How To Make St. Patrick's Day Gnome Earrings with a Cricut
Are you loving the gnome trend as much as I am? First there were Christmas gnomes, then Valentine's Day Gnomes... and I wondered, is the gnome trend coming to an end? After scrolling through Pinterest, I have to say, the answer is a resounding NO! Gnomes are alive and well, and these cute little bearded fellas are here to stay. Since I make Cricut jewelry, I knew the world NEEDED St. Patrick's Day Gnome earrings. Well, not really, but COME ON! How cute are these! You know my daughter is going to steal these for her class St. Patrick's Day party, too.
These cute St. Patrick's Day Gnome earrings are made from three very popular Cricut cutting machine materials - faux leather, heat transfer vinyl, and glitter vinyl. The are so fun to make, and this is a great project to use up some of those vinyl scraps you've been hoarding in your craft room. You can use any shade of green or gold or silver for this project!
You may think you need a Cricut Maker to make faux leather earrings, but you don't! I cut the faux leather and vinyl for these earrings with just the Cricut Fine Point Blade, which means it can be made with either the Maker or the Explore Air 2!
In case you wanted to make this project yourself, I'm sharing the SVG cut file for these adorable St. Patrick's Day Gnome earrings. You can get access to the file from a link at the bottom of this post.
Want to see all of my Cricut earring & jewelry tutorials? CLICK HERE
Ready to make this fun pair of St. Patrick's Day gnome earrings? Let's get started!
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DIY St. Patrick's Day Gnome Earrings - Materials List
- A vinyl cutting machine. I have the Cricut Maker, available at Amazon here. You can also use the Cricut Explore Air 2 or any cutting machine you have that will cut a thicker material like faux leather.
- Cricut Strong Grip (Purple) Cutting Mat. You'll use the purple mat to cut the faux leather. You can buy these on Amazon here, or at Michael's here. They are also available at Hobby Lobby, Joann's, and Walmart - or anywhere Cricut machines are sold.
- Cricut Standard Grip (Green) Cutting Mat. You'll use the green mat for cutting the HTV. You probably already have one from when you bought your Cricut machine, but if you need a new one, they are available on Amazon here or at any craft store.
- A Cricut Easy Press or a Cricut Easy Press Mini (what I use). I bought my Easy Press Mini from Amazon here. You may already have an Easy Press, but if you don’t and want to get one, I recommend the 9×9 size. It’s a great size for making jewelry, keychains, and other small craft items like baby onesies and more. It’s available on Amazon here.
- If you will be using the Easy Press Mini like I do, you’ll need an EasyPress Mat to safely press your items on. I use the 8×10 size, which you can see on Amazon here.
- White Faux Leather. For this project, I used this white faux leather sold on Amazon here. There are 5 sheets that come in this pack, so you can make a lot of earrings!
- HTV Vinyl. I used 5 colors for this project - 3 different greens, light pink, and white. Use the green colors of your choice (but some gold would be great, too!) I used Siser Easyweed Heat Transfer Vinyl from Amazon in Green here and Lime Green here. I also used Siser Glitter in Grass Green from Amazon here. For the nose, I used Siser Easyweed in Light Pink, from Amazon here. I also used Siser Easyweed in White for the earring backing, from Amazon here.
- Blue painters tape. This will help keep your faux leather in place on your mat. I bought this blue painter's tape on Amazon here , but of course you can get it at any hardware store - even my local grocery store carries it!
- Weeding tools. You'll need a weeding tool for this project. I used he one that came in my Cricut tool set from Amazon here. You can get also get the basic Cricut tool set at Michael's here, or from Hobby Lobby, Joann's, or Walmart.
- A small hole punch (to punch the earring holes in your finished earrings). This is my go-to hole punch for making Cricut earrings from Amazon here.
- Earring hooks - I used earring hooks from this assortment of earring hooks in different finishes these from Amazon here. Hobby Lobby, Michael's, and other craft stores, as well as your local bead store, will have lots of earring hooks as well.
- Small jump rings - I used this assortment of 6mm size jump rings in different metal finishes from Amazon here. Again, your local craft store or bead store will have plenty of jump rings to choose from if you want to pick some up in person. You could use 5mm size or even 4mm size if that's what you have, but I wouldn't go any smaller than 4mm or larger than 6mm for this earring project.
- Two pairs of flat nose pliers – I generally use one pair of wide nose pliers and one pair of needle nose pliers , but you can use any two flat nose pliers you have in your jewelry making tool box. My favorites are Wubbers brand jewelry making pliers in the "Baby" size. You can see the Baby Wubbers Chain Nose Piers on the left on Amazon here, and the Baby Wubbers Flat Nose Pliers on the right on Amazon here.
STEP 1 – Download Free SVG
Download the SVG cutting file for the gnome earrings from my free Resource Library. The link to get the password is at the bottom of this post.
Save the zipped folder that downloads to your computer. You'll need to locate your zipped file after you save it so remember where you are downloading it to! You'll have to unzip or extract the files FIRST before you can upload the cutting file to Cricut Design Space. Make a note of the file location after you unzip it so you can find it in the next step.
STEP 2 - Upload SVG to Cricut Design Space
When you open Cricut Design Space, click on NEW PROJECT to get started. Then click on UPLOAD from the left hand side menu.
Click on the UPLOAD IMAGE button, then click BROWSE to locate where your unzipped SVG files are saved on your computer.
Double click on the SVG file to bring it into the upload screen in Design Space. If you get an error message that says "unsupported file type," you may have clicked on the wrong file, or your SVG file is still zipped.
You'll see a preview of the gnome earring shapes for this project. The beard is grey in the image so you can see it, but you'll cut that shape out of white material when you actually make these earrings.
Hit the green SAVE button.
After you've selected your file to upload, you'll see it as the first item in your "recently uploaded designs" row.
Click on it so it is outlined in green. Then click on the green INSERT IMAGES button in the bottom right corner.
STEP 3 - Prepare SVG for Cutting
This brings the shapes you'll cut for the earrings into Cricut Design Space. Drag your artwork to the upper left corner of your mat. It isn't necessary to resize your earrings, they are already perfectly sized for earrings.
NOTE: There are 6 layers to this file. Let me show you a preview of each layer so you have an understanding of how this design is constructed. Here is a view of all 6 layers separated out. (You don't have to separate the files like this, it's just for your reference.)
From this view, you can see the front of the earring is constructed by placing different layers of HTV on the front white faux leather shape (shown in medium grey). The area where there is no faux leather is where the white faux leather "beard" will show through. The back of the earring is shown in light grey, and will cut from white HTV. (Putting a back on the earring is totally optional - more on that in a bit.)
You'll notice there are no pre-made earring holes for this project. You'll make the holes yourself with a sharp tool or a small hole punch after assembling the earrings - don't worry, I'll show you how I do it!
After dragging your gnomes up to the top left of your canvas, your canvas should look like this. Now your shapes are ready to cut!
Click on the green MAKE IT button in the top right hand corner.
This gnome project will cut the two different materials (faux leather and HTV) on separate mats. Cricut does all the hard work and separates them for you by color. You can see the all the mats separated in a preview on the left hand side of your screen.
The first mat that will cut is the medium grey layer, which will be the white faux leather earring foundation. (The rest of the mats will all cut from heat transfer vinyl - more on that in the next step).
We can see the size of white faux leather we need on our mat is approximately 3 inches tall and 2.5 inches wide. Make a note of this size.
Set your MIRROR toggle (on the left hand size preview screen) set for this first mat to ON. Then click on the green CONTINUE button.
STEP 4 - Prepare Faux Leather Mat for Cutting
I like to cut a piece of faux leather just slightly larger than the size of the shapes that will cut. This is better than placing a very large piece of faux leather down on your mat because a smaller piece will stick better when taped. For this cut, I cut a piece that was about 3 inches square.
(I often use my Fiskars Rotary Cutter to cut my faux leather material to the exact size right on my mat - it's are available on Amazon here. Just be sure not to press down too hard or you'll damage your mat surface.
Place your faux leather face down (pretty side down) on your purple strong grip cutting mat.
Then tape down the faux leather to the mat on all sides with pieces of blue painter's tape, like this:
Load your mat into your Cricut by pressing the load button with the arrows. You're ready to select your material settings!
STEP 5 - Choose Your Materials
Next we need to choose our material. I've cut faux leather using a variety of settings, and I've found there are so many different settings that work. For this project, I used the Faux Leather (Paper Thin) setting. Even though this material isn't "paper thin," this setting automatically cuts twice and I find it works very well as a general faux leather cutting setting.
I selected FAUX LEATHER (PAPER THIN) as my material on my Maker. If you don't already have Faux Leather (Paper Thin) as a "favorite" material, click on Browse All Materials on the right hand side. Type "faux leather" in the search box, and click on it to select it as your material.
NOTE: To add materials to your "favorites," just click on the yellow star next to the material name in the previous step.
For faux leather, I always change the pressure setting from DEFAULT to MORE. Your machine may be different, so test it out with a test cut if you're not sure how your Cricut cuts faux leather.
Cricut Explore users can turn the Smart Set Dial to Custom and select Faux Leather (Paper Thin) as the material. You'll also use the Fine Point Blade. Any other cutting machine users can follow their machine's settings for thick material like leather or denim. If possible, remember to adjust your cut settings so the blade cuts 2 times! If you can't adjust your cut settings, remember Cricut users can press the "cut" button again after your first cut (don't unload your mat!) and your mat will cut again.
Press the C button on your Cricut machine and it will start cutting.
As I said, the Faux Leather material setting will automatically cut the faux leather two times, which works perfectly for me and results in a nice, clean cut. If necessary, you can press the C button again for another set of two cuts (just don't unload your mat). I recommend using the minimal number of cuts necessary to get a good cut - the more cuts you make, the greater chance you have that your faux leather will shift and move around on your mat.
Unload your mat by pressing the double arrows button again.
Use your weeding tool to release your gnome shapes from your mat. They should come right up. If necessary, you can use small, curved scissors to make any necessary snips. I love my 4 inch curved tip Fiskar scissors that I got on Amazon for these kinds of tasks.
Once your little faux leather gnomes are cut out, set them aside so we can cut the HTV layers for this project.
STEP 6 - Prepare HTV Mats For Cutting
Now it's time to cut our other layers of HTV for our little gnomes. I recommend cutting all of your HTV layers first and then assembling your earrings.
There are 5 layers of HTV that will cut for this project - four regular vinyl and one glitter vinyl. From the image below, you can see the shapes we will be cutting from each material. The hat, nose, shamrock, and earring back shapes will all cut from regular heat transfer vinyl, and the shirt will cut from glitter vinyl.
Of course this may change based on what materials and colors you've chosen for your gnome! However, it's important that the hat cut from regular HTV so you can layer the shamrock shape over it (you can layer HTV or glitter vinyl over HTV, but you can't layer anything over glitter vinyl).
For this project, every layer should be mirrored prior to cutting, regardless of material.
Go back to Cricut Design Space and look at the second mat preview. In this case, the second mat will cut the earring backings from white HTV.
Hover your mouse over the second mat as shown below to open the larger mat preview. and see what size piece of HTV we need to cut. Cut a piece of white HTV just slightly larger than that size, and place it shiny side down in the corresponding position on a green mat.
Cut a piece of HTV that's about a half inch larger than the size you noted from the mat preview. Press it firmly SHINY SIDE DOWN on your standard green cutting mat, in the top left hand corner. Load your mat into your Cricut.
In Cricut Design Space, I like to select WASHI SHEET as the material setting - it's best for intricate vinyl cuts, and these little shapes are tiny! Remember you can find the WASHI SHEET setting by clicking on Browse All Materials.
I leave the cut pressure setting at Default, but you can adjust your setting if you know your machine needs an adjustment.
Press the C button to begin the cut.
Unload your mat by hitting the double arrows button again. Use your weeding tool to remove the excess vinyl away from your shapes, and set your cut vinyl aside.
Repeat these steps for each of the HTV layers. Remember to mirror each mat before cutting!
NOTE: Fair warning! When you cut the little shamrock, it will sound like a jumbo jet is taking off from inside your Cricut. It makes SO MUCH NOISE, but I assure you, it will cut just fine and your Cricut will survive. 🙂
If you're using glitter vinyl for any of the layers (I did for the darkest green layer, the gnome shirt) use the GLITTER VINYL material setting and DEFAULT pressure for that cut.
STEP 7 - Assemble the Earrings
You should have all of your faux leather and vinyl shapes cut. Aren't they cute?
Turn on your Easy Press Mini or Easy Press to warm up, and gather your pressing pad and a teflon cover sheet.
I strongly recommend using a small teflon sheet or a piece of parchment to apply each vinyl layer to the HTV. This will protect your faux leather from getting scorched by direct contact with the press, and it will keep previous layers from getting stuck to the bottom of the mini press.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Try not to press too hard on the faux leather or else you can flatten the "pebbling" of the material.
If you're placing HTV on the back of the earrings, do that first.
Why would you want to put HTV on the back of the earring? Two reasons. The first is to make the earrings look more finished and professional - white faux leather has a soft fuzzy back. The second is to give the earrings some stiffness and structure.
I used the lowest heat setting on the Easy Press Mini for this project. Using your Easy Press Pressing Pad or a towel, layer the HTV on the fuzzy back of the faux leather and then cover with a teflon sheet or parchment paper (not wax paper).
Gently press while moving the heat around all over the HTV for 10-15 seconds. If you aren't using a cover sheet, be sure not to press the Easy Press Mini on the faux leather directly, only on the clear transfer tape.
Repeat layering and pressing for the other HTV pieces. Remember not to press too hard, use too much heat, or touch the faux leather or already pressed vinyl directly with the heat press.
After you've finished layering all the vinyl, use your small curved scissors to trim any overhanging vinyl from the edges of the faux leather.
STEP 8 - Make the Earring Holes
Time to punch the little holes for the earrings. I love my 1/16" paper punch from Amazon here for this step. Mark where you want to poke the holes first with a very thin marker. Then carefully punch the holes.
STEP 9 - Attach the Earring Hooks
Now it's time to assemble your earrings!
You'll need small jump rings, earring hooks, and two pairs of flat nose pliers.
NOTE: You may be wondering why you need jump rings to connect the gnomes to the earring hooks (instead of just hanging the gnomes directly from the loop on the earring hook). There are two answers to this very common question!
1. Using jump rings makes your earrings look professionally finished.
2. The jump ring is the key to letting your earrings dangle and move easily naturally as you wear them.
That being said - if you want to hook your earring shapes directly onto the earring hooks, go for it! There are no earring police!
So, to connect the earring hooks to these little guys, you’ll first need to turn the bottom loop on the fishhook sideways so your earrings will hang correctly. See the example image below to see how the orientation of the earring hook has to change so your earrings will hang straight.
You’ll do this using one pair of flat nose pliers. While holding the hook firmly between two fingers, grip the entire earring loop between the pliers and twist your wrist until the loop is perpendicular to the earring post. Repeat with the second earring hook.
Now you’ll need to open your small jump ring to slide the gnome earring earring and the earring hook on. Using two pliers, grip each side of the jump ring, making sure the opening in the jump ring is facing up (the twelve o’clock position).
Rotate one wrist forwards or backwards, so the circle creates an opening but doesn’t bend out of it’s circle shape.
When your jump rings are open, it's time use them to attach the earring hooks to your love letters.
Slide your gnome onto your jump ring, then slide your earring hook onto the jump ring.
You'll want to keep track of which side is the front of your earring as you do this to be ensure your earring and hook are both facing the right direction.
Then use your two pliers to close the jump ring again using a wrist twist in the opposite direction. This takes a little practice, but you'll get it!
Repeat with the other earring. That's it! How cute are these guys?
Are you going to try this adorable St. Patrick's Day Gnome Earrings project? If you do, please post a comment and attach a photo of your finished gnomes so I can see what colors you chose for your little guys!
Want to see all of my Cricut earring & jewelry tutorials? CLICK HERE
Until next time... and happy creating!