Jewelry By Jessica’s Colorful Shrink Plastic Jewelry: An Unlikely Material Creates A Fun, Profitable Business

by Jessica Poundstone.
(Portland, Oregon, USA)

Jewelry By Jessica Necklace: Laurel in French Blue + Brown

It all began with a polymer clay pendant I saw online; the artist had transferred one of her photos onto a piece of polymer clay and I thought it looked amazing.

I decided to try my hand at it, and took a trip to the craft store. But while I was there, fate intervened. I saw a package of clear shrink plastic and thought, “Hey, I bet I could make jewelry out of that.”

That night in 2005, I started making jewelry at my kitchen table.

I still vividly remember the very first piece I made: a rectangular pendant with rows of orange, blue and red dots! (Hmm, perhaps I should revive that design!)

At that time, no one that I knew of was making jewelry out of shrink plastic, so I felt a little strange about wearing the things I’d made from it out of the house.

But I did it anyway, and began receiving compliments whenever I wore my work.

Then one day, a shop owner asked where I got the necklace I was wearing. I told her I made it, and she said she wanted to sell them. That blew me away!

I brought her 10 pieces; by the end of the week, they had all sold! I didn’t even know enough in those days to know how amazing that was : )

Now, four years later, I know a whole lot more about the jewelry business (thanks in large part to this web site!), have perfected my unique process of drawing and painting on shrink plastic, and have taken the business far further than I ever would have dreamed that first night sitting at my kitchen table, my head spinning with ideas. The ideas haven’t stopped yet!

The best part about this little business is meeting so many amazing and wonderful people from all over the world. I’m proud to say that folks in places as far flung as Paris, Edinburgh, Okinawa and Copenhagen are sporting my pieces. That’s very cool!

I hope your jewelry business brings you as much joy as mine does for me!

Best,

Jessica
Jewelry By Jessica

Comments:

So cool!
by: Rena

Hi Jessica,

Your jewelry is so cool! I do a lot of shrink plastic stuff too, although my pieces are usually intended to be Christmas ornaments.

I love the classy look you’re creating with your shrinkies – and I can see why they’ve been such a great seller for you.

I’ll bet that a major additional benefit is that even the larger earrings are very lightweight. (A lot of my customers have said they make a point of only buying earrings that aren’t heavy.)

I love to hear about jewelry success with a creative approach.

Thanks so much for sharing your story and the great photo of your work.

A Fan!!
by: Ann Widner

Hi Jessica,

I’ve been a fan of your work for a while (since I started making my photo jewelry a couple of years ago.) I love your pieces; they’re so fresh and alive!! You and your business are totally inspiring to me! Thanks for sharing your creativity with the world… I really enoyed reading the article!

Thanks, Ann!
by: Jessica Poundstone

Ann, Thanks so much for your kind comment! I feel honored to have inspired your work in any way! Very best wishes, Jessica

Inspiring Article
by: Debbie -BrassHussy

And what a fun coincidence that I bought some shrinky dink plastic yesterday. I’m still working on my doodles, but your article is inspiring! Thanks!

great idea!
by: Mieko

Hi Jessica,

Thanks for sharing such a great and creative way of making jewelry. I love your colorful, fun but classy style. I also loved your tutorial on your website. You are a good teacher too!

Mieko

wow!
by: Dawn

Wow! I love your jewelry – how unique! I just sent a comment through your website too!

Dawn Ferguson
www.dawnsdesignsforyou.com

Good Eye
by: Rita

You’ve got a good eye for color combinations and a great eye for design. Lookin’good!

Thanks Everyone!
by: Jessica Poundstone

Thanks everyone for your kind comments!

How Fun
by: Kim Peeler

You are very creative and I am impressed when I see someone go beyone the norm. Congrats to a wonderful idea.

Very nice
by: Samantha

I also have been using shrink plastic for about 1 yr. I love your pieces and you have inspired me to work on my own designs.

Love it!
by: Linda Guzik

Love your jewelry, Jessica. It reminds me of the new acrylic FRESH line of jewelry components that stores like Michaels and Joann’s are selling but so much more unique! What a great way to make one of a kind pieces or even assembly line jewelry for teens.

Linda Guzik
www.linnygirldesigns.com

Clear Shrink Plastic Problem
by: Becki

Hey, I’m currently using shrink plastic for a jewellery business I’m setting up, I’m fine with the white type, but the clear I have found a problem. I wore one of my creations today and by the end of the day, quite a few of the colours had worn off. I used permenant markers for the product…can you suggest why this could have happened and what I could do to stop it? email me – becki@beckisbitsandbobs.co.uk THANK YOU! x

Re; Becki’s Comment
by: Jessica Poundstone, Jewelry By Jessica

Hi Becki,

I wanted to respond to your comment: I varnish all of my shrink plastic pieces. If you do that – whether you’re using spray varnish or paint-on – you shouldn’t have any problem with your pigments running or rubbing. Also, take a look at the Lucky Squirrel (an artists-grade shrink plastic manufacturer) web site for lots more tips and tricks: http://www.luckysquirrel.com

Best,
Jessica

Re- Jessica
by: Becki

Hey, Thank you so much! But what varnish do you use, because I tried it, just with a clear nail varnish and the colours started moving together, so what varnish would you suggest. Thank you so so so much! Becki x

Re; Becki’s Comment
by: Jessica Poundstone

Becki,

Sounds like troubleshooting is needed. Either the markers you’re using aren’t truly permanent, or the varnish – or the way you’re applying it – is causing the running. Take a look at the kinds of markers recommended by your shrink plastic maker – “pigment” is usually better than “permanent.” And check out this very useful and informative chart about when to use which kinds of shrink plastic varnishes: http://www.luckysquirrel.com/info_sealers.html

Experimenting – and a bit of the old trial and error – should result in a process that’s right for you!

Best,
-Jessica

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