As I shared previously about my summer art class with my kids I wanted to show them different surfaces and mediums that they could use to create. (See more here – “Living with Art” Classes). This week we created a necklace using Shrinky Dinks and colored pencils.
If you have never used shrinky dinks before, they are a sheet of plastic that you can color with markers, paint, and pencils. They are easy to cut out and punch holes in. They will then shrink by placing them in an oven or by using a heat gun. I get my shrinky dinks at Michaels. For this project I used the Frosted Ruff N’ Ready. They are transparent and one side is shiny and the other is matte.
For this project I used punches to cut out my flowers.
For the main part of the necklace I cut a rectangle 4″ x 5″ and rounded the edged with a corner punch. I placed two 1/4″ holes on the top of one long side and five holes on the opposite side. I used the 1/4″ punch on the end of one petal on each larger flower and the 1/8″ punch on the smaller flowers.
Using colored pencils they created a little garden/flower related scene on the larger square and then colored the flowers using different patterns on the matte side of the shrinky dinks. These are some of the samples I had started to give them ideas.
Now the fun of shrinking begins. I had my husband cut me a board and drill a small hole in the center. I then placed a piece of wire ( about 18 gauge) in the hole. To shrink the flowers, slip the hole over the wire with the shiny side down and use the heat gun to shrink. Have a palette knife or popsicle stick handy to keep the shrinky dink from popping off of the wire. Heat it until it lies flat. Allow to cool before removing to avoid burning yourself.
Here is a how-to-shrink video:
I was able to shrink my larger piece with the heat gun, but found the girls would pull back when the piece was folding on top of itself and then the shrinky dink would stick to itself. The larger pieces I did in my oven at 350 degrees. I laid them on a piece of parchment paper shiny side down in a 9″x 13″ pan.
Here is a picture of the ones I completed:
We used jump rings to attach the flowers to the rectangle and also added two on the top for the cord. Slide a cord through the top jump rings to create your necklace. The flowers also look cute strung individually on a chain. At the end of class a couple of siblings came in and created a few charms as well. Here are the students and their creations.
It was a little crazy at the end and I did not get a close up of each of their creations but here are pictures of two of their creations.
One of my older students created these beautiful earrings. I will show you how to create these in another post.
One thing I did not plan on was the minor burn injuries the kids got from accidently touching the end of the heat gun and pulling the wire out when it was too hot (fortunately, ice was on hand)…so it would be good to do this project one-on-one with younger students or have someone to help with the shrinking process. When I asked them, a number of students said this was their favorite project so far.
Hope you are inspired to make a mad dash to Michaels to get some shrinky dinks.
PS. Here is another post on creating with Shrinky Dinks Shrinky Dink Jewels