How to Adjust Clip-on Earrings

Clip-on earrings are designed to fit anyone. This can create a problem, however, as some of us have very thin ear lobes and some more fleshy ones. For the same earring to fit a very slender earlobe, the wearer with a fleshy lobe may find the earring uncomfortable. For this reason it is good to know how to adjust the tension on clip-on earrings. Please note that a little change in tension can make a huge difference in comfort. Conversely a big change may mean that your earrings will not stay on.

Paddle Clip Loosen
Fig. 1
Paddle Clip Loosen

Turn over the earring and take a look at the back. Note the three prongs.

The outer two prongs hold the earring to the back of the clip and the middle prong controls the tension and the pressure on the earlobe.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Notice how the middle prong stands proud of the back of the earring. The bit that stands up is called the nib.

To loosen the tension you need to gently 'lift' the nib away from the earring.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Using a small flat screwdriver, push the tip of the screwdriver under the nib and gently lift the middle prong.

Do not lift too much as a little adjustment makes a big difference in comfort. Try on the earring after each 'lift' and continue adjusting and trying on until you are happy with the fit

Paddle Clip Tighten
Fig. 4
Paddle Clip Tighten

If you have loosened the earrings too much and need to tighten them, you will first need to remove the paddle clip from its holder.

Using pliers, gently squeeze the outer two prongs until they pop out of their holders.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Gently push the nib down using your thumb, or the pliers, so that the middle prong lies flat with the two side prongs.

Now you need to re-attach the paddle clip to the holder.

Fig. 6
Fig. 6
Fig. 6

Hold the earring so that the front is facing out and away from you. Using your pliers gently squeeze in the outer two prongs of the paddle clip so that the lugs line up with the holes in the holder on the earring back.

Now release the sides of the clip so that the lugs pop back into the holes in the holder.

Fig. 7
Fig. 7
Fig. 7

Try the earring on and if it is now too tight, use your flat screwdriver to very slightly raise the nib to loosen the paddle.

Keep trying the earring on and loosening the paddle until the earring sits comfortably.

Fig. 8
Fig. 8
Fig. 8

When the tension is right for you, use your pliers to very gently 'pinch' in the two sides of the holder, thereby pushing the holes further onto the clip's prongs to keep the clip securely on the earring.

Hinged Clip Loosen
Hinged Clip Loosen

Note how the top of the hinged clip loops back on itself to create a 'pad'. To loosen, simply squeeze the pad at the top very gently using your thumb and forefinger, or a pair of pliers, reducing the space under the pad so that it isn't so wide.

The above action should be all that is needed to loosen the tension on these clips, but if the earring is still too tight take your pliers and gently bend outwards, one side of the bottom of the 'U' bend (No.1).

Keep trying the earring and making small adjustments until the earring sits comfortably on your earlobe.

Hinged Clip Tighten
Hinged Clip Tighten

Using your thumb and forefinger, or a pair of pliers, gently ease out the lip of the pad, broadening it, so that the pad becomes wider.

If the earring is still too loose, take your pliers and gently squeeze in the outer side of the bottom of the 'U'.

Keep trying the earring and making small adjustments until the earring sits comfortably on your earlobe.

Simple Screwback Clip
Simple Screwback Clip

Loosen or tighten using the screw, until the earrings are secure and comfortable.

Tighten to put on and unscrew to take off.

Hinged Screwback Clip
Hinged Screwback Clip

Simply loosen or tighten using the screw until the earring is secure and comfortable.

Use the hinge action (No.1) to put the earring on and take it off, without having to re-adjust the screw.

Mini Clip Loosen
Mini Clip Loosen

Use your thumb and forefinger, or pliers, to gently bend out and broaden one side of the bottom of the "U". This action moves it away from the earring, thereby loosening the grip.

Keep trying the earring and making small adjustments until the earring sits comfortably on your earlobe.

Mini Clip Tighten
Mini Clip Tighten

Using your thumb and forefinger, or pliers, gently squeeze in the outer side of the bottom of the "U", moving it in towards the earring to tighten the grip.

Keep trying the earring on and making small adjustments until the earring sits comfortably on your earlobe.