I’ve been delaying this post as it’s a little bit awkward. It is very possible to convert cheaper studs to sterling silver or surgical steel posts but the method is kind of messy and will vary on the type, size and metal of the stud. Here are some ideas anyway – hope this can be of some help. If you’ve got any ideas or do this yourself please let me know all about it! I would really like to work out how to do this better!
You will need: Cheap Earring Studs, Pliers (jewellery pliers or normal pliers), Glue (I recommend Ultimate Glue by Crafter’s Pick as it’s a non-toxic, water-soluble superglue but E6000, Araldite, Superglue or Gluegun will all work fine), Quality metal earring posts, Newspaper.
Here is the easiest, less messy method. It involves using studs that don’t mind which way up you wear them.
1. Get your studs ready to work on. See that bump under the post? That’s the annoying part but we can avoid it with these earrings thankfully.
2. Cut back the post with pliers. Cut down as far as you possibly can. You will most likely end up with a sharp point of metal.
3. There are a few ways you can get rid of the point – sanding it back with a heavy duty metal file, covering it with glue, ripping it off (only works on weaker metals, be careful doing this too) and pressing it flat. In this example I’m pressing it flat with the pliers – this is easy on these studs as I can grip the metal rim. On more delicate studs I wouldn’t do this.
4. This is as flat as I can get them.
5. The remaining bump was still a little sharp so I covered it with a dab of glue. I glued the stud to the flat surface at the top of the earring.
Now this pair of earrings are slightly trickier as it does matter (sort of) which way up you wear them.
As these ones were bigger I was able to twist off the post with the pliers. This method usually takes more of the metal off.
This is what I ended up with. You can’t do much about this bump under the post. Unfortunately this is on most earrings and makes it tricky to glue a new stud on.
You can try filing it back a bit – be careful doing this though! Wear googles and work outside as metal dust can be nasty! This didn’t work for me this time as the metal was too strong.
1. Cover the bump with a lot of glue.
2. Place studs on.
3. Make sure the glue covers the entire surface of the new stud – I probably could have put more on here.
When the glue is dry you can cover it with nail polish to match the metal.
These are ok. I find they do poke out a bit – It would be great if I could remove that bump! Any suggestions?
For Round Studs:
You can find cup/cone shaped studs to glue onto round stud earrings. I’m yet to try this (Maybe these would glue better over the bump in the previous earrings???) These are super easy to convert straight to hooks though. I did a tutorial here
A final suggestion:
You can always try painting the post with clear nail polish to seal the metal. You will probably need to apply this fairly often. I’m still bothered by earrings when I do this though. You can also buy a metal protectant specifically designed for this. The Earring Doctor sells it. I’ve never seen it in shops. I’m yet to try it but I’ve heard it’s similar to clear nail polish.
Posts are easily available from most craft shops, online jewellery supply stores and ebay too (there are some links to these sites in my links tab). You can get them in a range of different sizes and styles. The posts will hold better when you match them to the size and weight of the earring. I buy surgical steel as it’s cheap but you can also purchase sterling silver and gold filled posts but these tend to be a lot more expensive (much more expensive than silver/gold hooks). I pay about $2 for 12 pairs of surgical steel.
Have fun. I hope this helps and opens up a few more earring options for you!