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Kathy Sheldon, the author of Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk! tells us that when she tells people about shrinky jewelry they either respond with how much they love it or Huh? I would be in the first camp, I had a great time making shrinky dinks as a child. I was very interested to see how the technique would translate into jewelry making. Apparently, by using stretched plastic, when heated the plastic will shrink in size while at the same time intensifying the colors that are used to decorate it. It also gets significantly thicker, too, which makes for a much more sturdy piece when finished. If you’d like to use this idea to recycle plastic containers, check to make sure that they are labeled as #6, and you should be able to find a good many items to work with, including take out containers and plastic cups.
There are instructions for all types of plastic jewelry creations: rings, earrings, necklaces, even lovely cameos. The one I had to try was the gorgeous High Tea Charm bracelet, with its lovely rose patterns and tea treats dangling from a silver chain. This craft used a sheet of white inkjet shrink plastic that I was able to print on using my inkjet printer (pretty cool!). After printing, I just had to cut out each piece and punch a hole in the top of them and then put them in the oven to bake. I had to place a large book on them when I removed them from the oven so the edges didn’t do that curling up thing that I remember from when I was a kid, but the book made that issue simple to prevent.
I sprayed with some sealer and I just love how they turned out! So pretty and what an easy jewelry making technique. My kids are loving trying it out, too. They mostly want to draw their own designs, which is very fun, so far they’ve made a keychain and a necklace. I love this trip back in time that takes a new, modern spin on an old favorite in Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk!
Click here to read more about the talented group of designers who contribute jewelry designs for Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk!