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Vibrant Shrink Plastic Earrings & Book Feature Wired Beautiful

Vibrant Shrink Plastic Earrings & Book Feature Wired Beautiful


Do you like making jewelry? Do you like playing with shrink plastic? Perfect—me too! Shrink plastic offers endless possibilities when it comes to creating personalized jewelry.

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When it’s in its final shrunken state, this plastic is incredibly durable and it can be sanded or drilled into just like wood, Plexiglas or metal. So, when you’re creating pendants, charms, or, in the example I’ll share with you here, “beads,” even if you forget to punch holes in it before you shrink it, you can always drill holes afterward.

Start with clear shrink plastic. It comes semi-clear or in several solid colors, but for this particular technique, clear works best. Drop alcohol ink (my favorites are Ranger Ink’s Adirondacks) onto scraps of the plastic, or, full sheets if you prefer. It’s fun to watch the ink blend and redistribute itself. This ink comes in a large assortment of colors, so it’s easy to find and use your favorite palette!

Let the ink dry completely (it dries relatively fast) and then cut it into simple shapes and punch 1/8” (3mm) holes in each. (I varied how far I put the holes from the short ends of my rectangle shapes, but I kept them centered side-to-side.

Using a heat gun, and working on a Teflon craft mat or heat-resistant surface, shrink the plastic shapes. I like to use a wooden skewer to keep the pieces from flying around. If your pieces curl a tiny bit here and there, don’t worry—it will provide interest when they are stacked together.

I used the shrunken pieces in place of beads and made earrings from a project in Heidi Boyd’s gorgeous book, Wired Beautiful. Heidi’s version—Suspended Coral Earrings—is just one of so many really cool wire jewelry projects and if you are interested in learning how to make the earrings as well as other jewelry items like pendants, bracelets and rings, you owe it to yourself to get this book. Even if you’re new to wire jewelry, Heidi makes it super easy and approachable.

Fused_Glass

The great thing about colored inks on clear shrink plastic is that the finished product ends up looking like high-end fused glass, and yet it’s incredibly light and you can barely tell you’re wearing it. These plastic pieces also look great as smaller charms on a charm bracelet, alternated with small beads on a necklace and so many other possibilities. Are the wheels turning?

Was this not quite what you were looking for? Check out Creative Market for some original digital downloads.


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18 Comments
Showing 1 - 18 of 18 Comments
I prefer other beading /jewelry making technics but these are beautiful!
caori wrote:
I prefer other beading /jewelry making technics but these are beautiful!

Thank you, caori! (They were fun, too!)
Shrinky dink earrings! How cute is that :D
Team
These certainly make me want to try out those ink dyes on the shrink plastic.... and that book looks fantastic!

@caori - wow love your friends work, the one of the girl is lovely!

Awesome post @Tonia on using those dyes, they are so vibrant! I have def learned something new!
@Mol: *clears throat* Do you know who that girl is, young lady? That's not just any girl. It's Audrey Hepburn! :D Those earrings are made of awesome!

mollybermea wrote:
These certainly make me want to try out those ink dyes on the shrink plastic.... and that book looks fantastic!

@caori - wow love your friends work, the one of the girl is lovely!

Awesome post @Tonia on using those dyes, they are so vibrant! I have def learned something new!
Team
ROFL! Ok so I made myself sound like an idiot. ;) YES I DO KNOW - but I was juggling a few things and just wanted to say I loved the beauty of the woman in it, not the person it was (yes, I do love audrey too).

I liked the artistic quality of shadowing, long neck ... poise. :D so there Mei! ;) What can I say, I'm a painter!

OrigamiMei wrote:
@Mol: *clears throat* Do you know who that girl is, young lady? That's not just any girl. It's Audrey Hepburn! :D Those earrings are made of awesome!

mollybermea wrote:
These certainly make me want to try out those ink dyes on the shrink plastic.... and that book looks fantastic!

@caori - wow love your friends work, the one of the girl is lovely!

Awesome post @Tonia on using those dyes, they are so vibrant! I have def learned something new!
Love the colours.
Shrink Plastic? Wow...a world I never knew about. Thanks for the article...and getting those wheels turning.....Oh, the possibilities....
I've never tried shrink plastic, but I'm excited to get started with it...beautiful!!
darkcloud wrote:
Love the colours.

Thanks, darkcloud. :-)
jaydeejay wrote:
Shrink Plastic? Wow...a world I never knew about. Thanks for the article...and getting those wheels turning.....Oh, the possibilities....


Hooray for turning wheels! Endless possibilities for sure. :-)
barbigris wrote:
I've never tried shrink plastic, but I'm excited to get started with it...beautiful!!

In addition to clear, shrink plastic comes in a few solid colors as well as black. I love the black a lot and will sometimes punch shapes out of it, such as hearts, to coordinate with black ink that I've used on the clear variety.
I LOVE this! My friend has a ton of clear shrink plastic she's not going to be using for her jewelry (super fun, 80s & 90s pop culture jewelry & ornaments all made of shrink plastic) So maybe I'll have to 'borrow' a few sheets and have some fun at our next craft night.
despise wrote:
I LOVE this! My friend has a ton of clear shrink plastic she's not going to be using for her jewelry (super fun, 80s & 90s pop culture jewelry & ornaments all made of shrink plastic) So maybe I'll have to 'borrow' a few sheets and have some fun at our next craft night.

I bet if you do "borrow" some and try out this technique using the alcohol inks, your friend will decide to use the clear shrink plastic after all! ;-) Have fun!
Really love the colors.

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