I can’t tell you where inspiration for 99% of my projects comes from. Dreams. Books. Somewhere in the ether. I consider my brain to be a sponge that just takes and takes and takes and then one day spits out an idea completely at random, kind of like one of those automatic coupon machines at the grocery store (flashing lights and all). If it’s something that excites me, I go with it. Otherwise, I throw it back and keep waiting rather impatiently for the next idea to appear.
These ginkgo leaf earrings were one such grand idea that came to me out of the blue. One bite into a bowl of granola the other morning and I found myself thinking of miniature ginkgo leaves floating in the breeze. And then before I knew it, I had mentally tacked on some earring wires and painted them gold. Like I said, totally random and even slightly hallucinogenic, but I’ll take what I can get.
Aren’ t they pretty?
If you’ve never played with shrink plastic (aka Shrinky Dinks) before, well then I should warn you. These. Things. Are. Awesome. You essentially start with a huge piece of plastic and then pop it in the oven for a few minutes and watch it melt to ¼ its size. It’s oddly therapeutic, especially for secret pyromaniacs like me.
DIY Ginkgo Leaf Earrings
Fine tipped permanent marker
Parchment or aluminum foil
Gold leaf kit
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Using a fine tipped marker, sketch your leaf outline on the rough side of a piece of shrink plastic. I made my leaves about 3x bigger than I wanted them to be when shrunk (roughly 3 inches wide).
- Draw many small veins on the surface of the leaf, starting at the center where the leaf meets the stem and radiating outward.
- Cut out both leaves and use a standard hole punch to create a hole at the top.
- Place leaves on a foil/parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 2 minutes or until the plastic has completely melted. Remove the leaves from the oven and, while still warm, gently curve the sides upward to give them a slightly ruffled look.
- Once cool, use a paint brush to paint sizing around the bottom edge of each leaf. Let dry about 1 minute.
- Apply small bits of gold leaf to each earring, and smooth with your finger. Let dry for at least 30 minutes.
- Finally, use pliars to gently open the loop of each earwire and attach them to the earrings via the small hole at the top.
Pssst. Don't feel like making your own? These lovelies are now available in the shop.
My apologies for the blurry half-face shot ^^. This is where selfie meets abstract art.