It's a Shrinky Dink Kind of Christmas!

Introduction: It's a Shrinky Dink Kind of Christmas!

About: Pinterest directed me to Instructables. I'm not sure if that was a good thing or bad - but now I'm hooked. I have made jewelry since 1988. I have had some designs published, taught jewelry at Michael's Hobb...

Grab the kids and lets make some great Shrinky Dink Holiday jewelry!

Step 1: Get Your Shrinky Dink!

This is the Shrinky Dink for inkjet printers. The new product is now 8-1/2x11 sheets AND prints on both sides.

If you have the older version – the front of the package will look the same. You must read the size of the sheet to know for sure whether you must make printer adjustments or not.

You can shrink the plastic sheet in a conventional or toaster oven. If you are going to be doing quantities of shrinkies, I would suggest investing in an inexpensive toaster oven to use just for crafting projects.

HOWEVER – I use an embossing gun which I find much easier for shrinking.

Step 2: And More Supplies.

Besides the shrinking plastic you will need some sort of adhesive such as E-6000 or Super Glue.

You will need blank earring posts. Earring posts with an extra "loop" on it is for dangle style earrings.

If you wish, you will need the Holiday style bottle caps.

Scissors to cut the shrink plastic.

A toaster oven or conventional oven to shrink the plastic. (or you can use the craft heat embossing gun method shown in this tutorial).

For the dangle earrings - a drill to make a small hole in the bottle cap rim.

A finish for the shrunk plastic such as a gloss spray, ModPodge, or any other sealant. Use a gloss or matte finish whichever you prefer.

I show the jewelry tools needed to make the dangle style earrings further in the tutorial.

Step 3: Tools You Need.

If you are using the oven to shrink your plastic - that's all you need!

If you are going to try using a craft heat embosser to shrink you will need the heat embosser (found in any craft store), something that can withstand the heat while you have the plastic on it, and a graphite "paddle" which is often used in heating glass for jewelry. You can use a kitchen spatula for the same purpose.

Step 4: Gather Your Clip Art.

You can get clip art from many places on the internet. Just Google "free clip art". There are also some "pay" sites which have higher quality clip art.

But as the picture shows, you may want to modify clip art that you download by adding colors, lines, or combining clip art. You can do this using a graphic design software. You also may scan photos or pictures. Scan your child's holiday drawing and make jewelry out of it!

Shrinky Dink is limited only to your imagination.

Step 5: Make Sure You 50% the Brightness!

The new Shrinky Dink is wonderful in that it is now a full 8-1/2 x 11 sheet size AND you can print on both sides!

But ALWAYS remember to adjust the brightness by 50%. The images should look washed out. The reason being when the plastic shrinks the color pigment (which is really little dots of color on the plastic) will "squish" together doubling up on the color.

Since this new style allows printing on both sides it also brings a new complication. I would suggest using plain paper to figure out how your printer pulls the sheets through. Figure out what it takes for you to print on both sides AND for both sides to line up correctly.

As you can see - I did not do cutting lines on the second side of the plastic. This is in case the plastic is printed just slightly off the cutting lines will not show up as being off. After all, you only need cutting lines on one side.

Step 6: Craft Heat Embossing Gun Shrink Method.

If you're not using the toaster oven method of shrinking, here is a couple of video's showing the craft heat embossing gun method.

Step 7: Make It Into Earrings!

You can simply attach some earring posts to the back of the shrunk plastic image for post earrings.

OR you can go a little fancy as I did and use some Holiday Color bottle caps for the earrings.

I purchased these bottle caps at Hobby Lobby. Just glue the shrunk plastic to the flat side of the bottle cap. Drill a hole in the cap to attach to earring post, make a figure 8 loop, attach all - and you have a dangling earring!

First - buy the Holiday style bottle caps.

Step 8: Drill a Hole in the Bottle Cap.

Get out your trusty Dermel and drill a small hole into the rim of the bottle cap.

Step 9: Attach Shrunk Plastic Image

Using E-6000 or Super Glue to attach the shrunk plastic to the bottle cap.

Step 10: Earring Posts

To make earrings you need earring posts.

For the simple version, you just need flat earring posts to glue the shrunk plastic to.

For the dangle bottle caps, you need a loop on the earring post to attach the dangle.

Step 11: Finish Off the Dangle Style Posts

The dangle style posts I used require that you "finish off" the post with either a bead, a cabachon (half a bead), or you can do as I did which is attach a ball of polymer clay, bake, and finish.

Step 12: Make the Wire Loop for the Dangle.

We need to make a wire loop if you are doing the dangle style earrings. You will need some jewelry tools.

Step 13: Making the Actual Figure 8 Loop.

The figure 8 style loop provides a loop for the bottle cap and another loop to attach to the earring post. This video will show the steps to making the figure 8 style loop.

Step 14: Finish the Dangle Earrings!

Gently open the loop of the figure 8 wire loop and attach the bottle cap. Then attach the other loop to the earring post.

Step 15: You're Done!

Enjoy your earrings and be sure to make a bunch for your friends and family!

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