Make an Incredible Shrinking Necklacecomments (2) September 1st, 2008
I loved me some Shrinky Dinks when I was a little one, so I geeked out when I realized that I could play with shrink plastic again, this time with more grown-up results. I’ve been making earrings and necklaces like crazy. Here’s a simple project to get your feet wet and your shrink plastic hot. It won’t take long before you’re hooked.
I like using the classic Shrinky Dinks “Frosted Ruff n’ Ready” plastic. It gives you a nice translucent white quality to your pieces. There are others on the market that will give you a thicker result, but since we are layering pieces, the thinner original stuff works great.
- 1 sheet Shrinky Dinks “Frosted Ruff n’ Ready”
- metal compass or 2 different-sized round templates (could use drinking glasses or medicine bottles)
- 2 large rubber stamps of your choice
- 2 StazOn solvent ink pads (I chose Timber Brown and Forest Green, and Blazing Red and Jet Black)
- sharp scissors
- paper punch
- 2 small sheets of parchment paper
- 2 small sheets of thick cardboard
- 1 large binder clip
- toaster oven or oven
- 7mm jump ring
- clear nail polish or glue
- chain of your choice
Step 1: Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 325°F. Begin by shaping your pieces. Shrink plastic will shrink to 1/3 or 1/2 of the original size, so you might not be able to accurately gauge the reduction at first, but that’s part of the fun. With a metal compass or different-sized lids, glasses, or medicine bottles, trace two different-sized circles on your shrink plastic with a pencil. I used a compass and traced a circle with a 1-1/2-inch radius (that’s 3 inches across) and a 1-inch radius (2 inches across).
Step 2: Before cutting out your disks, you’ll want to stamp the shrink plastic. I use StazOn ink pads because the ink is permanent and won’t wash off after the shrinking process. With the “rough” side of the plastic facing up, stamp a pattern on your plastic with a large rubber stamp. Allow to dry thoroughly.
Step 3: Cut out your disks, taking care to cut just on the inside of the pencil tracing, so that you eliminate the pencil marks. Now with a normal paper punch, punch a hole in each disk, the same distance from the edge. After I punched the first disk, I lined up the second disk and the hole punch over the first hole so that they were both punched the same distance from the edge. Make sense?
Step 4: Now you’re ready to shrink. Place two pieces of small parchment paper over your cardboard and clip both pieces to one side with a binder clip. Place the disks between the sheets of parchment paper so that they are not touching. The parchment layers will prevent your plastic from curling onto itself during the shrink process.
Step 5: Slip your cardboard tray into the oven and keep an eye on it. After about 20 seconds it will start curling; this indicates that the shrinking has begun. It will writhe and curl and eventually flatten back out. Wait until it has completely settled down and remove the cardboard with tongs (it will be hot). Place another piece of cardboard on top of your tray and press down. This will help ensure that your disks are flat. Allow them to cool off for a minute or so before removing them from the parchment.
Step 6: Using a pair of flat-nosed pliers, twist open a large jump ring, slip the two disks onto the ring, and close the ring. Add a dab of clear nail polish or glue to the join and allow to dry. Now slip your pendant onto your favorite chain (I fancy a 16-inch ball chain) and wait for the compliments to roll in, not to mention the gasps of astonishment when you modestly admit you made it…out of Shrinky Dinks.