I have a new crafting obsession. I have discovered Shrinky Dinks! Never heard of it? Well, let me just tell you how awesome it is. You see, when you buy it, it’s merely a sheet of thin plastic “paper.” However, when you put it in the oven, it magically shrinks and thickens. It’s great for all sorts of crafts, including jewelry. It’s something you can easily use for crafting with your kids too! My daughter and I made charms for either a bracelet or necklace and I also made myself a bracelet.

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What I Used:

*Shrinky Dinks (I picked mine up at Michael’s with my 40% off coupon, but you can find it at any craft store. There’s also a variety of colors to choose from. I chose bright white.)
*Hole Punch
*Scissors
*Permanent Markers

To make necklace (or bracelet!) charms, I cut out two circles so we would each have one to decorate. It’s important to keep in mind that when you bake the Shrinky Dinks, it will shrink down to only about 1/4 of it’s original size, so it ends up being much smaller afterwards. I also used the hole punch to make a hole at the top of each circle. Then, we used sharpie markers to draw our pictures. Caroline decided to draw a picture of her and her sister with a heart (so adorable!) and I drew a little tree. (This was our first attempt so I was afraid to put a lot of effort into it in case it didn’t work out as planned).

Next, you want to line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and put your Shrinky Dinks creations on top, with your drawings face-up. Bake it in the oven at 325 degrees for approximately 2 – 5 minutes. We turned the oven light on so we could see what was happening. It’s pretty neat to watch and it happens rather quickly. I must warn you, once your Shrinky Dinks starts to warm up it will curl up and not look right. At first I thought I did something wrong. Have no fear! Just wait a little longer and it flattens right out.

Take them out of the oven and let them cool. Here they are before baking them:

Before

Before

And here they are once they were cooked:

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Crazy, right?

Now all I need to do is add the jump ring and put them on bracelets or a necklace! It’s a cute way to proudly display your child’s artwork!

I couldn’t stop there, though. I needed to see what else I could make. See? I told you I’m obsessed now. I thought it might be fun to try making myself a cute little cuff style bracelet. I simply cut the shape I wanted, decorated it with Sharpie markers (which I have to admit was a nice way to unwind after a very long day), and used the hole punch to add a hold to either side. I followed the same baking instructions as the charms. The only difference was that once I took it out of the oven I had about 10 seconds to wrap it around a glass in order to get it to curve before it hardened up. This involved a little trial and error before getting it right. The good news is that if you mess up and it doesn’t take the shape you want it to, all you need to do is put it right back in the oven for a few more minutes and try again!

Here’s the finished product:

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I can’t stop thinking about all the different things I want to try making with Shrinky Dinks. Earrings, buttons, personalized wine charms…. So many possibilities. I can’t wait to try some of the other colors and the clear Shrinky Dinks next!

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