Mini Tutorial - Shrink Charms
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  1. #1
    Registered User Missy's Avatar
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    Default Mini Tutorial - Shrink Charms

    Shrink Charms

    As a child you may remember making Shrinky Dinks in the oven. (My brother and I did them quite a bit) Today these are still around and used for lots of things; hair accessory kits, play jelery kits, etc. Often they come in kits, but you can also find the sheets on their own as well. There are several companies that put them out. Shrinky Dink is a brand name, but is more commonly known as Shrink Plastic (NOT the same as Shrink Wrap Plastic) Some come with designs printed on them, some with traceable patterns, others nothing at all.

    If the ones you pick up hasn't a rough side, take a sheet of sand paper to one side of the shrink plastic. But just one side. I am doing this as though you haven't a pattern to trace and as though they are not pre printed.

    Often I find that i can't find a charm that goes just right with stickers or other embellishments, so here's a way to make charms to match with using a sticker ot die cut or such (or even something you like online or in a magazine or coloring book....ideas are endless) to create a matching charm. I am doing it to match a sticker i like.

    Supplies you will need:
    Shrink Plastic
    Permanent Marker
    design to trace
    colored pencils
    scissors
    hole punch
    s hook or small jewelery findings rings (real small ones)
    oven
    non stick cooking sheet

    Step 1 Enlarge on a computer, copy machine or free hand your design. Make sure it is 3 times larger than you want the finished piece to be this is very important . Print out the design, if the outline is too faint, you may want to darken it with a marker to make it easier to see for tracing through the plastic.

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    Step 2 Trace your design onto the Shrink Plastic
    - lay your plastic rough side up. (if neither side is rough, roughen one side with a emery board or sand paper)
    - trace the design. I use a Sharpie Permanent marker for this.

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    Step 3 Color your tracing in. Using the colored pencils

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    Step 4 Cut out your design.
    - Carefully cut out your design on the marker line or just to the outside of the marker line. Be careful when turning inside corners to keep it from cracking.

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    Step 5 Hole Punch
    - Use a standard size hole punch, not a mini. this is important because the piece shrinks and a mini hole punched hole might close up. If you aren't going to use this as a dangling charm you can omit this step. You can glue to cardstock or mount on paper as well.

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    Registered User Missy's Avatar
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    Step 6 Preheat your oven to 350. Or follow directions on your package carefully. lay your pieces rough side up (or manufacturers directions for that brand) on a non stick cooking sheet (in a pinch i have used a sheet of plain aluminum foil just as well -- just don't grease it in any way) In this pic, note the size of these pieces (i removed the ruler before baking) Bake and watch carefully. In about five minutes (or less) the plastic will shrink, curl, and flatten back out It will reduce to 1/3 the size it was, and become about 9 times thicker. Such as in the next pic....


    (if it curls onto itself i just start over. )

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    Registered User Missy's Avatar
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    Step 7 After the five or less minutes in the oven see the difference?? These will cool pretty quickly. If they come out of the oven still curled up some, put them back in the oven immedialtely for a few more seconds. You may be able to ease them flat with a wooden skewerbut it won't stay pliable but for a few seconds so work fast... (Adults only for this step, please.)

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    Step 8 Attatch hooks through the holes. I use S hooks or rings found in the jewelry making asile in the craft dept. the really small ones.

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    Step 9 Attatch to your page!!!! I have em dangling from my journal block, but there's lots of other ways they can be used.

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    These are adorable!! I have some shrink plastic here that I haven't been brave enough to use yet. lol Maybe I'll try it tomorrow.

    I hear that you can shrink them with your heat embossing gun too. Not sure how well this would work tho.

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    I've seen someone do this technique with ink stamps and a heat gun. They made cell phone charms. They do turn out very cute.

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    Would they be acid free?

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    I did it over 4 years ago and am not seeing any signs of acid wear. I am going to say it's probably not acid free, and if you choose to use it do not let them sit directly on a cherished photo.

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