Canadian Woodworking

Butterfly earrings

Author: Michel Theriault
Published: December January 2004

These earrings fit the bill, providing not only an easy to make gift idea but also serving as an ideal way to display the beauty of wood.


One of the best gifts a woodworker can give is something hand-crafted out of wood.

All you need to make these earrings are some inexpensive earring accessories available from most craft stores, and a few scraps of your best wood – wood that you would no doubt have thrown out, or burned, anyway.

These earrings are made from a single thin piece of wood. All you need to do is cut a thin slice with your bandsaw or tablesaw and sand both sides. The version shown is a dangling earring, but you can use the same process for a stud earring or even a clip-on.

The pattern provided is for a Butterfly, however you can use almost anything you want, even the initials of the person who will be receiving the earrings.

The first step is to draw the pattern. You can draw it on freehand, trace it with carbon paper, or use a paper pattern that has been lightly coated with a spray adhesive. If you are making a number of earrings with the same pattern, you can stack the slices. Hold them together with some small brads, double sided tape or by wrapping masking tape around the ends.

• Set up your scrollsaw with a fine blade and cut out the pattern, being careful to maintain a smooth and even edge.

• Sand the edges of the earring with a folded piece of sandpaper, going through the grits from #80 to #150. Leave the edges sharp and crisp or round them over slightly, depending on your taste.

• Drill a 1/16” hole in the earring to attach the earring loop.

• Apply at least one thin coat of polyurethane, depending on the look you want. A polymerized Tung oil or Danish oil can also be used. Remember to tell the eventual owner of the earrings that they will have to re-apply the oil periodically to maintain their appearance.

Once the finish is dry, attach the earring loop to the earring.

For those women who want to attract a bit more attention, cut out larger butterflies!

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