When you hear “plastic jewelry” — you might not think “awesome and classy” — but with at-home Ink Jet printers that can print on plastic paper, you’d be wrong! You can either get the Shrinky Dink paper at a craft store like Michaels (coated plastic, Item D600-6A), OR you can actually used recycled plastic (make sure to use #6 plastic from to-go containers; I would draw on it with markers or pens instead of trying to print on it).
Once you have your plastic, only your creativity is your limit with the image you choose. It could be a piece of art you’ve made in Photoshop that you want as a charm for a necklace, or it could be a picture of your best buds you’d like to make into a charm bracelet.
The trick is to figure out how large to print or draw your image before you put it in the oven. Follow the instructions on the Shrinky Dink printer paper if you’re using that, or if you’re using the #6 recycled plastic container lids (washed, please!), follow these directions:
1. Get your materials: Look for the number inside the recycling triangle on your plastic lid. Sharpie markers work great to draw with on this plastic. Use a regular hole punch to put a jump ring through after it shrinks at the top. Your oven should be preheated to around 250 degrees F.
3. Draw and color: Black Sharpies work great for outlines. If you’re nervous about drawing, practice on a spare piece. You can always draw on paper and trace it onto the plastic. Remember, shrinking hides a lot of mistakes!
It will curl up. And curl up again. And then finally settle down to the smallest size. If you notice it sticking to itself, you can open up the oven and pat down the stuck edge with tweezers while the piece is still hot. It should take about 30 seconds to complete the process. It’s fun to watch.
5. Take it out: Be careful: It will be hot! If it’s not totally flat, press it down flat immediately. And enjoy your new small work of art!