Yes, bags are great, and sunglasses are essential, but hear us out: There is no better accessory for summer than the statement earring.
Bold brass hoops, bright tassel drop earrings — any pair can add that ineffable air of specialness to an outfit. They make you feel all badass and Instagram-cool when paired with literally no eye makeup and just a slash of cherry-red lipstick. And most brilliantly of all, the statement earring does all that while adding no layers or heft to your outfit. Have we convinced you yet?
As summer swelters on, we all need a good statement earring in rotation — and Laura Valencia is here to show you how you can make your very own, no design degree required. Laura works at SheKnows as an assistant video producer by day, but she explores her creative side after-hours too, scouring NYC’s coolest boutiques for designs that inspire her DIYs. Read on for her how-to on making the summer’s best accessory, the coolest way to wear it and why the best time to start on any creative endeavor is right now.
STYLECASTER: How did you develop a love for art and fashion?
Laura Valencia: My family! My mother and aunts are very creative. When I was younger, I used to watch my aunt paint murals in almost all the rooms of her apartment and her sister’s house. I was always mesmerized by all the colors. When I was very young, my mom would allow me to paint outside in the backyard, and I just started loving the feeling of creating things. My love for fashion and color really developed after studying abroad in Seville, Spain, and traveling through Morocco. Chefchaouen is my favorite city. EVERYTHING is blue, from the walls to the streets!
SC: How does your side hustle make you better at your day job?
LV: I feel that adding graphics to a video, creating social content or making earrings use the same part of my brain. I’m always trying to make harmony, to match colors and shapes.
SC: So what makes the statement the best summer accessory?
LV: I always love a pop of color whether it’s in lipstick, shoes or jewelry. Summer = color to me. The more the better — and what’s better than matching a bold summer lip with some fun, bright earrings?
SC: And, most exciting part — tell us step-by-step how you make your earrings!
LV: For that, you’ll need four spools embroidery thread (whatever colors you want), two earring fish hooks and a sewing needle and thread. Then just follow the instructions below.
SC: What do you like to wear with these earrings?
LV: When wearing any statement earring, I love going simple and letting the earring speak for itself. I love a good all-white or denim-on-denim outfit, both of which can look casual or dressy — it all depends on the shoes. I swap out my Birkenstocks for some wedges, and I’m ready for a night out!
SC: Do you ever sell your jewelry?
LV: I don’t sell and have no intention to. For me, it’s more of an outlet — I like to always keep my creative juices flowing even when I’m outside of the office.
SC: Is it hard to find energy to be creative in addition to your day job?
LV: It’s really not! If I’m feeling down or had a rough day, I love to craft or draw. I find it always improves my mood!
SC: What are your go-tos when you need a hit of creative inspiration?
LV: I love @arpanarayamajhi on Instagram. She makes jewelry, too, and is just #goals. If I’m ever stuck for crafting or DIY inspiration, Pinterest is my friend — even though I have had some pretty epic fails. I also love just walking around stores in NYC. Whenever I see simple earrings for a ridiculous price, I snap a picture, go home and try to recreate them.
SC: What’s your best advice for women who want to become more creative or learn a new skill?
LV: Definitely don’t wait until you have “a name” or the “best stuff.” Once you feel like you’re starting to master your skill and you want to make your work even better, then invest in better beads, brand-name makeup or whatever you’re into. It will make it so much better and worth it. But in the meantime — just start!
This post is sponsored by DOVE® Chocolate.