DIY: Easy Squirrel Brooch with Free Template

When I think of Fall, I always think of woodland animals. The other day I was sketching a cartoon-y squirrel, and I thought it would just be the perfect little brooch! I would LOVE a laser cutter, but while I still don't have it, I used a material that would resemble acrylic - shrink plastic! Shrink plastic is really an easy and inexpensive way to create custom jewelry and accessories without the need of a laser cutter. If you've been a long time reader of my blog, you know it's one of my favorite mediums to create with. It was also the medium I used to make yesterday's food toppers. Check out how I made this simple squirrel brooch and download the template at the end so you can create your own!

  • Shrink plastic
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Template (download at the end of the post)
  • Ceramic tile
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint (in burnt umber & gold)
  • Sponge or dauber
  • Heat gun or oven
  • Sealer
  • Paintbrush
  • Brooch pin back
  • E6000 glue

Print your template, trace it onto a piece of shrink plastic and cut. Use a hole punch to punch out the circle for the eye. 

Sand both sides of the shrink plastic thoroughly to make sure the paint has something to grab on. 

Paint both sides of your squirrel with a thin coat of mixed paint - I used burnt umber which is a dark chocolate brown, and a gold with shimmer flecks to create a lighter brown with some shimmer in it. 

Shrink your plastic - lay your plastic on top of a ceramic tile, If using an oven, lay a piece of parchment paper and cardboard on top of your shrink plastic. If using a heat gun, heat the whole image evenly and when it's done shrinking lay another piece of ceramic tile (smooth side down) on top to flatten the squirrel. Coat with your choice of varnish - I used Polycrylic from Varathane as that was what I had on hand, but you can also use other sealers - glossy spray sealers would work just as well.

Finally, adhere your pin back on the back of the squirrel with some E6000. Wait for it to dry and you are done!

I must say, I'm loving my new squirrel brooch. Although my husband has been calling him 'booty squirrel'... but anyway, I love it so much that I have an inkling to make a whole set (with foxes, deer, owls). It's a nice Fall adornment for your scarves, sweaters, light coats or even bags. 

What is your favorite woodland animal? Let me know in the comments - and happy crafting, friends!


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