How to Turn Clip Earrings Into Pierced Earrings

Updated April 17, 2017

Clip-on earrings were invented around the 1930s. This vintage style of earring can be worn on ears that have not been pierced. If a grandmother or great aunt gives you a pair of these earrings and you have a pierced ears, they can be converted to the pierced style. Clip-on earrings are unnecessary for women with pierced ears, and can pinch or irritate the ear lobe or existing piercing if worn. The clip-on style earrings also can slip off of the ear lobe, resulting in the loss of a sentimental piece of jewellery.

Rub a rag saturated with glue remover onto the back of the clip earring. Follow the glue remover's instructions on how long to let the glue remover sit on the surface. Clean excess glue remover off of the earring during the waiting period.

Hold down the earring, front side down with two fingers of one hand. Place the tips of a pair of pliers on each side of the earring back. Rock the pliers back and forth while pulling up to peel the clip off of the back of the earring. If the glue is still too strong and will not break, use the glue remover again.

Clean the back of the earring with a mild soap and water. Dry the earring. Apply a jewellery glue to the back of the earring in the centre. Push the pierced earring back onto the earring on top of the glue. Hold the pierced earring back in place with light pressure for 60 seconds. Remove excess glue with a damp cotton swab. Allow the glue to dry. Repeat for the other earring in the set.


Wear gloves when gluing the pierced backs onto the earrings to avoid glue on the hands. Lightly sand the back of the earring with a low-grit sandpaper, if the earring is made of plastic before applying glue.


Use a glue specifically for jewellery to avoid the backs of the earrings falling off.

Things You'll Need

  • Clip-on earrings
  • Glue remover
  • Rag
  • Pliers
  • Pierced earring backs
  • Glue
  • Cotton swab
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About the Author

Maude Coffey retired after 10 years working as a professional body modification artist in the tattoo industry. She is certified in principles of infection control and blood-borne pathogens. Coffey received additional training and classes, such as anatomy, jewelry standards and aftercare, from the Association of Professional Piercers. Coffey aims to educate about safe tattooing and piercing practices while writing for various websites.