How to Make Bases for Jewelry Backers

I've previously shared a couple of quick tutorials on making earring cards for both fish hook earrings and lever back earrings.  When I made those tutorials, I think I got a little ahead of myself because I never shared how I alter the cardboard that I use as the bases for those cards. It's a fairly simple process, but I thought it would be worth sharing.

Like the other two tutorials, the entirety of it is explained in a quick tutorial you can find on YouTube.
Watch Making Bases for Jewelry Backers there, or I can quickly explain the process here. 

For jewelry cards, I like to incorporate recycling as much as possible. So, the base of them uses cardboard from old cereal and cracker boxes. I flatten and open the boxes up before cutting off the excess (the top flaps and sides that are too skinny for use). From there. I spread Mod Podge (or other thin glue) with a paintbrush over the face (image side) of the cardboard. Dictionary pages are placed on the glue to cover the images and left to dry. I suggest that you use whatever paper types appeal to you: maps, old phone books, newspaper, some of your original art, etc. 

Once the glue has dried, trim off the excess paper by either tearing or using scissors to cut it off. I then like to "whitewash" the dictionary text with white paint that's been slightly watered down. In years past, instead of the white paint, I used a combination of spray inks and bright colors to alter the dictionary paper, but I've come to appreciate the simplicity of the whitewash. The cardboard is then hung up to dry and later used as needed to back my jewelry. 
It really is an easy process, but I wanted to make sure I explained it since I have shared the other tutorials. In addition to those two, I do hope to share how I use this backer base to create large cards for necklaces. And, eventually, I'll be showing you how I pack an Etsy order to be shipped. 

Make sure to let me know if you do have any questions about any of these processes so I can clarify anything I didn't explain. I hope this inspired you to use your recycling in unique ways!


  1. Thank you for sharing the tutorial, but I can't take my eyes of your key earrings. They are so chic - gothic and steampunk at the same time.

    1. Aw, thanks Divya! Those were some small keys onto which I added old enameled roses (from old jewelry). They hang from black cultured sea glass beads. I love that matte black. It works well with so much!

  2. Simple and doable! These are on my to-do list!


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