DIY: Swappable Cardigan Clips

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I have a collection of clip on earrings. I’ve amassed them as hand-me-downs from my grandma, from op shops and from markets.

The pairs I’ve got from my grandma are just lovely to have, and sometimes you simply see something at an op shop or market that is sparkly and only costs a few coins and you just have to have it.

So I have all these clip on earrings, but I also have a problem. I have pierced ears. I never wear them. Even if I didn’t have piercings, clip on earrings are super uncomfortable. So what to do with the pretty, shiny, sentimental things? What else but repurpose them?

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These earrings are one of the pairs collected from my MaMa; apparently they were a bit of a big deal when she bought them! I like them because they remind me of cupcakes!

With about ten minutes of crafty time, I turned these dated accessories into another kind of dated accessory, the cardigan clip… which  I think most people wear just as often as they wear clip on earrings these days – that is, not often.

A cardigan clip was a popular little accessory mid-20th Century, where a lady might drape her cardigan jauntily over her shoulders instead of actually putting her arms through the sleeves. But of course, all this jaunty draping leaves the risk of the wind nicking your cardi.

Enter: the cardigan clip – or if you’re feeling more dramatic, a sweater guard! – to keep your knitwear from falling to the ground.

Me, I just think the cardi clip is a fun vintage-style piece to add into your wardrobe, and I clipped mine on despite the fact that with my arms in my sleeves, my cardigan would not be flying off.

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I know there already are other tutorials for turning clip on earrings into sweater guards, but all the ones I have seen involve attaching the chain directly to the earring.

Now, I don’t know about you for sure, but I get the feeling I’m only going to be wearing one set of clips at any given time. And instead of permanently altering my earrings (fine for my op shop finds, less so for my grandma’s first exciting jewellery purchase), I thought I would make one chain that I can use to swap all my different pairs of clips around on.

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So to make this transferrable clip chain, I took 4cm of chain (which I picked up at Spotlight, but you could use an old necklace you have lying around or pick up at the same time you find the earrings in an op shop), and secured it into a loop with the help of a jumper ring (also picked up at Spotlight). You’ll need two of these loopy guys. Close the jumper rings with pliers, or, if you don’t have any lying about, or any you can borrow, strong tweezers will do the trick.

Figure out where you want the keeper to, well, keep your cardigan, and measure that length. I chose a length of 15cm, but it’ll depend on things like how close you want the two sides of your cardigan to sit, and how big your bust is.

Open up the same jumper rings in your little loops, and connect this longer piece of chain into these rings. Close them up again, and you should have something that looks a little like this.

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Now, slip your chosen clip ons into the loop and wear your cardi with the confidence that comes from knowing it won’t fly off (and from knowing that it looks super cute)!

Mix and match to suit your outfit, and away you go!

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