Grecian Coin and Wood Earrings

Project time: 1.5 hours
DIY Level: Easy-Intermediate

I love anything with a cultural touch, so jewelry made from old coins is right up my alley! Of course, actual ancient coins are a pretty penny to buy (see what I did there?), so the ones I used for these earrings were actually inexpensive replicas I bought off of Etsy (link).

I cannot tell you how much I adore the way these came out. I’m a statement-jewelry girl, so the fact that these are big is perfect. I went with jewel tones of turquoise and coral so that they’d match anything in my wardrobe. And they make me feel exotic because of the foreign-coin element. I went with Greek coins because I’m Alexis the Greek, but if you are French or Egyptian or some other heritage, you might go another way!

Also, you could totally lean the way of silver accents if that’s more your style—just pick silver coins (make sure they’re the right size!) and swap out the other gold pieces for their silver varieties.

Greek coin earrings - easy DIY

Supplies I Used:

  • AdTech’s Precision PRO glue gun
  • AdTech’s Mini-Size HiTemp Glue Sticks
  • 2 Greek coin replicas 0.75” to 1” (choose your design from options available on Etsy! I used these)
  • 2 (two) 1.5” circle wood blanks 
  • Twist drill (I used this one, which was surprisingly simple and saved me money!)
  • RamPro Total Furniture Repair markers (a great find – I will be using on LOTS of projects!)
  • Gold, 0.5” diameter jump rings
  • Paint brushes
  • Acrylic paint in color of choice
  • Painters’ tape
  • Marker
  • Pliers
  • Newspaper, to protect work surface

Step 1 – Cover work surface with newspaper to protect from stain.

Step 2 – Choose the wood stain color for earrings, and carefully color the wood rounds, front and back, as well as all around the edges.

You may want gloves for this part, as the stain will remain on your fingers for about 24 hours if you make a mess. I used “Cherry” out of the RamPro variety pack I ordered after testing colors on several wood rounds and seeing what the stains looked like with the paint selections I had made. I also colored in the same direction as the wood grain, which made it look more natural.

DIY Greek Coin Earrings on wood backing

Step 4 – Mark where your holes will go.

The wood rounds you stained are going to be the backings for the Grecian coins, so center a coin on each wood backing and mark each with marker or pencil the place where you want the jump ring to go through the wood, probably about halfway between the coin and the wood round’s edge. I made sure that the grain would be parallel to the floor when I decided where my jump ring holes would go.

Step 5 – Use twist drill to make all marked holes.

If you have a self-healing mat, you can just set the wood rounds on the mat and drill until you break through. If you don’t have a self-healing mat, then drill until the tip disappears completely into the wood, then lift and drill until you see the tip poke through the back.

Hand twist drill in use for Greek coin earrings DIY

Step 6 – Use painters’ tape to create the design you envision for your earrings.

I bought a whole bag of wood rounds, so I stained a ton of them and then just experimented until I found designs I liked. You will use the painters’ tape to mark off the areas where you want the round to remain unpainted (i.e., to cover up the places where you want the wood stain to show). I chose to use painters’ tape on the back, as well, to make the designs go all the way around.

PRO TIP: Make sure to press the tape down firmly, using a pen cap or your finger to secure the edges. If the tape has any bubbles or places where it isn’t securely adhered, then paint will sneak through and your lines won’t be sharp.

Step 7 – Paint the open spaces on your wood rounds your desired colors.

Make sure if you paint over the places where you drilled holes that you use a toothpick or eye pin to remove any paint that might make the hole too small for the jump rings and eye pins.

In the Studio at Adhesive Technologies

Step 8 – Allow to dry completely before peeling away painters’ tape.

Step 9 – Peel the tape, and spot-correct any places where the paint is thin.

Step 10 – Glue the coins to the wood rounds.

I went with the Precision Pro glue gun from AdTech for this project for two reasons: One, although I’m usually partial to the Project Pro, this glue gun has a few added features that make the level of focus I had to give this project a LOT easier—the built-in base, which means I can set the gun down without having to take my eyes off my project and it won’t tip over or fall off the table, and then also the slide trigger, which lends itself to cleaner lines than the traditional swing trigger. On this kind of work, it’s important that glue doesn’t poke out around the seams where the two materials bond together, so control in that sense was a big deal.

The second reason I went with this glue gun is that it has a needle nozzle, which adds even more control to how much glue even comes out of the gun. My replica coins were bowed out a little, at the only place to bond them to the wood was the edges, so I wanted my lines to be really, really thin.

Easy Greek Coin Earrings DIY

Step 11 – String a large jump ring through top hole you drilled in each wood round, then a small jump ring through the large ring and an earring hook through the small ring (make sure your earrings will face the correct direction!).

Secure all gaps with pliers.

Step 12 – Put in your earrings and check yourself out. Ooh la la!