DIY Ankara African Dutch wax print earrings using textile hardener

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A textile hardener is a perfect way to turn fabric into every form or shape you like. I’ve been experimenting with a lot of different shapes lately. The fan-shaped fabric earring is my absolute favorite. Feel free to make them in any size you want. For this tutorial, I made a mini and a big fan-shaped dangle earring. The dangle earring at the bottom of this page is free-formed while I was experimenting with shapes.

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Supplies needed:

  • textile hardener, available in DIY shops
  • Ankara African Dutch print fabric of your choice
  • a pair of textile scissors
  • measuring tape
  • glue / hot glue pistol
  • round nose pliers
  • small cutting pliers
  • ear pins
  • optional: ear hooks, head pins, metal chain , wooden beads

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Measure and cut out your print fabric. Test if your fabric has the right size by folding it in the shape of an accordion. Bring both ends of the ‘accordion’ together to create a fan-shaped form. If you are satisfied with the size, then it’s time to harden the fabric.

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Submerge the fabric in the textile hardener til it’s fully covered with the hardener.

Rub the textile hardener in the fabric until it is completely soaked.

Then rub the excess textile hardener out of the fabric.

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Place the fabric on a clean flat surface and begin to fold it in the shape of an accordion.

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Bring the two ends of your ‘accordion’ together to create a fan-shaped form.

Let it dry for approximately 12 hours.

Turn the fan-shaped fabric around and let it air dry for another 12 hours.

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After 24 hours your fan-shaped fabric is dry and hard.

Cut off and remove any excess dried textile hardener residues attached to the fan-shaped fabric.

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Attach the ear pin with hot glue and let it dry. Now your earring is finished and ready to be worn!

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An ear hook, a wooden bead, and a head pin were used to create the big fan-shaped dangle earring.

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Be creative and make whatever shape you like!

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For this free-formed dangle earring, I used a piece of metal chain, head pins, and an ear hook.

P.s. I’d like to thank my amazing and beautiful daughter, she was so kind to be my model.

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  • This post is not sponsored and I was not compensated. All opinions are my own.
  • Unless otherwise stated, I (Merlien van Axel Dongen from Fayahfayah.com) am the legal copyright holder of all images on this website and it may not be used, reprinted, (partially) modified or published without my written consent.

5 Comments

  1. Marchet
    January 25, 2017 / 2:22 pm

    Hello! I absolutely love these but do you have to use the fabric hardener?

    • fayahfay
      January 30, 2017 / 8:54 am

      Thank you Marchet! I use the fabric hardener to make sure the fabric stays in the shape I prefer (in this case, the fan shape). You could also harden your fabric and keep it in place by using starch. Though, I must honestly say I haven’t tried that one yet.

  2. March 20, 2017 / 3:41 pm

    I am so amazed of so many little things that are done with fabric I love them all those earnings are absolutely beautiful keep showing your talents with the African fabric. I really would like to try working with the textile hardener but first got to find it, any suggestions on where?

    • March 20, 2017 / 3:45 pm

      So excited about making different things with african fabric love the earnings looking forward to trying it will need to find fabric hardener keep your projects coming

  3. Tashiii
    September 30, 2017 / 11:20 pm

    Love, love, love it❤

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