By Noreen Doll.
Little girls will love making their own stretchy shrinky bracelet.
They can use their own designs or trace a picture from a coloring book or story book.
It would make a great birthday party activity, or a little girl could make them for her friends.
Sharpies or Colored Pencils
Hair Elastics – large enough to fit around a child’s wrist
10 mm Jump Rings
There are different kinds of shrink plastic to choose from. I used clear and white (sometimes called opaque).
I prefer the white for this project, but the clear gives a stained glass effect.
Clear shrink plastic is on the left and difficult to see because it is clear. White shrink plastic is on the right.
Remember that once shrunk the colors are MUCH darker than when you applied them. So consider using lighter colors.
This is the color before shrinking. Sharpie color is on the left, colored pencil is on the right.
You might like to make a test piece just to see how much shrinkage there is, and how dark the color gets.
This is the color after shrinking.
See how the details would disappear if it was colored all the way to the edge.
1. If you are using colored pencils, lightly sand one side of the plastic and color on that side.
2. Find a picture you want to use, and with masking tape, tape the shrink plastic over that picture
3. Outline the picture with a black Sharpie or colored pencil. This really helps define the color.
You don’t have to follow every single line of the picture. I usually leave out extreme details.
4. Add the color. Notice the color doesn’t go all the way to the edge of the outline.
Especially when using darker colors, you can’t see details once the piece has shrunk if you fill the areas in entirely.
5. Cut your picture out.
6. Punch a hole in the top.
7. Bake. Be sure an adult does the baking part!
8. Use foil or a brown paper bag on a cookie sheet and lay your shrinky on top.
Follow the directions on your shrink plastic package for oven temperature.
I have 2 different brands of shrink plastic. One says to bake at 250 degrees, and one says use 325 degrees.
The 250 degree oven didn’t work very well – it didn’t get hot enough to melt the plastic very well. When I put the plastic back in and turned the oven to 325 degrees, the ornament finished melting properly.
Don’t panic if your plastic curls up into a ball. Leave it in the oven and it will relax flat. If not, gently pry apart any edges that are stuck together. (I use 2 forks.)
Sometimes it needs a little help to get flat. If it looks like a bowl and won’t relax further, remove it from the oven and turn it over. Press down in the center if you can.
Put it back in the oven and allow it to flatten. If necessary, you can use a spatula to finish flattening the shrinky if it is almost flat, while it is still warm.
10. Allow the shrinky to cool.
11. Very lightly spray the colored side of the shrinky with clear acrylic spray. Too much spray can make the color run!
Allow to dry and spray a second time. This will help keep the color from chipping off.
Attach the shrinky to the stretchy shrinky bracelet.
Use hair elastics for the bracelets. They can be found at the Dollar Store.
12. Open a jump ring. Don’t unroll it – don’t open it by pulling the sides apart. You will never be able to make the ring look nice again.
At the opening of the jump ring, gently pull one side forward and push the other side back.
13. Slip one end of the open jump ring through the hole in the top of the shrinky. Close by gently bringing the ends back together again.
14. Put a second jump ring through the first one, and then around the elastic.
The stretchy shrinky bracelet is ready to be worn.
Note: Be sure the hair elastic does not fit tightly around the child’s wrist. There should be a little extra room between the elastic and the wrist.