Introduction: Lots 'O' Bots Bracelet
Finalist in the
Dremel Jewelry Contest
This bracelet is made with shrinkplastic. You can use any images you like, mod the shapes, hand draw, rubber stamp, or whatever. I used the plastic you can inkjet print on and got the robot pictures from google for this project.
Step 1: Supplies
This is what I used, feel free to substitute:
shrinkplastic for inkjet- this kind is fairly pricey- $10.95 (I think) for a pack of 6 sheets- the regular is $4.95 (can't remember exact prices)
a hole punch that makes little holes (1/8")
small piece of no-slip shelf liner
votive candle ( this is to mold the curve of the shrinky tiles)
3 chopsticks/ pencils/ heavy skewers- your choice
roll of tape
can of sealer
jewelry pliers- optional round nose pliers, clips, 1 eye pin, & 1 bead/charm (for dangle if you want one).
paper cutter, xacto & ruler, whatever you use to cut paper
7mm 18gauge jump rings (i like heavy duty)
5mm 18gauge jump rings
Step 2: Step 1
The first thing to do is collect the images- mine are from google for this project only. One sheet of shrinkplastic will hold nine 'tiles', about 2" x 3". If you keep the tiles close together, one cut between the two will leave an equal border on each. I used the inkjet kind and printed out the bots* ,then cut them with a papercutter. You can use xacto& ruler, or whatever works for you.
*If you're drawing your own images and are using the regular shrinky paper- if you get a new sponge with the scrubby thing on one side and go over the shiny plastic with it, it will get the surface dull and easy to draw on. Thin sharpie and colored pencils work well for me.
Step 3: Step 2
Now it's time to mark where the holes are going to go and punch them out- don't forget to make pieces for each end with two holes on one side and one center hole on the other. That thing with the lines on it that i use to mark on is the back of a note book. I keep using it to keep the hole spacing the same for all sheets of tiles. If you like, clip on the corners to round them out (totally optional).
Step 4: Step 3
It starts getting a little funner now- I use a toaster oven to shrink in- the pkg. directions call for a regular stove oven- the toaster is way faster. Here is where the votive, chopsticks, and no skid stuff come in to play. The votive serves as a mold for the tiles- it is set in the center of a piece of no skid material, at each end the chopsticks are rolled under till they're snug up against the side of the votive. I just needed something to use and the chopsticks were right there (I shrinked in the kitchen). You just need a curved surface that doesn't move- this is just one possibility. Now you can start shrinking. In the picture the small blue square is a piece of cardstock, and notice a small piece of brown paper under tile on the oven door- they're coming up in the next step.
Step 5: Step 4
Put your unshrunk piastic on a small piece of brown paper and place in oven, when it flattens, pull it out (keeping it on the paper). Set the paper on the votive, take the cardstock and press over the tile to give it the curve. Try to keep the tile sides parallel to the votive sides, or they can get a bit warpy. You have to move pretty fast, or it'll harden. If you don't get it done in time, put it back in the oven untill it softens up and try again.
Step 6: Step 5
To preserve the tiles, I give them two coats of sealer- one will do, but I feel better with two. Put some tape stickyside up on a piece of heavy cardboard that won't bend. Press the tiles onto the tape- because thry're curved, only the edges of the sides get attatched, so press pretty hard. Spray them somewhere ventilated. If some or all the tiles get a real heavy coat of sealer, it will pool up at the sides. If you notice this happening, carefully move the tile when it's still a little tacky and place on a second piece of board to finish drying.
Step 7: Step 6
To make a bracelet approx 7 1/2" (kind of a 'standard' size) it takes seven tiles. Because each sheet of plastic holds nine images, you can choose which bot tiles to use- and have a couple extras just in case. Or, if you make your pick, and just punch holes in those seven- if they all come out with no probs- you can do the remaining two flat and make some pins, or punch a hole in the top for a pendant.
To link it all together, I used 7mm jumprings. Because the tiles are so thick, you have to open the jumprings up pretty wide. If you start on the back side, the link closure will be in the back. Sometimes you have to do some maneuvering to get them joined, also check the holes in the tiles to see if they're clogged with sealer.
Step 8: Step 7
Put the clasp on one end- I used a lobster claw, but it's your coice. These are 5mm jumprings- one goes on the clasp & gets closed, the other goes through the tile & attatches to the ring on the clasp.
Step 9: Step 8
If you're keeping it simple, all you have left to do is pass a 5mm jumpring thru the tile and attach a 7mm jumpring to it for the clasp to hook on to. If you want to add a dangle (and extension), add a few more 7mm jumprings to form a chain, and attach a bead or charm to the end. To get a bead ready to hang: pass a head pin thru the bead, grab the pin right down by the bead with the round nose pliers and bend the rest of the pin over the pliers at about 90 degrees, grab the end of the pin with other pliers while still holding with the roundnose and loop it around the bead a couple times, snip off the end of the pin.
Step 10: Step 9
there is no step nine- it's all done!
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