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Shrink Plastic Earrings

By: Candace Jedrowicz

Summer isn't complete without creative beach crafts! Make Shrink Plastic Earrings from Candace Jedrowicz to show off your love for the season. Use wire to add flair to these easy-to-make earrings. People will think you bought them in an expensive boutique!

Shrink Plastic Earrings
 

Materials:

  • Clear or frosted shrink plastic
  • Acrylic paint – any color
  • Heat tool
  • Scissors
  • Round and chain nose pliers
  • 20 gauge wire
  • Tweezers
  • Wire cutters
  • 1/8″ hole punch
  • Assorted beads

Instructions:

  1. If you have clear shrink plastic, use a fine sand paper to create the frosted look.

    Shrink Plastic Earrings
     
  2. Cut organic shapes about twice the size you want.
     
  3. Punch a hole in what will be the top of the piece.

    Shrink Plastic Earrings
     
  4. Paint one side with acrylic paint and quickly wipe it off. The color will get darker as it shrinks.

    Shrink Plastic Earrings
     
  5. Place the tweezers in the punched hole to hold the piece while the heat gun is on.

    Shrink Plastic Earrings
     
  6. The piece will curl up like a potato chip, but it will flatten back out.

    Shrink Plastic Earrings
     
  7. It only takes a couple of minutes to finish curing the practice.
     
  8. You can stop here, or you can add texture. While the piece is still hot, stamp on one or both sides.

    Shrink Plastic Earrings
     
  9. You can hold the heat gun on the piece a little while longer to make it nice and soft. Then get it on the stamp quickly and press.
     
  10. If you heat it while it’s on the stamp, you’ll get some residual ink on the piece, which is actually kind of cool.

    Shrink Plastic Earrings
     
  11. Sweet! Look around you, what could you use to make patterns in the plastic.

    Shrink Plastic Earrings
     
  12. If you’d like, you can sand back some of the paint on the ridges to show the pattern.

    Shrink Plastic Earrings
     
  13. Gather some jewelry tools, wire and beads.

    Shrink Plastic Earrings
     
  14. I used 20 gauge wire. Cut 3″ lengths of wire – two for each earring.
     
  15. Bend the center of the first wire in the middle. I bent it around the widest part of the round nose pliers.

    Shrink Plastic Earrings
     
  16. Slide the shrink plastic piece onto the wire.

    Shrink Plastic Earrings
     
  17. Slide a bead onto both wires and bend one end out.

    Shrink Plastic Earrings
     
  18. Make a loop with the straight wire.

    Shrink Plastic Earrings
     
  19. Wrap the end of that wire one or two times below the loop.

    Shrink Plastic Earrings
     
  20. Wrap the bent end around below the loop. Make the wrap as big as you want.
     
  21. Cut off the excess wire.

    Shrink Plastic Earrings
     
  22. To make the ear wire, start with a 3″ piece of wire.

    Shrink Plastic Earrings
     
  23. Bend one third of the wire around the round nose pliers.

    Shrink Plastic Earrings
     
  24. Crimp the wire with chain nose pliers while the wire is still wrapped around the round nose pliers.

    Shrink Plastic Earrings
     
  25. Slide the finished dangle on to the loop.
     
  26. Slide a bead over both pieces of wire.

    Shrink Plastic Earrings
     
  27. Bend the rest of the wire over the handle of the tool to complete the ear wire.

    Shrink Plastic Earrings
     
  28. If desired, you can add a spiral detail with wire.
     
  29. I used two more 3″ lengths of wire, Make a small loop at one end.

    Shrink Plastic Earrings
     
  30. Wrap the wire into a spiral. Slide the small loop onto the wire holding the beach glass and close it with pliers.

    Shrink Plastic Earrings
     
  31. I got some really interesting effects, stamping with ink and without, sanding back some of the color and applying pearly powder!

    Shrink Plastic Earrings

For a comprehensive video tutorial, check out How to Make Shrink Plastic Look of Beach Glass Earrings.

 

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