These DIY Lapel Pins are easy to make with plastic shrink film and are a whole lot of fun to wear! Pick your favorite emoji to wear or give them as gifts with the free printable “flair” cards. This post contains affiliate links, which help to support this site. Thanks!
Are you guys into the flair trend? I’ve been building up my collection of enamel pins and patches lately – it’s so fun to add a little kitschy touch to your jacket or bag – so it was definitely time for a DIY pin project. I decided to go with emoji because they are fun and kind of ubiquitous and actually becoming part of our language (did you hear that Oxford picked an emoji for their 2015 word of the year? Crazy!).
Plus, I’m thinking these pins make awesome sauce gifts for friends – just pick your bud’s favorite emoji and attach it to one of the printable flair cards I designed for you guys (Yay!). And how cute are these for funky stocking stuffers? Perfect, right?
Let’s make some!
DIY Lapel Pin Supplies:
- White Plastic Shrink Film
- Black Permanent Marker
- Fine Grit Sand Paper
- Acrylic Craft Paint
- Darice Round Brush
- Gloss Decoupage or Clear Gloss Acrylic Sealer
- Tie Tacks with Clutch or Pin Backs
- Hot Glue Gun
- Printable Gift Tags (optional – download here)
- Colored Cardstock (optional)
Step One – Lightly Sand Shrink Film
Start by gently sanding the shrink film and wipe off any dust. Roughing up the surface helps the paint to adhere to the plastic. You can also get shrink film that is pre-sanded, which is great, but it is clear, so if you use it, you may want to paint the back of the piece after it is shrunk to avoid the pin showing through.
Step Two – Trace and Paint your Design
I chose some of my favorite emojis and used photo editing software to resize them to about 3″ wide. Then I printed them out on regular copy paper. (I have also made Sweet Shop Pins and Valentine’s Day Pins – check out those free designs too!) Place the shrink film on top of the emoji images and trace the outlines of each shape with the permanent marker.
Once you have all the outlines traced, paint in the designs using thinned out acrylic paint. The paint needs to be pretty thin for this to work properly. If you get too much pigment on the plastic, it will kind of clump up and create a texture on top of the plastic after it shrinks, which isn’t the best. You can even get a kind of watercolor look with this technique, which is pretty fun. Also keep in mind that the colors will get a big darker and more saturated as the plastic shrinks.
After you are finished painting, you can go back over the black lines with your permanent marker if needed.
Step Three – Cut Out Your Shapes
When you have your emojis all traced and painted, it’s time to cut them out. Cut right along the black line so there is no white space on the outside.
Step Four – Shrink!
Place your cut out shapes onto a parchment lined baking sheet and place in a 250˚ F oven. It will take about five minutes for your shapes to shrink completely. As they shrink they will curl up, but when they are completely shrunk they will be flat again.
Step Five – Add Clear Gloss Top Coat
After your emojis have cooled completely, you can add a clear topcoat to make them nice and shiny. I used brush on gloss decoupage, but I think a spray on sealer might work even better because I didn’t love that you could see the brush strokes on the finished pins.
Step Six – Attach Pin Backs
Finally, after the top coat has dried, use a hot glue gun to attach pin backs to the emoji shapes.
Here’s a little sped-up video of the process. It’s pretty fun to see them shrink in the oven. 🙂
And that’s it! Your new emoji flair is all ready to wear.
I thought these DIY Lapel Pins would make really fun little gifts and stocking stuffers. If you are gifting the pins you make, you may want to print off some of the gift cards I designed to go with them. Download the “flair for you” cards right HERE.
Just poke the pins through the cardstock and attach the pin back to hold it in place.
I think the unicorn and ghost are my faves. Which emoji pin do you need to make? Tell me in the comments. 🙂
If you make your own DIY Lapel Pins, I would love to see them! Share your photos to my facebook page or tag me on instagram or twitter (@persialou), and don’t forget to use the hashtag #persialou for a chance to be featured.
Check out these other crafty projects: