Wellnesting | Creating a Happy Handmade Home


DIY Tribal Earrings

DIYStephanie1 Comment
DIY Tribal Earrings from Shrink Plastic | Wellnesting

When it comes to DIY inspiration, for me, Anthropologie is where it’s at. Everything they have is artsy and eclectic and can’t be pinned down to just one style, which for some reason totally speaks to me.  I spotted some tribal earrings there a few months back and immediately etched them into my brain, only to have them come up again and again every time I sat to plan my next DIY. I don’t know if they’re still for sale otherwise I would show you what I’m talking about, but these little pretties are darn close.

DIY Tribal Earrings from Shrink Plastic | Wellnesting

As any DIY’er knows, sometimes what’s in your head doesn’t always translate very well in the real world, but these came out better than I expected. With a piece of shrink plastic, some colored pencils, and several different shades of embroidery thread, I was able to jimmy these little guys together in under an hour.

And I just love how the different shades of amber thread remind me of a lion’s mane. Paired with the bright turquoise, I think they say hey-look-here-not-at-the-bags-under-my-eyes, no?

Definitely one of my favorite DIYs thus far!

DIY Tribal Earrings from Shrink Plastic | Wellnesting


Shrink plastic (look for the frosted version)
Hole punch
20 gauge wire
Ear wires
Embroidery floss in 3 shades
Wire cutters
Baking sheet
Parchment paper
Colored pencils
Pencil, round drinking glass, paper (for a stencil)

Tribal Earrings | Wellnesting

The How To

  1. Create your stencil by tracing a drinking glass or small cup on a piece of paper. My glass was about 3 inches in diameter.
  2. Cut out your stencil and trim off the top 1/3 of the circle. Next, trace your stencil on a piece of shrink plastic and cut two semicircles.
  3. On the rough side of the plastic, color the entire semi-circle with a heavy hand to deposit as much color as possible. If your shrink plastic didn't come pre-sanded, simply grab a fine grain sandpaper and lightly scuff the plastic going in small circles.
  4. Use your hole punch to make a hole in each of the top corners, and then 10 holes along the bottom curve. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place both pieces of plastic on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 3 minutes or until plastic has finished melting and completely untwisted.
  5. Gather your floss and a hand sewing needle and cut your thread into 36 inch segments. You'll need 3 segments of two of the colors, and 4 segments of one of the colors.
  6. Thread your needle with one of the colors and start passing the needle back and forth through the hole.  Essentially you want to feed the need through the front of the hole and then bring the needle back in the opposite direction through the same sideof the hole you just came out of -- being sure to leave about 1.5 inches of thread on either side.
  7. Remove your needle and even up the loops of thread on either side of the hole. Then feed the thread from the back of the semi circle through the loop of thread on the front of semicircle and tighten.
  8. Trim the thread and continue this process for each of the 10 holes.
  9. Take a 3-inch piece of wire and fold it half. With your pliars, twist the wire 1x to create a loop at mid-point of the wire.
  10. Then bend the wire at both ends to create the loops that will attach to your earrings. Thread the wire through the holes at each end of the earrings and use your pliars to close the loop.
  11. Finally attach your ear wires to the loop at the top.
DIY Tribal Earrings from Shrink Plastic | Wellnesting

Just in case you wanted to see them on, here I am modeling them for you (and not looking awkward in the slightest.)

Tribal Earrings | Wellnesting

And as a reward for those of you who scrolled all the way down here to the bottom, here are some outtakes for you.....

(C was trying to distract me while I was voguing for the camera. Bottom right especially cracks me up.)

Tribal Earrings | Wellnesting

Pssst. If you like playing with shrink plastic, these earrings are an awful lot like another pair I made a few months ago. Check ‘em out.