Sunday, July 7, 2013

Cat Lady Earrings (DIY)

This tutorial is for the ladies...the crazy cat ladies.

On Twitter, I happened to see this from Urban Outfitters:
Naturally, I had to go check it out.
Look at all this cool crazy cat lady stuff!
I was overwhelmed with the desire to make lots of cat-inspired clothes and jewelry (and to run out to adopt a thousand cats, but I fought that urge).

What really caught my eye is that set of teeny kitten face earrings: a flashback to the stick-on Lisa Frank earrings of my childhood: they're cute, quirky, and small.  If a cat covered tie or dress screams "I'm a crazy cat person!" then these little post earrings just whisper it.
I can handle that.  Here's how to make a similar pair of your own:
My helper, Possum (a foster kitten)
You will need:
plastic that shrinks when heated (like Shrinky Dink)
permanent markers and colored pencils
earring posts

I found this shrinking paper at the Goodwill Outlet Center and have been saving it for a project like this.  Its kind of old, as you can probably tell from the packaging, and was a little weird.  After much trial and error (and a lot of unfortunate looking, deformed cat heads), I found a good system.  Hopefully, you'll have better luck that I did.
because my paper was designed for use with a computer printer, the surface is smooth and won't work with colored pencils.  I sanded one side with a nail file to add texture.
My first batch of cat faces was about 1" x 1" and shrunk to 1/3 of the size.
I don't know if this is a normal Shrinky Dink thing or not, but my shapes did not shrink evenly.
The drawing is the pre-baked sized, and you can see how they turned out after baking.
To counter this problem, I drew the faces longer and they shrink down to a normal shape.
I know it looks strange, and kind of creepy, but it worked for my ancient shrinky paper.
I drew the outline, pupils, and dots on the cheeks with a think black permanent marker, then added eyes, ears, noses, and coloring with colored pencils.
After baking your kitty shapes, attach the posts with glue.

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