Long before the days of drinking and partying were the weekends filled with crafts and innocent fun! When I was younger, each weekend my sister and I would partake in various different projects when we ventured up to the Poconos. Sometimes it was tie-dye, other times it was baking (or attempting to). We also thoroughly enjoyed Shrinky Dinks…
What in the world are Shrinky Dinks? They are a children’s toy/activity kit consisting of large flexible sheets which, when heated in an oven, shrink to small hard plates without altering their color or shape. They also make fantastic jewelry.
While upstate over this past winter break, my sister Natalie, our friend Natasha and I decided that we needed a craft to occupy our weekend since the party scene in Highland, NY is somewhat scarce. Here’s what we did!
You will need:
Shrinky Dinks or shrinkable plastic sheets, a hole puncher, permanent markers, chain, a clasp, jump-rings, scissors, pliers, wire cutter and an oven. Most of these items can be found at a craft store, such as Michaels or Hobby Lobby.
Set the oven to 350 degrees
You are going to start off by sketching ideas for your pendants. My sister drew up some original flags, Natasha sketched one of her favorite past-times, pac-man, and I just drew some geometric patterns. The sky is the limit when it comes to what you can draw. Just keep in mind that whatever you are sketching will shrink to about 1/3 of the size after you put it in the oven, so draw them way larger than how you imagine the final product.
Then you will transfer your sketch on to the plastic sheet. Place the plastic over your sketch and just trace over your design. I used black permanent marker for my outlines, however if you wanted to use color, that works too! If you are planning on coloring in your pendant, I suggest “coloring in” on the other side of the plastic from the outline. This makes it so that your lines are really crisp and clear once you bake it!
Cut your design out of the plastic and punch a hole where you are planning on connecting it to the chain. After you do this, you are ready to put your designs into the oven. Put some tinfoil on the bottom of a pan and place your pieces inside. Put it in the oven, keeping an eye on your pieces. You will leave them in there for about 5 minutes, or until your pendants have curled up and flattened out completely again. Once this happens, you can remove them from the oven.
Take the foil out of the pan and press down on your pedants with a notebook or other flat surface. This ensures that they all lie completely flat. You are now ready to assemble your necklace! Using wire cutters, cut your chain at your desired length for your necklace. Then, placing the jump-rings through the holes in your pendants that you created with the hole-punch, connect your pendant/s at the desired spot on the chain with some pliers to assist you. Once you have connected all of your pendants and they are where you want them, attach the clasp to the end of the chain with jump-rings.
VIOLA! You have a beautiful stained-glass looking necklace that everyone including the cashier at the grocery store will compliment you on! And all it took was some crafting and creativity.