The Cute Shrinky Dink Earrings Anyone Can Make

how to make shrinky dink earringsMaking shrinky dink earrings has got to be the best thing since buying an at-home bread slicer. You can turn a simple drawing into wearable ear art with only a few supplies.

And you can up your shrinky dink earrings game by giving them a glossy finish with resin.

While these earrings are Halloween-themed, you can make them for other major holidays too. Like National Cheese Lovers Day and National Cell Phone Courtesy month.

Supply list:

Step 1: Prep your area

Your table needs to handle the heat of a heat gun. Plus, you’ll need to cover it with a surface that the shrink plastic won’t stick to. The dull side of parchment paper works great for this.

Step 2: Select your clip art

If you’re a doodler, you can use your art for this project. But if drawing isn’t your thing, you can find lots of digital clip art on Etsy. Here are links to the clip art I used to make these shrinky dink earrings:

Skeleton cat
Ghost cat
Cute ghosts
Flower ghosts
Cat ghosts

⚠️ IMPORTANT: If you’re hoping to sell your Halloween earrings, you need to use art that you have the legal right to use and resell.

Step 3: Resize the art

Because the shrink plastic will do just that – shrink – you need to draw it bigger than the size you want for your finished shrinky dink earrings.

The easy {and FREE} way to resize your art is with Canva. Create a 3-inch square template. Then, drag your file onto the template and resize it to fit the square.

Finally, print your art.

sanding shrink plastic

Step 4: Sand the plastic

Use 400 grit sandpaper to sand the shrink plastic surface. Go back and forth, then rotate 90 degrees and do it again. You want an evenly frosted surface.

tracing design onto plastic

Step 5: Trace the design

Place your sanded shrink plastic onto the design. Then use your pen to trace the design onto the plastic.

Here are a couple pro tips to know as you use shrinky dink plastic to make these earrings.

Shrink plastic shrinks—a LOT.

The instructions share that your design will shrink by about 20%. Mine shrunk by about 65%. My 3-inch square design shrunk down to about 1 1/8 inches square.

The colors will concentrate.

Whatever color you want, choose a shade lighter. It will darken as it shrinks.

cutting out design

Cut the plastic design out, leaving space for the earring hole.

punching a hole in plastic

Use the hole punch to place a hole in the plastic. Trim to make a round shape, but don’t get too close to the hole.

Step 6: Heat the plastic

Here’s where your shrinky dink earrings come to life. Go over the surface of the plastic with the heat gun and let it shrink. The heat gun will blow the plastic over your table, so use tweezers to help it stay in place.

Like this post? You may be interested in  How to Make A Resin Bangle Bracelet - The EASY way

After shrinking, place a ceramic tile on top to flatten the warm plastic. Leave it for 20 to 30 seconds.

adding epoxy resin to shrinky dink earrings

Step 7: Add resin

Now it’s time to give your cute shrinky dink earrings a glossy finish. The Resin Obsession crystal doming resin is perfect for this because it mixes thick. That thickness lets it stay on the plastic surface and not run over the edge. It finishes with a beautiful, glossy dome.

Mix the resin and add a smidge of glitter. Then, drop the resin onto the earring. Use a toothpick to draw the resin to the edge of the earring.

💡 Pro tip: Only add enough clear epoxy to cover half the earring. If you cover the earring completely, it will spill over the edge.

Check for bubbles. Then, let the resin cure for 24 hours.

⭐️ BONUS: If you’ve never used resin before, learn how to mix epoxy resin in five easy steps.

painting earring back with acrylic white

[OPTIONAL] Step 8: Paint the back

The sanded plastic will finish frosted white. If you don’t want that look, add acrylic paint to the back of your earrings to give them more color.

[OPTIONAL] Step 9: Color the edges

Use a marker or pen to color the edges of the earrings.

adding clear epoxy to earrings back

[OPTIONAL] Step 10: Coat the back with clear epoxy

Add a layer of Resin Obsession crystal doming resin to the back of the earrings to seal the paint.

Step 11: Add earring findings

Finish your shrinky dink earrings with hoops or ear wires to make them wearable.

Here’s how to make these cute Halloween earrings in under 50 seconds:

I love how these are not-so-scary Halloween earrings.

And they’re cat earrings. Like a total WIN-WIN.

Have more questions about making these shrinky dink earrings?

You are MY PEOPLE. And if I’m reading your mind, you want to know…

Why do you need to sand the surface?

Well, you don’t. But I find it’s easier to see what you’re doing to trace the design and color it in.

difference in sizes before and after shrinking
How big of an image do I need to start with?

You’ll need to do some test pieces to figure this out. I wanted Halloween earrings a bit larger than 1 inch square and wide. On my test pieces, the image shrunk about 65% of the original size. Working backward, I needed to start with an image about 3 inches wide and large.

The Left shows my ghost cat earring after shrinking the design. The right shows the original plastic size.

Can’t I put the shrink plastic in the oven?

Yes, you can. I just don’t like waiting. 😂

What else should I know about using shrink plastic?

I covered the basics here, but there are a few more things that AmyMade shares in this 10-minute youtube video.

Why did you paint the back? Like, couldn’t you use colored resin?

Uh. Yeah. I thought painting the back would color them faster. But, it took 4 to 5 coats of paint AND a layer of clear epoxy. Next time, I’ll mix crystal doming resin with Resin Obsession opaque white pigment to color the back.

Why did you make so many cat earrings?

Because I LOVE cats. And I love earrings. With resin. And I have friends that I’ll gift them to.

Want to take on this resin jewelry project but want more help getting started?

Then you’ll want to get my ebook, Resin Fundamentals. You’ll learn the specifics of creating with resin in only a couple of hours. You’ll have the confidence to make something beautiful with resin, even if you’re completely new at this. Buy the PDF book now and get an email download link in minutes.

⚠️ LEGAL: Shrinky Dinks is a registered trademark owned by Just Play Products.

Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2024 Resin Obsession, LLC

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