If you love crafts like we do, then you’ve probably seen this DIY everywhere – we’re talking about shrinking plastic and all the amazing possibilities it comes with! There are various tutorials out there that use plastic food containers as the main material for jewelry pieces, but our experience showed that recycled boxes are either a hit or miss (mostly a miss) when it comes to getting the results you want. And that’s why, for this project, we took the safe route and opted for actual shrinking plastic sheets… and the results were pretty perfect! Here’s everything you need in order to create gorgeous baked pendants out of plastic sheets:
The Tools :
Trace the shapes on the back of the shrinking sheet. For this project, we chose thin sheets that shrank about 7 times – but considering that there is a wide range of shrinking sheets on the market, the thickness and shrinkage of your material may differ, so make sure you read the instructions before baking. We traced the designs on the back of the sheets, meaning on the slightly textured side and not on the glossier one. Add details to your designs using a fine pen and unite the gaps if needed.
Cut your designs and use the perforator to make a hole for the jump ring. Cut your designs using regular scissors and make small hole either outside of the design or inside if you intend to use it as a pendant. If you want to create brooches or rings, then skip this step.
Color your designs on the back of the sheet. Only use permanent markers when coloring your designs – trust us, regular sharpies will come off right away (we learned it the hard way!). First, trace a thick contour with a black marker, then continue filling in with colors. Keep in mind that the colors will turn a shade darker when baked, so use lighter hues when coloring.
Bake your pendants in the oven at 175 degrees Celsius / 347 Fahrenheit for about 30 seconds until they shrink and flatten. Put your designs on an oven tray with parchment paper, place them in the oven, then watch through the oven door how your designs start to bend, then possibly even roll, only to flatten shortly after while tripling their thickness. Once they are flat again, you can remove them from the oven.
Attach the pendant to your necklace using jumping rings. Most jumping rings won’t require a jewelry plier, as they are made of soft metals, so chances are, you won’t need extra tools for this step.
Final result :
This project is truly as magical as it sounds; in just 5 simple steps, you get gorgeous, bright and sturdy pendants that actually look store-bought. Let your little ones join the design team and help them create their own drawings on the sheets, then help them with the cutting and baking process – they will be amazed at the results! All in all, a great project with endless fun and tons of creative possibilities. Enjoy!