How to make shrink plastic jewellery

Written by ainsley patterson
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How to make shrink plastic jewellery
Plastic beads (KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images)

Shrink plastic, a material that is typically used for children's crafts, can be used to make jewellery for both children and adults. Draw your own designs onto the shrink plastic to incorporate them into your homemade jewellery. Use stamps on the shrink plastic to create a number of designs that is only limited by the stamps that you can find. Create shrink plastic jewellery to give as gifts to family and friends or to wear yourself to dress up an outfit.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Clear shrink plastic
  • Scissors
  • Rubber stamps
  • Alcohol-based permanent ink pad
  • Coloured pencils
  • Fine-tip permanent markers
  • Oven
  • Butcher paper
  • Baking tray
  • Jump ring
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Blank chain or earrings
  • Cloth gloves (optional)
  • Wooden ball with a diameter of approximately 30 mm (2 1/4 inches)
  • Pin back
  • E6000 glue
  • Hole punch

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  1. 1

    Draw or stamp a design onto a piece of shrink plastic. The design should be approximately three times larger than you want the finished piece to be because the shrink plastic is going to bake down to about 1/3 of its original size.

  2. 2

    Colour in your design, if it is stamped, with coloured pencils or fine-tip permanent markers if you wish.

  3. 3

    Cut the design out, either following the lines of the design or by cutting around it in a circle, square or other shape with scissors. Punch a hole near the top of the design with a small hole punch, the type you use to put papers in binders.

  4. 4

    Bake the piece of shrink plastic on a piece of butcher paper on a baking tray. Follow the instructions on the package to get the bake time and temperature for the specific product you are using.

  5. 5

    Attach a jump ring to the plastic through the hole you punched by prying it open with needle nose pliers. Attach the jump ring to a chain, for a bracelet or necklace, or a blank earring to make a pair of earrings. Close the jump ring with the pliers.

  1. 1

    Draw a simple flower outline that is approximately 150 mm (6 inches) wide on a piece of shrink plastic. Draw a different simple flower outline that is approximately 75 mm (3 inches) wide on a piece of shrink plastic. Finally, draw a circle with a diameter of 50 mm (2 inches) on a piece of shrink plastic.

  2. 2

    Colour in the different outlines you drew with coloured pencils. Keep in mind that the colours will intensify when the pieces are baked.

  3. 3

    Cut out all three pieces. Place the largest piece on a piece of butcher paper on a baking tray. Bake the piece according to the instructions that come on your shrink plastic package. Let the piece bake an additional 30 seconds after it has flattened back out.

  4. 4

    Pull the piece out of the oven and let it cool for 2 seconds. Then, form the piece, while it is still hot, around a wooden ball. The piece won't wrap completely around the ball, you just want to add some shape to the piece. Repeat this baking and shaping process with the last two pieces. Wear thin cloth gloves to protect your hands from the heat to avoid getting burnt. The plastic doesn't stay hot enough long enough to cause any serious burns, but the plastic will be hot and might be uncomfortable to the touch. After shrink plastic comes out of the oven, you only have about 10 seconds before it is completely hardened, so any moulding of the plastic you want to do must be done quickly.

  5. 5

    Use small amounts of E6000 glue to layer together the three pieces of the flower, with the largest piece being the outside layer and the smallest piece being the inside layer. Attach the pin back to the backside of the flower with the glue. Allow the whole piece to dry before wearing it.

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