Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Shout-Out to Shrinky Dinks!

I  Shrinky Dinks. 
All weekend my husband made fun of me for talking about Shrinky Dinks nonstop--he thought I was making them up until we found them at AC Moore. The name is great! And the possibilities with this product are left entirely to the limits of your own imagination! Yes, it is hard to believe there is actually a product named Shrinky Dinks, but I assure you, that is what they are called. Here is the website!!!

Several weeks ago I stumbled across a neat charm bracelet on Pinterest that someone made by scanning in books and printing them on Shrinky Dink paper. I had never thought to do that before, so my mind started going crazy. My first idea was to create a "family album" using pictures of your child and loved ones to make a charm bracelet.
~~Shrinky Dink Charms Take 1!~~
Here are the supplies you will need: 

  • I found this film at AC Moore --  Shrink Film and comes in a packet of 6 sheets 11 X 8.5.
  • Please note the frowny face I inserted here. I thought my photo charm bracelet was award-winningly original.. evidently not. There was a photo of such a bracelet directly on the packaging--another notch down on the wall of creativity for me!
Here is how our first photo project went down.  I did not sand the film (even though the packaging recommended it.) It needs to be sanded.  
I also did not purchase the extra special printing ink that is made for this particular film. I don't think I would purchase the special ink unless I was really planning to go Pro with Shrinky Dinking. For now, I'll stick to amateur level.

At any rate, my normal printer ink never quite stuck to the film, resulting in a wet and tacky surface after shrinking :(
The little charms were so cute, I was bummed that they would not completely dry.  We moved on to Shrinky Dinks, take 2!
~~Take 2!~~
This time around, I sanded the film. Aah, much better. The film was more receptive to pencil, colored pencil, and marker. Hooray.  

Next, I printed out her name, traced it and colored it in. I also did a little "cartoon" of her face by tracing a large image.  Then I cut the letters leaving a little room around the edges.
In the meantime my daughter carefully drew and colored some special charms for herself!
You will need to have a hole punch to make the holes for your necklace rope or wire! Give yourself a little room at the top and place the punch where you want a small hole.

  •  To bake your Shrinky Dink Charms, preheat the oven to 300° or slightly warmer depending on your oven.  Place your "charms" on a baking sheet--the directions tell you to use wax paper, but I have had great luck placing them directly onto the sheet.
  • Wait until the charms curl slightly, then flatten back down.  Once they are flat, about 1/2 the size and much thicker, you can pull them out. It takes about 3 minutes.
  • Let them cool and if you need to flatten them a little more, use the tip of a spatula.

You can see how big they are here. If you want them smaller, just make smaller letters and pictures!
Here she is wearing her necklace. I ended up using some of my bead "hardware" to finish this up, but running a  stretchy Pony Bead string or fishing line through the center holes will make most kids happy! We will add more beads and glam to our necklace on another day.

We had a fun time. There is something magical and exciting about peering through the oven door, waiting to see how your artwork will change.  I will most likely be posting on Shrinky Dinks again, in the meantime I'd love to hear about some of your own experiments... and mishaps!!!

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