DIY your own theme park Shrinky Dink earrings for your next vacation.
I don’t know how I have never tried them before, but now I’m officially hooked.
For fall break, we headed to California to visit Universal Studios Hollywood for the first time, and while we were there we had to visit Disneyland.
And, obviously, I needed to completely on theme and somehow own zero Harry Potter-themed earrings to wear to Universal!
I do have Disney-themed earrings, but we always seem to end up at Disneyland during the fall so I really wanted some Mickey Mouse pumpkin earrings.
I seriously thought about making them on my 3D printer, but ultimately decided Shrinky Dinks was the way to go.
I’ve been wanting to try something with shrink plastic for years so this was my big chance!
I’ll take you through how I made the theme park Shrinky Dink earrings with my Silhouette Cameo and photo editing software.
Because I figure if you’re here for this tutorial, you’re probably a Harry Potter fan.
While the entire Harry Potter area in Universal Studios Hollywood is WAY smaller than the one in Orlando, it’s still a completely immersive experience.
Our family of Harry Potter fanatics loved it!
We ate lunch at The Three Broomsticks which was SO good.
My boys and I had the fish & chips and thought it was really tasty.
My husband had the bangers & mash and liked it pretty well.
As for the butterbeer… we had the frozen and hot – both SO GOOD!
With our love of all things Harry Potter, I knew this would be my theme for the park and definitely needed some Deathly Hallows earrings for my outfit.
The weather is perfect and the theming is on point.
This was our 3rd trip to Disneyland, and every trip has been in the fall when the park is all dressed up for Halloween.
So, obviously, I needed some Mickey Mouse pumpkin earrings.
THIS is the shrink plastic (affiliate link) I used.
It is specifically made to be sent through inkjet printers.
I did a lot of research prior to making these earrings.
- Shrink plastic will typically shrink ~50% (check your package to see if it says otherwise)
- The colors on your shrink plastic will get darker being in the over – the longer in the oven, the darker the image will be.
- You must press down the shrink plastic as soon as it is removed from the oven so it does not curl up.
I used the print and cut feature on my Silhouette Cameo to set up my earring images.
Prior to printing, I saved the file and opened it in an imaging software program that allowed me to adjust the lighting levels of the file.
Specifically, you’re looking to lowering the midtones of the image by half.
Mine started at 50 (on the above left), and I lowered it to 25 (on the above right).
This lightened my colors so they would be true to form after heating in the oven.
Once the lighting had been adjusted, I saved the file from my imaging software and reopened it in Silhouette Studio.
I then used the print and cut feature to print on the shrink plastic then cut the images out.
To do this, I used the acetate sheet setting in the Silhouette software.
HOWEVER, you will need to “send” this to the machine multiple times.
The acetate sheet setting is already set to cut twice.
You will need to “send” to the machine at least 6 or more times to successfully cut through the shrink plastic.
This is very simple, it just takes extra time.
DO NOT remove your cutting mat when the machine finishes a cut.
Simply leave it in place and send to the machine again and again until the plastic is cut through.
Your shrink plastic should include baking temperature and time.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, spread out shrink plastic images on top of parchment paper, add another layer of parchment paper on top.
The top layer of parchment paper is suppose to help your shrink plastic from curling up on itself while baking.
I baked my shrink plastic at 325 degrees F for ~30 seconds.
Theme Park Shrinky Dink Earrings: Pressing Down
My first trial with the shrink plastic went eh.
These things cool down FAST once removed from the oven.
So to put something on top of the shrunken plastic to prevent them from curling has to be done really quickly.
I was not quick enough, as you can see in the photo above.
Time to try again!
You may notice my Mickey Mouse pumpkins did not quite shrink the same, but I was okay with that.
Also, not the colors on the shrink plastic and how different it is than prior to baking.
To give my earrings a polished look, I added a coat of resin (affiliate link) to the tops.
They cure with an UV light that comes with the resin.
I then added my earring hardware (jump rings and earring hooks) and these theme park shrinky dink earrings were ready to wear!
I don’t have many shots of wearing the completed earrings in the parks, so bear with me.
Please enjoy this ridiculous photo of me on the Mario Kart ride at Universal Studios Hollywood.
It is a great shot of the earrings though!
I found the cute herbology shirt at Walmart.
When we found this adorable flower storefront in Hogsmeade, I knew I needed a picture in front of it!
This is the only good photo of the Mickey Mouse pumpkin earrings, and I wore these bad boys for 3 days!
They were great because they are lightweight and totally on theme for both Disney parks in California.
This photo was actually taken in Downtown Disney after we snagged yummy fall flavored churros from the CA Churro cart before even hitting the parks.
I will definitely be making more shrink plastic crafts in the future!
>> See where I party! <<