Converting Pierced Earrings into Clip-Ons

Hello all!

With holiday season starting up and lots of fun parties to attend, I know I’ll want to wear lots of festive earrings and may even receive them as gifts.  Now, I don’t actually have pierced ears, but that’s never stopped me from donning my more glitzy jewelry during holiday season – earrings included.  I typically look in vintage shops for clip-ons or seek out brands that include the option in their jewelry, but if I really love a pair of regular earrings that aren’t clips I’ll convert them myself!  You can also go to jewelry stores and have them alter the earrings if they are particularly special or delicate, but I almost prefer to do it myself to save money.  I’m no DIY-expert, but I have learned a few tricks to convert some of my favorite earrings.

As an example, I’ll be converting this pair of earrings I got for myself as a birthday present from Kendra Scott (did you know during your birthday month you can receive one item half price?? I was SO excited to get myself a gift while supporting a woman-owned company!).  These gorgeous dichroic amethyst drops are from their winter collection. Although Kendra Scott does make separate clip-on earrings, I fell in love with these ones as soon as I saw them and knew they would be simple to convert!


What you’ll need:

  • A regular pair of earrings (this process is easiest if they are drop or dangle)
  • Clip-on attachments
  • A pair of small pliers
  • A small Ziploc baggie

Finding cheap clip-on attachments is actually easier than you might think.  I found a crafting/bead store in Dupont Circle right in DC, but most arts and craft stores would carry them!  I buy a four pack (enough for two sets of earrings) for under $3 and can choose the color and style of the backings.  I’ve also found versions at Michael’s online. Once I’ve found the style that matches my earrings, I’m all set to begin!

Separate your earring hooks from the actual earring.  This can typically be done by using the small pliers to bend the looped hooks at the top of the earring to gently separate them.


Once you’ve detached the body of the earrings from the hooks, you can loop the new clip-on backings through that same small hoop at the top of the earrings.  Use the pliers to close the new attachments onto the earrings and you’re all set!  Place any leftover materials from the original backings in a small zip lock bag just in case you need them in the future – I keep all my removed backings in one bag in my jewelry tray so I don’t lose them.

This is such a quick and easy process that typically takes me under 5 minutes to execute, depending on how bendable the original earring backing is.  One of the main reasons I wanted to share this is because so many people don’t realize how simple it is to create clip-on earrings so they’re accessible for everyone!  On the flip side, this process can be applied to vintage clip-on jewelry that you want to convert for wearing on pierced ears.


Whether you want to convert a pair for yourself or gift someone earrings who doesn’t have pierced ears, this is such a simple process that’s perfect for the upcoming holiday season. Let me know if you have ever converted a pair of earrings or plan on using this hack in the future!












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