Shrink plastic jewelry!

July 22, 2010, 15:53 pm  Posted by Lark

These are the pieces I've made using the techniques I've described. They include The Cure, Jem, Rainbow Brite, Labyrinth, and 'Kelly' from a popular "Shoes" YouTube video.

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.

2. Cut it it out: Cut out the pieces you want in the size and shape you desire. And make sure you round off any corners, because corners can get very sharp when shrunk.

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!

4. Time to bake: Place your piece on parchment paper on a tray in your toaster oven or regular oven (preheated to about 250 degrees F). And watch the magic happen!

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!


10 Responses

    Shana Gray says:

    This is such a big trend on etsy and sites like that. Great to know how to do it myself! Looks like such a fun project.

    Kim Gardner says:

    This is so cool and I never would have thought to use Shrinky Dinks for jewelry! And this project gives you a chance to play with an awesome childhood toy! :-)

    ShannonYokeley says:

    Awesome Shrinky Dink jewelry! And I love the 80s theme. Carol, I think I see a Shrinky Dink craft party in your future…

    Emily Boyd says:

    Shrinkles! God I haven't thought about shrinkles in years – shrinkles being what I knew them as in Scotland.

    We used these when we were kids and used to draw on the plastic with colouring pencils. There were even certain crisp packets we used to make them out of as resourceful primary schoolers.

    What a blast from the past! And I can actually imagine certain applications I could use them for! I never imagined that would happen.

    TLetnes says:

    I love shrinky jewelry! It's so versatile and great for quick gifts!

    Gee says:

    Oooooh yyyyeeeaaaahhh! Shrinky Dinks! I can revisit my childhood dreams again! I never made any of those when i was young. So, I'm gonna scrape up some no.6 plastic and make all kinds of Slayer shrinkies, FTW!

    Frivolitea says:

    Hey, I LOVE making shrink plastic jewelry. That reminds me that I have not done it in a while.

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

    You could definitely see your skills within the paintings you write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to mention how they believe. Always follow your heart.

    My little comment

Leave a Reply