How to Make Penguin Earrings

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penguin earrings

How to Make Penguin Earrings with a Cricut

The holidays are around the corner, and I’m still crafting my heart out by designing lots of fun holiday earrings. If you’ve missed them, be sure to check out my Gnome Earrings, my Santa & Candy Cane Earrings, and my Snowman Earrings. I’ve asked my readers for more ideas, and I received so many requests for penguin earrings! So I’m fulfilling that request today with this DIY Penguin Earrings tutorial.

If you haven’t tried making earrings with your Cricut using faux leather and layered heat transfer vinyl, this is a great project to try. You can make these Penguin Earrings with the Cricut Maker, an Explore Air 2 or even the Cricut Joy! (If you plan to use the Cricut Joy, you’ll want to check out this post first.)

In this tutorial, I’ll give you my step by step instructions and tell you exactly what materials I used to make this project.

A link to download my original SVG file for this project is in the Materials list below.

If you’d rather watch a video tutorial, click on my Penguin Earrings YouTube video below:

Ready? Let’s get started!

Want to see all of my Cricut earring & jewelry tutorials? CLICK HERE

This post contains some affiliate links (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you). Read my full disclosure policy here.

Penguin Earrings – Materials List

materials to make penguin earrings
smooth vs pebbled faux leather
penguin earrings made with smooth and pebbled faux leather
  • Cricut Strong Grip (Purple) Cutting Mat. You can buy these on Amazon here.
  • Cricut Standard Grip (Green) Cutting Mat. Available on Amazon here.
  • Blue painter’s tape. This will help keep your faux leather in place on your mat. You can get it at any hardware store and most big box or grocery stores. Amazon also has it here.
  • A small hole punch (for punching earring holes in the faux leather). This is my go-to hole punch for making Cricut earrings from Amazon here.
  • The SVG file template for these Penguin earrings. It’s Design #157 in my free resource library. You can get the password to my library instantly by filling out the form below, or at the bottom of this post.

NOTE: This design is for PERSONAL USE ONLY. If you’d like to sell earrings made from my Penguin Earrings SVG template, you may purchase a Commercial Use License from my shop here.


STEP 1 – Download the SVG Cut Files

Download my free Penguin Earrings SVG file (#157) from my Resource Library. (If you don’t have a password to the library, fill out the form above and it will be emailed to you instantly.)

Save the zipped folder that downloads to your computer. Then unzip the folder to access the folder’s contents. You’ll need to unzip or extract the files FIRST so you can upload the cutting file to Cricut Design Space.

STEP 2 – Upload the SVG File to Cricut Design Space

If you need help uploading a file to Cricut Design Space, click here, or watch the YouTube video for this project which has step-by-step file uploading directions.

When the penguin earring shapes are on your canvas, choose if you want to cut the penguins with the pre-cut holes or without (if you’ll be making the holes yourself with a hole punch. Hide (or delete) the layers for the earrings you aren’t going to make now clicking on the eye next to the layers you want to hide.

I’ll be using a hole punch to make the holes in these penguin earrings after the layers are assembled, so I’ll hide the pre-cut earring hole pair.

penguin earrings on Cricut Design Space canvas
penguin earrings on Cricut canvas

These earrings are already appropriately sized for earrings, but you can size them down slightly smaller if you’d like. Not too much or the nose will be too difficult to weed!

Click the green MAKE IT button.

STEP 3 – Preview the Cutting Mats & Cut the Faux Leather To Size

The mat preview screens will load. The Cricut will cut one faux leather layer and 3 heat transfer vinyl layers (the body, the scarf, and the beak and feet), all on separate mats.

You don’t need to mirror the faux leather mat, but you will want to mirror the mats for the heat transfer vinyl mats.

Click on the black mat to see what size faux leather the penguins will cut from.

penguin earrings on cutting mat preview

Then mirror each of the heat transfer vinyl mats in the mat preview on the left hand side. Press the green CONTINUE button.

heat transfer vinyl mats need to be mirrored

STEP 4 – Make Material Selections

Now you’ll select your material for the first mat. I suggest cutting the faux leather mat first.

Note: If you’re using a Cricut Explore Air 2, turn your dial to “Custom” so you can choose the setting recommended below. If you’re using the Cricut Joy, set the machine to cut with a mat and then select the material setting below. You won’t have a purple cutting mat, but follow the directions below using the green mat.

I already have Faux Leather (Paper Thin) saved as a favorite material in Cricut Design Space like I do below, you can click on it to select it.

material settings in Design Space

If not, click on “Browse All Materials” to search for this setting. Type “faux leather” in the search bar and click on the magnifying glass.

When Faux Leather (Paper Thin) appears, click on it to select it. Click on the yellow star on the right if you want to add this material setting to your “Favorites” so you can find it easily again in the future. Then click DONE.

After you’ve selected Faux Leather (Paper Thin) as your material, choose MORE from the Pressure dropdown menu:

more pressure dropdown

Now it’s time to prepare the faux leather mat for cutting.

STEP 5 – Cut Faux Leather Mat

Cut a piece of black faux leather to the size you noted in the mat preview screen. Place your cut piece of faux leather pretty side down in the top left corner of a sticky purple cutting mat.

Now tape all around the faux leather with blue painter’s tape. Press the material down to your mat firmly with your hands.

faux leather taped to purple mat

Load the prepared mat into the Cricut by lining the mat between the mat guides and then pressing the double arrows button. Be sure your white star wheels are moved out of the way so they don’t leave tracks on your faux leather!

move star wheels off faux leather mat

The “C” Cricut button will start to flash, indicating the machine is ready to cut. Press the C button to begin the cut.

When the cut is finished, but before you unload the mat, use a sharp tool like your weeding tool and carefully lift the edge of the earring shapes to see if they cut all the way through. If they did, then click the double arrow button to unload the mat. If not, press the C button to make the cut again.

checking faux leather mat cut
removing cut penguin earrings from mat

STEP 6 – Cut Heat Transfer Vinyl Mats

Return to Cricut Design Space to start cutting the heat transfer vinyl mats in the order shown on the mat preview screen.

For the heat transfer vinyl mats, I’ll use the Washi Sheet setting for the solid colors of vinyl (white and yellow) and Glitter Vinyl for the green glitter.

cutting heat transfer vinyl mats

I use the Default pressure for all vinyl cuts (I usually repeat the cut for glitter vinyl, however – just press the C button again to repeat the cut).

Place the vinyl shiny side down on a green cutting mat. Cut each vinyl mat using the appropriate cut setting and weed to remove the excess vinyl.

all penguin earring shapes cut and weeded

STEP 7 – Press the Vinyl onto the Faux Leather

Using an Easy Press Mini (on the lowest temperature setting) or an Easy Press (set to about 275 degrees), press the vinyl layers one at a time onto the penguin faux leather shape. Do the white body first, then the yellow beak and feet, and then the scarf.

penguin vinyl body layer

Cover with a cover sheet (teflon sheet or parchment paper) before pressing. Press this layer for 5-7 seconds, just long enough for the layer to adhere to the layer below.

pressing penguin earrings

Peel away the carrier sheet carefully. If the vinyl lifts up with the carrier sheet, lay the carrier sheet back down again and press more.

Repeat with the yellow layer, and then the scarf.

penguin earrings in progress

Then press the layers of vinyl onto the other earring.

pressed penguin earrings

STEP 8 – Punch the Earring Holes

If you didn’t use the SVG with the pre-punched holes, use a 1/16″ hole punch to punch the earring holes. These are the two punches I use: this hole punch and this hole punch. They both punch through layers of faux leather very cleanly. If you don’t have a hole punch, you can use a sharp object to make the hole.

Punch the hole in the top of one earring, making sure the hole isn’t too close to the edge. Then use that earring as a guide to punch a matching hole in the other earring.

hole punching faux leather earrings

Now it’s time to attach the earring hooks.

STEP 9 – Attach the Earring Hooks

To attach the earring hooks, you’ll need small jump rings, earring hooks, and two pairs of flat nose pliers.

To connect the earring hooks, you’ll first need to turn the bottom loop on the fishhook earring 90 degrees so your earrings will hang correctly. 

Grip the earring hook between your thumb and forefinger with one hand, and use flat nose pliers to grip the bottom earring hook loop. Twist the wrist holding the pliers firmly so the loop turns 90 degrees.

turning earring hook loop

For more details on this technique, visit my post about how to make faux leather earrings hang straight here.

Once you’ve twisted both of the earring hook loops 90 degrees, use two pliers to grip each side of a 5mm or 6mm jump ring. Make sure the opening of the jump ring is facing up in the 12:00 position. Then twist one wrist to open the jump ring slightly.

With the jump ring open, slide on the faux leather earring, and then add the earring hook. Be sure the hook is facing in the right direction.

attaching earring hooks to penguin earrings

Then use the second pair of pliers again to grip both sides of the jump ring and twist the jump ring closed again.

Repeat with the second earring. That’s it! Aren’t these penguin earrings cute?

finished penguin earrings
penguin earrings Cricut DIY

If you do make this project, I would love to see your Penguin earrings! Please share a photo of them in the comments, or tag me on Instagram: @amyromeucreative

Want to see all of my Cricut earring & jewelry tutorials? CLICK HERE


You can get it from my FREE Resource Library by filling out the form below!

NOTE: This design is for PERSONAL USE ONLY. If you’d like to sell earrings made from my Penguin Earrings SVG template, you may purchase a Commercial Use License from my shop here.

Want to remember this? Post this PENGUIN EARRINGS project to your favorite Pinterest board!

five pair of penguin earrings

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  1. Trudy Wright says:

    Oops, after watching your penguin video I posted this comment to the incorrect page…. sorry!
    These are so adorable,
    I can’t wait to make them!! Btw, I love your “Scientific Method” of placement, it’s very similar to mine!! 🥴
    Thanks for another great instructional video Amy!!

    1. Hi, Trudy! Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  2. Thank you so much for the adorable patterns you have been sharing! I am so excited to make some of these!

    1. Thanks, Deb! I’m so glad you are enjoying the 10 Days of Crafting!

  3. I’ve been enjoying your tutorials and anxious to try, but I’m not sure where to buy the faux leather. I ordered a variety pack from Amazon and it didn’t look like great quality. S as my suggestions?

    1. Hi, Jen! Thanks for your comment. I link to all of the exact materials I use in each of my tutorials for your convenience, so you’ll want to check the tutorial for the specific project for the materials I use and recommend. I do buy a lot of faux leather on Amazon and for the most part I’m really pleased with it. I would say if you don’t love what you bought, return it and try again. There are so many cute faux leather shops on Etsy, too. I’ve linked to my favorites at the bottom of My Favorite Tools & Materials page on my blog:

  4. Christine Rogers says:

    Super cute. I will be making these for my grand daughters. Thank you

    1. I’m so glad you like these, Christine! Thank you!

  5. Pam Lewers says:

    My mom loves penguins, I can’t wait to make these for her. Love your 10 Days of crafting. I’ve made almost all of your days projects. I’m a little behind. LOL

  6. These are so cute! I want to thank you for inspiring me. I have been afraid to cut faux leather on my cricut. Since I discovered you from the makerfest I am excited to try. I had to purchase a few supplies first. I will be making something out of faux leather today! I think I’m going to try the keychains first. Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent!

    1. I’m so excited, Angela! Thanks for letting me know you’re going to try crafting with faux leather! Let me know how it goes. 🙂

  7. Elizabeth Svercl says:

    These just look fun!!

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth! They are really fun to make, too. 🙂

  8. sandy whaler says:

    I absolutely loved the key chains and didn’t think it could get any better, but these penguin earrings are adorable. I especially like the glitter scarf. Thank you so much!

    1. Thank you, Sandy! I’m so glad you like the penguin earrings. They are so fun to make!

  9. Love these. So darn cute.

    1. Thank you, Mary! So glad you like these! 🙂

  10. Jill Huett says:

    Love all the sets, soooo cute. An idea, how about Poinsettia earrings and gift tags or ornament?? That would be pretty, maybe in golds??
    Thank you Amy!

    1. Hi, Jill! Thanks for the idea! That *may* or *may not* already be in the works (but not for the 10 Days of Crafting). Stay tuned!

  11. thank you – so cute!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Valorie! It’s my pleasure. 🙂

  12. OMG – every day that the email arrives for the 10 days of crafting I look at it and say, “I want to make that!” Love these – they are so cute. Thanks for all the projects. I can’t wait for my supplies to arrive so I can start making them. I’m so glad I watched your video from Holiday MakerFest that brought me here!

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Jay! I’m so glad you’re here! 🙂

  13. Paula Whitley says:

    I HAD to make this today!! I didn’t have yellow vinyl, so I used gold and I think it looks fine. Can’t wait to make some more!!

    1. Gold must look so cute, Paula! I didn’t think of that, thanks for sharing. I’m so glad you like this project!

  14. Jeanne Hoerr says:

    Just noticed that the penguin svg pattern is not there. I know you must be busy, busy, busy! I’ll check back tomorrow. So loving these holiday projects!

    1. Hi, Jeanne!

      Thanks for your comment. The files are there, I promise. 🙂 Your browser is not showing you the live page. To fix this, try refreshing or reloading the page a few times. If that doesn’t work, clear your cache and then refresh again. You can also try from a different device or browser.

      Thank you.

  15. Amy, these are so cute! For some reason I had a little more trouble with these than the candy canes. I used Cricut white everyday iron on and smooth faux leather, mini easy press on lowest setting and parchment paper but the vinyl wrinkled a bit, not sure what I may have done wrong? My mom loves penguins and red so I just had to make her some along with purple scarf ones for me. Do you also have any other recommendations or tips when turning the fishhooks? I purchased some on Amazon via the link from your recommended materials page but I keep having issues with them breaking. Any tips would be helpful. Thank you for this design and tutorial! 💜

  16. Since my granddaughters love penguins but don’t have pierced ears and way to young to drive a car to use the key chain, I’m going to print these cute little guys out with paper & enlarge them and make ornaments with them. Thanks for the cute file.

  17. Finally got earrings made

    1. That’s awesome, Lula!

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