Shrink Plastic Leaf Charms

Here’s another project I first shared on Live Creatively Inspired earlier this month. I’ve worn mine frequently and received lots of compliments, which I love!

I really do have a problem with shrink plastic, y’all (aka Shrinky Dinks)…especially the kind that works with inkjet printers. But it’s so much fun! One of my friends recently pinned some tiny little leaf charms on Pinterest, and I was a bit inspired (and, yes, I’d been longing to use Shrinky Dinks again.). And look how cute they are!

leaves-title-chaosserveddai

It’s a simple process, requiring only a few basic supplies:

  • Inkjet-compatible Shrinky Dink sheet
  • Leaf punch or die
  • Digital fall print paper
  • Jump rings, a necklace, some beads or copper disks

1. Create a 8-1/2” x 11” patterned paper using digital scrapbooking paper, such as Fall Fling from Jessica Sprague’s shop. I did this in Photoshop Elements, but you can use any computer graphics program you like. This is what mine looked like:

Fall-Prints-Fullsize

2. Follow the package directions to print this on both sides of a sheet of Shrinky Dink paper. Don’t forget to make the opacity only 50% or your final leaves will be way too dark. Low-tech options would be to color on regular inkjet paper using Sharpies and cut out leaf shapes, or print some clipart leaves on inkjet Shrinky Dink paper and cut it out.

3. Punch out leaf shapes. I also cut some long skinny oval leaf shapes freehand. Place your cutouts on a cardboard sheet or piece of brown paper bag and bake according to the directions. Mine took 3 minutes at 275 degrees. I pulled them out while they were still curly, instead of waiting for them to flatten back out, because I wanted the leaves to be curled.

Leaves-before-shrinking-Cha

4. After baking them, you’re left with all these cute charms to create with…now let your imagination go wild! They’re cute embellishments for cards or to tie on a package, make darling earrings, or you can combine them with other beads and dangles to make a pendant…I love these charms!

Leaves-after-shrinking-Chao

I was in a jewelry making mood (so I could miss some of the gore on Sleepy Hollow, which we were watching), and easily put together these two pendants. Fun, right?

Leaves-Dangle-ChaosServedDaI love wearing handcrafted jewelry, especially when it’s crafted by my very own hands…and especially when I get compliments and can say, “I made this myself!”

Signature

3 thoughts on “Shrink Plastic Leaf Charms

  1. Ohh, Shrinky Dink! I’ve always LOVED Shrinky Dink. I would think of any excuse as a kid, a teenager, an adult to use it. Then I couldn’t find it anymore! Thank you for letting me know it still exists somewhere. And these are absolutely beautiful charm pendants! :)

I love reading your comments, and I'll very likely reply!