This is a tutorial for DIY acrylic earrings. Get your free earring template set and craft along!
This week, I decided to put together a tutorial on how to make acrylic earrings with Cricut. Lately, I have been seeing gorgeous acrylic earrings in retail stores, boutiques, and online shops. So, I decided to try making my own DIY acrylic earrings to give to friends and family.
I love the acrylic material for how durable it is. Plus, it’s easy to make different patterns, colors, and shapes. With summer finally here, I decided to make some more vibrant earring sets. Of course, you can always use whichever colors or patterns you like best. In this post, I’ll go through the most important steps for how to make acrylic earrings with the Cricut.
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Materials for DIY Acrylic Earrings
Templates – This set of acrylic earring templates along with the leopard print patterns is free and available in both SVG and printable PDF formats in my resource library.
How to Make Acrylic Earrings with the Cricut
Choose Your Acrylic Materials
To get started making your acrylic earrings, you can get finished acrylic or mylar sheets but it needs to me super thin like 1mm thick max.
If it’s more than 1mm thick, your Cricut machine may not be able to cut through it. I think .007 acrylic or .020 acrylic thickness works very well, and my Cricut was able to cut it out successfully.
After trying a few different materials, I found that acrylic sheets don’t quite have the same effect as using shrink film then baking it. For acrylic earrings, I like the thickness to be at least 2 to 3mm so I highly recommend using shrink film.
When using shrink plastic for your Cricut acrylic earrings, remember to take the shrinkage into account as you plan your project. I like to do a test piece first so I can see how exactly how much the the plastic with shrink. In addition, sometimes the colors change slightly when you heat up and shrink the plastic. Here, a small test piece is also helpful.
There are a few different types of shrink plastic as well. For example, printable shrink film has an opaque white finish, as you can see below. This can work to make more contrast if you’re using darker color patterns.
On the other hand, regular shrink film usually finishes clear. This is important to keep in mind as you choose a pattern to go on the shrink plastic. Typically, I only use the printable shrink film if I’m looking to make a pattern with a white background.
I love how these DIY teardrop acrylic earrings turned out. I used my metallic gold Sharpie to create a crackle effect on the shrink plastic. With the clear background, it came out looking just like a crackle pattern!
Cut Your Shrink Film
Once you choose your materials, you can select an earring SVG cut file from my Resource Library. I also have the leopard patterns available for free use. To access them, you just need to sign up for my email newsletter.
After you choose a cut template you like, you can upload it to the Cricut Design Space. When cutting shrink film, I find printable shrink film requires a different setting compared to regular clear shrink film. Regular clear shrink film can be cut using the plastic packaging “more” setting. The printable kind is thicker and requires the knife blade. I set it on mat “less”.
If you’re using a Silhouette instead of a Cricut, the Silhouette brand shrink plastic may be easier to cut. For the Cricut, you should be able to use whichever brand of shrink plastic film you have.
Color Your Shrink Film
If you are coloring the shrink film by hand, I recommend getting an assorted Sharpie set. Typically, these permanent markers adhere to the shrink plastic very well after you bake them. They also have a wide range of color options to choose from. Of course, you can always try out whatever permanent markers you have at home.
Ideally, this is when you should test your shrink plastic. This way, you can make sure you like the color and that it adheres to the plastic well. For my arc acrylic earring design, I went with simple diagonal stripes. Then, I colored in the circle pieces completely to create good contrast. You can always invert these if you’d prefer the acrylic circle templates to have the stripes instead.
For my DIY diamond shaped acrylic earrings, I made small polygon shapes on the shrink plastic. Once I baked it, I found that it mimicked confetti since I used such a vibrant color scheme. I love these acrylic earring templates for the cutout shape in the middle. It brings a new angle to teardrop shaped earrings that I’ve been seeing in retail stores.
Try Alcohol Ink
Next, you can also use alcohol ink to create marble or watercolor paint effect on your acrylic earrings. Since the shrink film is slick and non-porous, it works great to with alcohol ink.
To make this effect, I colored in my shrink paper with a few colors. Since they are going to mix together with the alcohol, I’d recommend using two to four colors that compliment each other well. Once you’ve colored in the sheet, you can use a spray mist bottle filled with rubbing alcohol to cover the surface.
Then, blow on the shrink film to spread the ink and blend the colors together throughout the design. When you are happy with how the effect looks, set the film aside to dry. After it dries, you can lightly mist the top of your design again to create a speckled stone look.
Bake Your Shrink Film
When you are done with cutting and coloring your earrings, bake them in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about 5 minutes. Keep an eye on this as ovens heat at different rates. The plastic will first curl up when heated and then flatten again to about a quarter of its original size. When it is its flattened back out, that is when you take it out of the oven.
Be sure to let them cool before attaching your earring hooks and clasps. If you’re giving these as a gift, I love making an earring card holder to display them in.
Follow this tutorial to learn how to make acrylic earrings with Cricut. When trying out different materials, I found that the shrink plastic works best to make designs and cut with Cricut. Then, I colored it with Sharpie markers. You can also use alcohol ink to make a watercolor or marble effect.
Once you prepared your earrings, it only takes about five minutes to bake them! After they cool, you can attach your hooks for the perfect homemade gift. Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter to access these free acrylic earring templates and to get more fun Cricut craft updates!