Featured List

Icy Earrings From... Bubble Wrap?!

Monday, June 11, 2012

I've been experimenting with fused bubble wrap this past week, something I've wanted to try ever since I spotted this awesome bubble wrap pendant over on Craft:.

Here's what I came up with:

Snowflakes! In June!

There are lots of fused plastic and bubble wrap tutorials out there you can Google, but fortunately the process is really simple: just sandwich your plastic between two sheets of parchment paper and iron the bejeepers out of 'em. (Do this in a well ventilated area, since the fumes can be toxic.) I did learn the hard way that you really need to pop all the bubbles in your bubble wrap first - otherwise it won't fuse down properly - and you should iron one layer at a time. Other than that, easy-peasy!

The resulting fused plastic is relatively smooth, but has a nifty crackly look to it, almost like frosted ice. The Craft: tutorial said it's often mistaken for mother-of-pearl, but without any iridescence I don't really see it:

Maybe in small quantities it's more pearl-ish.

Anyway, after brainstorming a while I decided to take advantage of the icy look with snowflake earrings. Well, ok -  plus the only punch I own is a snowflake. That helped narrow things down a bit. :D


They're pretty shiny when the light catches them, which adds to the ice illusion.

These were made with four layers of fused bubble wrap, but I'd advise only using three layers if you try this yourself, since my poor punch almost didn't make it through the thick plastic.

You can see the texture a bit better here, plus the slight translucency:



The beads and wire I already had in my cannibalized-jewelry stash, so this was a no-cost craft. (My favorite kind!) I used a fat needle to make the holes in the snowflakes, and some tiny scissors to clean up the edges of the plastic, since you can see my punch left a few nits and jagged edges behind.

You could further jazz them up by gluing on rhinestones or adding glitter, but I like the look as-is.

The great irony, of course, is that I don't have pierced ears and so can't wear these - and because I had to paint my gold hooks silver, no one else can wear them, either. (Painted earrings are a big fat no-no.) Still, I had a lot of fun making them, and I hope they inspire some of you to give this a try!



Now, stay tuned while I figure out what to do with my favorite fused plastic/bubble wrap experiment so far:

I sandwiched a sheet of iridescent cellophane between two layers of small-bubble bubble wrap. It didn't melt, but it's stuck nicely inside the bubble wrap sandwich. Kinda looks like a butterfly wing, or rainbow lizard skin. If you guys have any suggestions for what I should do with it, let me know in the comments!

Posted by Jen at 11:00 AM Labels: , , ,

56 comments:

  1. You should make FAIRY WINGS of course! I bet the cellophane version would be really cool as a window of sorts in something steampunk-y, like a robot insect or something. What happens when you shine a light through it? Could it go over a flashlight or as a lamp shade?

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're saying that in order to make cool-looking jewelry with bubble wrap, I have to actually pop all the bubbles first!? Can a craft get any better than this!?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Little Steampunk robot fairies or insects.

    ReplyDelete
  4. ooooooohhhhh! That is *exactly* the kind of material I've been trying to figure out for a wings project I have lurking in my mind. Can't wait to try it. And your earrings are beautiful, even though I think snow is the most horrible thing. Lol.

    ReplyDelete
  5. How about a pendant or pin in the shape of a lizard.....or maybe a dragon! Or a butterfly. In each the body could be cut separately from the wings, giving a layered look.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'd take those snowflake earrings, I've got some silver earring doodads from making other jewelry that I could switch them out for. Seriously though, this is a VERY cool idea...Especially for those of us who like to pop bubble wrap, to get a second use out of it!! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm wondering how you got the four layers of fused bubble wrap to stick together. Did you glue them or fuse the four layers (already fused separately) together?

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm seeing a great steampunk dragonfly pendant made of some old gears or watch parts using your iridescent bubble wrap fusion for the wings!

    ReplyDelete
  9. You should make the it into an iridescent coffee table! Or a windowpane. But I don't know how that would hold up. It would be cool to try stained glass bubble wrap.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think you should do exactly what you said - a butterfly wing! Or a dragonfly wing set since that is what the colors remind me of. I bet you could do an awesome steampunk-esque collage picture of a metal-and-gears dragonfly with that plastic for the wings.

    A necklace? Make circles and put holes in them and link 'em together with jump rings and chain or jump rings and fun beads (I like fused glass Czech beads).

    Ok now I have to try this. I have ideas now.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am going to try the pretty kind at the bottom of your blog and use it to make either little dragon wings or fairy wings for polymer clay figures. Thanks for the idea and the tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm thinking something aquatic... not sure what a seahorse would look like...

    Andrea

    ReplyDelete
  13. You know Jen if you did want to wear the earrings, you could cut off the hooks and put Clip-ons instead (I myself don't have pierced ears so this is what I do when I make earrings)

    ReplyDelete
  14. How about using your snowflake punch again to make a necklace? Join the flakes together using jumprings. More jumprings=less snowflakes. More snowflakes then less jumprings. Attach a swarovski crystal to a headpin then hook to jumprings for a bit more sparkle in between.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Dragonfly wings. On a steampunkish dragonfly. I don't know how you'd do it, but I'm seeing some kind of copper wire-wrapping involved. And something sparkly for the eyes. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Everyone is saying steampunk insects. Which could be really cool, but my Disney geek brain says something Mickey!! Mickey is always awesome, and even better when iridescent!

    ReplyDelete
  17. @ Jenna - I considered a lamp shade with the clear version, but you're right; the rainbow colored one would look even better!

    @ trueblue- To fuse them, just *add* one sheet at a time, and then iron 'em all down together. It helps to iron/melt the first sheet first, then add the second, third, and so on. Hope that helps!

    @ Alex - Oooh yes, I have converted earrings to clips before; just didn't have any on hand for these. I'll hang on to them for the next time I buy a pack, tho.

    @SM3 - I really like this idea! I considered joining 2 or 3 for a necklace, but figured it needed more - and I was feeling lazy. (Plus punching out the snowflakes is *HARD.* Ha!) When/if I punch out more, tho, that's what I'll try!

    ReplyDelete
  18. English corsetiere Sparklewren has been doing very cool things with embellishments; so naturally, I'm thinking you need to send me some of this stuff so I can work it into a gold lame/lace/beaded waist cincher her work has inspired me to create. Can you imagine that peaking out from underneath lace in a sea of shiny gold?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Seahorse pendant!

    Love the snowflakes, the frosted look is so perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I don't know how transparent it is.. but it might work if you add it on a picture frame, with the picture in the background, cutting the rainbow material up and putting it in a mosaic pattern. I think it would look pretty cool.

    ReplyDelete
  21. That shiny shiny coloured one looks like it could be a power source in something steampunk. Just my 2p

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm on a Dragonfly kick, so that's what I'll be doing. a beaded body, and wings with the iridescent bubble wrap. So awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  23. you could use it for steamy goggles

    ReplyDelete
  24. Jen, you could also leave the snowflakes "as is" and use them as ornaments on a Christmas tree - the hook to hang it is built in! :) I'm thinking a "paper chain" type garland of snowflakes would be cool on a tree...

    ReplyDelete
  25. FAIRY WINGS! Please, please please,please! I'm making an extra adorable face!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I was thinking like Andrea-a seahorse or mermaid tail was the first thing that came to my mind.

    I also wanted to share that my husband and I had classy steampunk portraits done, see them here.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm seeing a steampunk dragonfly (pendant or sculpture) with the iridescent plastic for the wings. Faceted beads for the eyes, tiny gears and brass or copper wire wrapped to make the body...it would be awesome!

    I have a crap ton of bubble wrap around the house right now and two small boys who would love to help me pop every single bubble. I might have to try this out!

    ReplyDelete
  28. These would look really lovely on a Christmas tree too, they seem like they would catch the light very well ^_^

    ReplyDelete
  29. Someone with stretched earlobes could wear the earring through silicone earskins. Just a thought, since I actually kind of like the matte silver of the painted hooks.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I can't decide which is more pretty: the actual earrings or the gorgeous way you staged the photo. :) You are so creative, Jen!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Glad you liked my ieda. I've been making necklaces lately so I've been thinking a lot about design. Just made a couple with carnelian stones (beautiful shades of orange)and matching earings with fire opal swarovski beads. The site where I get my beads has a wonderful jumpring ring that has notches that help open and close them a lot easier.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Oh my goodness! Between this and the #6 shrinking plastic (I finally got some with bakery cookies a couple days ago!) you have given me a solution to a steampunky project I'd put aside to ponder for a couple months now! Thank you!!! (I'll send you a picture when I finish...)

    I love your snowflake earrings! They would be pretty on a Christmas tree too. =)

    ReplyDelete
  33. a garland would be nice too, esp w/ the punch you have

    ReplyDelete
  34. I agree with everyone else who said dragonfly, butterfly, or fairy wings, and I LOVE the idea of a steampunk dragonfly.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I bet this would also work with Angelina fibers. Soooooo pretty! and I agree with dragonfly wings...

    ReplyDelete
  36. I'd vote for insect wings, mobile, bookmark or keyring. Also, have you ever considered getting your ears pierced?

    ReplyDelete
  37. I'm with (steampunk) dragonfly something. Or something planetary or astronomical.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Make a dragonfly necklace. That would be whimsical and elegant.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Excellent! I agree with all the comments about popping bubbles and insect wings.

    As for what the stuff looks like, from the pictures it reminds me of capiz shell, although not as smooth maybe.

    You could cut out circles and make a chandelier, if it fit at all with your decor. Or a funky flapper costume.

    ReplyDelete
  40. aw man, why did you make earrings when you can't wear them? :(

    Great idea fusing bubblewrap!! Yaay!! And that iredescent plastic looks aaamaaaziiing. You should definitely use it to make a portal into another dimension. Christmas decorations? Party hat? Amazing gift cards?

    ReplyDelete
  41. I could see that irridescent plastic as a steampunk flower, edged with some nice copper wire with a copper nut to act as the base. A few of those on a hat band or a fascinator would be cool.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I think they meant it looks like capiz shell, not mother-of-pearl. It really does kind of look like capiz shell. I love the iridescent one. Whatever you make will be gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
  43. IF you paint over the silver paint with clear nailpolish they will be safe to wear. I am very sensitive to non-fine metals in my ears but am also a college student without money for good metals. This trick helps me with my earrings. It also keeps cheap metals from turning your skin green. :)

    ReplyDelete
  44. I have to jump on the fairy wing bandwagon! Or maybe there's a way to use it as a decoration on the next ray gun?

    ReplyDelete
  45. Feathers! I would love feather earrings! You could tweak it and come up with a fantasy-looking peacock feather earring.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Awwww... my ears aren't pierced, either! It's such a rare thing these days. I knew there was a reason I loved you. (In a non-weird, I only stalk you on the Internet kinda way...)

    ReplyDelete
  47. Use your rainbow colours fused onto gears and line them up (different sizes) onto a tiara. Add copper curls and ta-da! - a steampunk rainbow tiara! If anyone can do it, Jen...

    ReplyDelete
  48. I think it would make an amazing seahorse of some kind. The sparkliness makes me think of undersea creatures for some reason.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I see scales - for dragon or fish wall art doubling as lightsource, or a chandelier. Or even light-weight armor for a costume.

    ReplyDelete
  50. thank you for the inspiration! i really like the bracelet, i wonder what else to use besides jump rings, they do look a wee bit chunky, however i do love it! i have everything i need,this is going near the top of my to do list! wonder how well my butterfly punch works these days?? lol
    kudzu

    ReplyDelete
  51. I think you could make a (noiseless) wind chime decoration for outside and attach different shapes to a small branch with clear fishing line. The iridescent technique would work well with this. You could incorporate some beads in with it on the fishing line. I think I'm going to try this!

    ReplyDelete
  52. A trick I use to get staples through more sheets is to put my hand over the stapler and hit it with my other hand. If I have a lot to do, I use a piece of wood, lay over the stapler and hit the wood. Perhaps you could try that with your punch to go through more layers?

    ReplyDelete
  53. Huh. I had about 50,000,000 ideas 5 minutes ago. I scrolled down to post a comment, and they disappeared...one by one...

    ReplyDelete
  54. Since you said that the cellophane did not fuse, do the layers separate when you cut out your wings?? Inquiring minds want to know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They can, yes. They'll stick a little, but are easily peeled apart. I suppose you might be able to tack down the edges with a bit of clear glue, but I haven't tried that. (Let us know if you do!)

      Delete

Please be respectful when commenting; dissenting opinions are great, but personal attacks or hateful remarks will be removed. Also, including a link? Then here's your html cheat sheet: <a href="LINK ADDRESS">YOUR TEXT</a>

Related Posts with Thumbnails