. Turn the knot downward and trim off the excess string.
  24. Open the ring on the earring mount, thread it through the loop on the book, and close it again. Use needle-nose pliers or jewelry pliers without teeth.
    • Insert the earring mounts so that the books will both point forward when the earrings are worn.

  25. Let the glue dry thoroughly before trying them on. Rest a heavy book on top of them to hold them closed while the glue dries.


  • If you can't finesse stitching a tiny binding like this, try stapling it. Staple so that the straight side of the staple goes on the outside and the hooked parts are inside. Carefully line up the staple and the pages so it goes through the center.
  • Check how see-through your decorative paper or fabric is, especially once it has glue on it. If you're using a cereal box or other printed paper for the card, try gluing a small sample of the decorative material to a printed portion of the cardboard and see what shows through. If there's any problem, use the plain side as the outside.
  • Look around for materials to reuse for this project. A cereal box or other package works nicely for the cover. Also see if you have a scrap of fabric or decorative paper floating around that you could use for the cover, too.
  • If your intended recipient doesn't wear earrings, try making a single book this way as a holiday ornament or necklace. As an ornament, you may want to enlarge the whole thing a bit.
  • You could personalize these earrings by writing something in tiny writing in the book, or carefully sticking in a favorite locket-sized photo or two. Practice on a scrap to find out how small you have to write what you have to say. You may find that one or two words fill a page.
  • You could also use a word processor or page layout program to create the text in very small letters. It might be easiest to make a table grid with cells the same size as your pages and then type in the grid. To get printing on both sides of the pages, duplex them with a duplexing printer or photocopier, or just print on both sides of a page.
  • Cutting fabric on the diagonal helps it not to fray. So does a generous application of plenty of glue around the edges.
  • Choose a pattern for your decorative material that is on a scale with the book. These books are one inch tall, so a 12-inch floral pattern is probably not the best bet.
  • If you make these earrings as a gift, watch what your intended recipient wears. Try to match the colors and styles of that person.
  • For a more compact earring, glue the pages shut. This can also help to avoid catching hair. Also glue the cover closed if you want to avoid showing off a less than tidy binding job.
  • This is also a good way to make a book or journal you can write in. To do this, just make everything a bit bigger
  • If these are a gift for a girl who you want to impress, write a little love story in the book about you and her. Women adore these kind of romantic gestures.
  • You could instead buy tiny books that are for doll-houses to make into earrings if you do not wish to make your own little book.


  • If you're making these as a gift, make sure to check whether your recipient has pierced ears.
  • To put holes in the pages and the back, place it against an object that can support it but take a tiny hole. A scrap of cardboard or an old magazine are both good choices. Don't hold the project in your fingers to poke holes. Put holes in the pages and the cover separately if you need to.
  • Make sure your fingers aren't behind the needle as you stitch the binding.
  • Use scissors, X-acto knives, and paper cutters safely. Cover your X-acto knife when not in use, and never cut towards yourself.
  • Since these earrings are made mostly out of paper, avoid getting them wet.

Things You'll Need

  • A piece of stiff (but not corrugated) cardboard, such as a cereal box, the back of a notebook, or a piece of card stock from junk mail printed on heavy paper. A stiff index card or old business card could also work.
  • A sheet of plain, white printer paper
  • A piece of decorative paper or thin fabric
    • Try the scrapbook section of a craft store for wonderful decorative papers. Gift wrap and origami paper are also good possibilities.

  • A piece of thin string or cord to match your decorative paper or fabric.
  • Earring mounts, your choice
  • A glue stick or glue
  • Scissors
  • Paper cutter (optional)
  • X-acto knife (optional)
  • Needle and thread
  • Thimble (optional)
  • Push pin/Thumbtack (optional)
  • Scoring implement (stylus, ball point pen with no ink)
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • A cutting mat or other object to cut against. Cardboard and old magazines both work well.

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Make Book Earrings. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

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