BAM Co Create

Monstera Madness! Custom Paperclip DIY Tutorial

If you're like us and not ready to say goodbye to summer vibes yet, this sweet tropical style tutorial is for you! Or, if you're ready to embrace all this Autumn, feel free to switch up your colors and shape and make a leaf more to you're liking! Either way, we think you'll love this opportunity from Candace at From Pixels, to Quill to jazz up your paperclip game!

From Candace of From Pixels to Quill: I was looking for some fancy paperclips to use for styling with an upcoming baby announcement I'm designing. I knew that I had seen many other fun shapes before, like cats, and cacti, and diamond rings. But after searching around within the usual suspects (Etsy, Amazon, eBay, Google), I couldn't find the monstera leaves I so desperately was seeking anywhere. So, back to Amazon I went to order up some craft wire, determined to make them myself. Here are the steps to creating any shape your heart desires and the supplies you will need!  


If your first one turns out less than perfect, don't be discouraged. While I wouldn't describe my first leaf as a DIY fail, it definitely looked a little wobbly. Try again; you'll get the hang of it! 


Supplies:

1. 18 gauge artistic craft wire (comes in various colors and widths – helpful hint, the lower the gauge, the thicker/stiffer the wire – probably want to stay within 18–24 gauge)

2. Needle nose pliers

3. Wire cutters

4. Printout of monstera leaf (or your chosen shape)


Custom Paperclips - Monstera Version!

1 Pick your plant (or any shape)!

First, decide on what shape you want to create and print it out. Here, I searched online for images of monstera leaves. When I found the shapes that I liked, I saved them and then printed them out. If you have some design experience, you can bring it into Adobe Illustrator like I did, and live trace it to create outlines to make it easier to see the path you're twisting and shaping around. But if not, just a full image will do! Make sure to print them around the size that you want to make your paperclips. Here, mine are about 1.5" wide.

Start with a small circle...

2 Start with a small circle...

Once you have your printout, you will pick a spot to start from. Here, start by creating a tiny circle by holding the end of the wire with the needle nose pliers, and curl the wire around the tip until it meets the end. From there, I created a straight line up to the top of the leaf, which created the inner vein of the leaf, and leaving the open circle towards the bottom of the fuller part of the leaf. Proceed to bend and curve the wire around the top right of the leaf until you come to the first point. Adjust your pliers to the very tip of the first frond and hold tightly as you then pull the wire in the opposite direction towards the interior of the leaf. Adjust the pliers again to hold the spot of the inner curve of the frond, and then pulled the wire back out towards the perimeter of the leaf. You will get a pretty good angle at the tip of the frond, but I suggest going back and squeezing the tip further to get a more pointed edge. As long as you don't squeeze too hard, it should be fairly easy to adjust until you get the shape you want.

3 Finish it with a final stem

Proceed with each frond, moving in and out of the leaf, until you come around to the top of the leaf again. Continue back into the center of the leaf again, but don't follow the original inner vein you created all the way down. Stop short, and clip the wire with the wire cutters a little less than half the way down the second interior vein you're creating. And then take your needle nose pliers to the end, and curl the end back towards the top of the leaf to create the higher circle of the leaf. When holding papers together, you'll be able to use the longer initial vein to support the back of the papers, and then have your fancy shape on the front! 


Clip away!

4 Clip away!

And now you're ready to add a personal touch to all your paper goods!

Meet the Authors

Marlayna is not only a wedding photographer, but also works at UMBC taking photos for our alma mater! When she's not photographing, she loves to kick back and relax with her husband Adam and their two cats Zoe and Annie! And when they're not at home, they love to travel and try new beers, cocktails, and of course, delicious food!