I’ve been dying to play with shrink plastic ever since I saw this link on Pinterest, as well as the things my sister Lili’s been making for her Etsy shop. (If you see something you want in a different size, send Lili a message and she’ll make it for you–and she also has more stock she hasn’t had a chance to list yet.)
Here’s the photo from the tutorial I linked above:
The instructions were excellent and everything worked just as she said. You really do have to make the flowers one at a time, or two at the most. I tried to speed things up and ended up with several flat flowers. But the flowers really do only take about 20-30 seconds each. (I need to find a smaller-ended paintbrush, because even my cupped flowers are only slightly cupped.)
I discovered the window on my oven badly needs to be cleaned.
You’ll need beginning jewelery making skills. (This is one time I’m grateful for something I learned at a Relief Society Super Saturday.)
I used a semi-opaque shrink film, a five-petal flower, and colored the film with a Sharpie after lightly sanding it. It helps to have a skewer or craft stick to hold the flower or leaf in place while coloring. (I discovered this after coloring my fingers.) Oh, and I didn’t have a scalloped circle punch so I just free-handed the leaves and left the edges smooth. My mom has MANY craft punches, so I can’t wait to play with them and experiment with other colors and with clear shrink film. I kind of wished I had colored the backs of my flowers, but they’re okay this way.
You won’t be able to make the bend in the wire close enough to a flat flower to make it face forward (rather than dangling downward) unless you make the bend in the wire before adding the bead. But a seed bead won’t pass over a bent wire easily, so first put on the seed bead (I only used one for my flat flowers) then make a bend very close to the bead, then put the flower on.
For the longer earrings with the flat beads, I made a loop in front to hang my leaf on.
By the time you gather all the supplies, these are probably not much cheaper than comparable things at Claire’s or Icing–but it’s a lot of fun to design the beads yourself. And since you usually have to buy quite a few findings at once, you save more if you make a lot of them.