How To Make Jewellery From Shrink Plastic

Shrink plastic is a very versatile medium. Its fun to work with for both children and adults alike and its available from most good craft stores and online.

Today I’m going to show you how to use shrink plastic to make these two lovely pendants…

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The materials you will require are…

2 x frosted sheets of shrink plastic
Black permanent marker pen
Gold metallic gel pen
Gold metallic pencil
Silver metallic pencil
Length of black cord or leather
Thick silver memory wire (for choker)
10 4mm flat backed crystals (white)
2 x Charlotte crimp bead tips (silver)
1x jump ring
Flat silver charm (like a tag)
2 silver pendant attachments
1 necklace clasp
Small amount of silver tiger wire

Tools

Scissors
Mini hole punch
Access to a pre heated oven or heat tool
Flat nosed pilers
Wire cutters
Super glue

To make your round pendant use your permanent black marker pen and draw a circle that goes into a swirl on the rough (frosted side) of your shrink plastic.

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Next decorate the edging of your swirl with a petal like pattern like I have.

Use the gold gel pen to colour in groups of the petal like decoration like so.

Decorate any other way you wish.

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Now cut out the shape and use the mini hole punch to make a hole in your pendant (not to close to the edge).

If using an oven preheat this to the temperature stated on the manufacturers instructions on your shrink plastic. Follow the guidelines to shrink the plastic.

If using a heat tool, place your plastic, frosted side up, on a ceramic surface and hold it with a pencil tip as you apply the heat.

Within seconds the plastic should start to shrink. It will all fold up into a ball before finally opening back out to reveal its smaller self. This process takes seconds.

The plastic will now be 7x smaller and much more thicker than it was previously.

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Once the plastic has cooled use super glue (a tooth pic or similar) to glue one crystal to the centre of your swirl and three more crystals like I have in the image below.

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Now fit a pendant grip through the pendants hole and thread the black cord through the hoop.

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Its now time to finish of your necklace using the jewellery findings!

Thread a charlotte crimp end to each end of your thread. Tie in a knot to secure and use flat nosed pilers to crimp the thread securely inside the body of the Charlotte.

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Now, to one end of your thread add a jump ring to the Charlotte crimp end and to the other end attach a clasp.

Your first pendant is now complete.

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Gold and silver pendant

Cut your shrink plastic into a thickish strip.

Use your gold and silver pencils to add swirls of both colours to the rough side of your plastic. Ensure your swirls overlap one another like so…

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Once your design is complete again cut down your plastic remembering that it will be 7x smaller once shrunk. Your finished pendant will need to measure at least 2-2 1/2 centimetres in length.

At this stage you will also need to round off your edges to ensure there are no sharp corners.

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Turn your plastic long ways up and use your mini hole punch to make a hole both at the top and bottom of your shape.

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Now place in the oven shrinking your plastic as you did before (instructions above).

Once your plastic has shrunk and it is cool to touch use you super glue to glue on five of your crystals randomly in the centre of your swirls.

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Attach a pendant grip to the top hole like so.

Now take your flat silver tag and glue on one more crystal to its centre.

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Thread a small piece of silver tiger wire through the loop of your flat pendant and then through the hole at the bottom of your shrink plastic.

Twist using flat nosed pilers and cut of any excess with wire cutters.

Your flat silver tag should now dangle from the bottom of your plastic pendant.

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Lastly mould the memory wire into a hoop and thread the pendant onto the wire. Secure the end by forming two loops using flat nosed pilers.

And your finished.

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Alice loves wearing these home made creations and the shrink plastic has done well to impress us both.

Why not give those above a try or simply use your imagination to create your own style of shrink plastic jewellery.

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How Too Make A Clay Beaded Necklace

So I had some clay left over after the children had made their Piggies for the Natwest Competition.

This was air hardening/drying clay and with more than enough air tight containers full of modelling clay or play dough, I decided to use it up.

It was a real awkward amount, not enough to make anything to big, but more than enough not to want to waste. With this I decided to make some clay beads and a necklace for my daughter.

Here’s what I used…

Air Hardening/Drying Clay
Pearlised Acrylic Paints (Green/Yellow)
Acrylic Glaze
Black Bead Thread
Plastic Necklace Fastener

Tools…

Paint Brushes
Scissors
Clay Modelling Tool
News Paper or Table Cloth ( to cover surfaces)

How I Made The Beads

Despite only needing a small number of beads for the necklace I decided to make some extra so that the toddler could use them to help build his fine motor skills.

To make the beads I simply worked with very small amounts of clay at a time, rolling them into a ball, then using the sharp end of a modelling tool to make a hole through the middle of each bead (make sure the tool pushes right through the clay so the hole goes all the way through).

I then used the opposite end of the modelling tool to score lines, grooves and various patterns into each bead.

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Feeling a tad adventures, I also made a few different shaped beads and charms.

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The clay instructions are not to use water as its ‘Air drying’ However, I always find that this type of clay tends to crack more easily and does so fairly quickly. So, with this I often just wet my fingers a little and smooth over any cracks if I find this to be the case at all!

Once all my beads were complete, I left them on a sheet of newspaper and placed them in a dry area, leaving them over night to dry at room temperature.

Tip: You can tell when your beads are dry as the colour of the clay will turn from a stone grey colour, to white.

Decorating The Beads…

Once fully dried, I choose two paint colours (pearlised green and yellow) and put a small amount of each on a pallet (aka paper plate). I then used the end of a very thin paint brush and pushed it through the hole of the bead I was going to decorate. This allowed me to paint the entire bead without it being to fiddly and no area was missed.

I rotated the colours, painting one green the next yellow and so forth.

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The paint is very quick to dry, but I left for a good hour then repeated the process.

I then left to dry for another 2 hours before painting them in the same way only this time with a clear acrylic gloss glaze.

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After an hour the beads were ready to thread. I used black thread and secured with a plastic necklace fastener.

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Having made my necklace and some beads for harley to practice his fine motor skills, I did however, find I had a bit more clay left over. So, with this I decided to make a pendent for the necklace and a pair of earrings to match. I also made a feather pendent too.

How I Made The Matching Pendent & Earrings…

Added materials needed…

Earring wires

I flatten the clay so it became very thin and delicate. I then used the modelling tool to cut out a large tear drop shape for the pendent and two for the earrings. Once I had my earring shapes I then flatten these a bit more as to make them almost paper thin. This is to unsure they are not to heavy to wear.

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I then used my fingertips to help form a pattern, before using the sharp end of the modelling tool to complete my desired design. I did this for both the pendent and earrings (not worrying if they were the exact same in detail)!

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I then used the sharp end of the tool to make holes in each piece.

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Next I followed the same steps as I did for the beads. I painted in the same way only using both colours on each piece. I also covered all pieces in the same acrylic gloss glaze.

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The last step was to add the ear wires to create a pair of earrings.

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How I Made The Feather Pendent…

I flatten the remaining clay like that above and cut out one large leaf shape and another one about half its size.

I used the modelling tool to add the detail of the leaf before finally adding the holes for threading.

I then did all the same steps as I did for my beads, pendent and earrings. I used the same paints, gloss glaze and dried for the same amount of time. (Note the earrings and leaf pendent dried much faster as they were so thin!)

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Alice loved all the pieces (apart from the earrings these are to large for her as she only wears studs, plus they are not real silver)!

The clay jewellery is perfect for dress up or even gifts. I’m now making clay bead bracelets for Christmas Cracker fillers. 🙂

Alice is keen to have a go herself so I’m going to make a batch of salt dough and see what she can come up with!

Galt Friendship Braids TRU Toyologist Review

With the Galt friendship braids you can create all sorts of friendship braids from bracelets, hair braids and more.

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The set comes with everything you need to make fashionable friendship braids and my daughter Alice-Sara loves it.

Included in this kit you will find lots of colourful threads, beads and ribbon. holographic stickers for use on the flat beads provided, a foam braiding wheel and an instructional booklet.

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Alice-Sara got her kit out during a sleepover with her best friend. They spent a good hour on the kit and enjoyed making each other braids that they told me they would wear forever if school didn’t have a “No Jewellery” policy. 🙂

Alice-Sara even made the toddler a braid which his enjoyed wearing all week.

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The only problem the girls had with the kit was using the foam braiding wheel. They found the instructions difficult to understand and just made a tangled mess. Nonetheless you can make all sorts of braids without the wheel and this is what they did!

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Pretty cool, don’t you think?

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The Galt Friendship Braids Kit is available to buy from Toys R Us for £6.99 which I think is very reasonable and would make a great gift for any creative child this Christmas.

Mystyle Shrink Craft Jewellery TRU Toyologist Review

Mystyle Shrink Craft is a really great jewellery making kit that lets your child’s creativity do the work.

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Basically the kit comes with this fascinating plastic that once placed in an oven shrinks to a third of its original size while becoming thicker and more durable in the process.

The kit comes with all the tools needed to design your own jewellery (with the exception of coloured pens). We used Deco pens as these are acrylic based and the colour takes really well on the plastic.

Also in the box you will find an instruction and design ideas booklet that has projects designed for beginners through to Intermediates. The book was really helpful as it includes templates to trace and then decorate.

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What was especially great about this kit was the fact it came with professional finishings so jewellery is left with an overall professional finish which is far better than having necklaces that have cord tied in knots.

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With this kit children can make rings, earrings, necklaces and key-rings. They can also use the shrink plastic to make a whole host of other cool stuff like bookmarks or mini pictures.

The instructions make the process seem really simple however, we did struggle a little.The plastic stinks really quickly and sometimes it bends and folds making it a little disastrous.

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It did take a good few practice goes to get it right. The trick is to watch it super closely removing it from the oven at speed as soon as you see that its shrunk to the required size.

Once we had finally worked this out, Alice made a great heart pendent that she cut in half to make a friendship necklace.

Here she is modelling it with her BFF (that’s best friend forever, or so I’ve been told)!

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Alice-Sara said that she really enjoyed the Shrink Craft Jewellery Kit and would recommend it to all her friends.

Shrink Craft Jewellery will be available from Toys R Us in time for Christmas so keep your eyes open.

How to make a beaded picture

I know Easter has been and gone, though this is a method you could use for other occasions and designs.

Making beaded pictures are a really simple yet fun activity, it’s not all that messy (well, a little) and the end result is pretty effective.

Now you may choke on your tea with complete horror if I told you I did this activity with my 2-year-old toddler! Why? Because this does involve working with small beads. However, Harley really isn’t one for putting alien objects in his mouth, up his nose or even in his ears. I was with him throughout, therefore lots of sticking fun was had. 

Nonetheless, please do note that this activity does require you to work with small beads and sequins, so please be careful with small children, especially those under 3. Only you as a parent knows if your child is suited to an activity so you should therefore do this at your own risk. 

This activity is perfect for improving or aiding the development of a child’s fine motor skills

What you will need…

Some card in a selection of colours

Some thick double-sided tap (white as opposed to clear) 

Selection of beads

Selection of sequins 

Glitter 

Large sheet of black or other coloured card 

Glue stick

scissors

pencil

clear glue

Paint brush

Now we recently got a pack of eggs and baskets made from thin card (the type that require you to fold it along a dotted line leaving you with kinda 3D design). These are meant to be used for an egg hunt but I had other plans. Instead these became the perfect base for our beaded picture. Cutting along the dotted line, rather than folding it, then continuing to cut around the entire shape  I was left with a flat paper egg and basket. These cards were just £1 from poundworld and both perfect and inexpensive (they also make good templates).

However if you cannot get a hold of any, you will need to make your own by drawing a large egg shape on some coloured card and the body of a basket (no handle needed) on another piece of coloured card before finally cutting them out.

Next, lay down lots of newspaper over the space you’re working at and tip a selection of brightly coloured beads and sequins in the middle of the area.

Now, take your thick double-sided tape, adding a strip across the middle of the egg. It’s important that you only remove the outer strip protecting your tape once it’s positioned exactly how you want it! Note you don’t have to add a stripe across the middle, you could do any design that takes your fancy. 

Once protective strip has been removed let your toddler stick the beads to the tape. Top tip, buy white double-sided tape as this way your toddler can see where to stick

his/her beads and sequins.

Let your child stick them at different angles (on their sides, flat etc…) as this gives greater impact making it a fantastic effect.

DO this for both the egg and the basket

Once your child has finished sticking, Mum/Dad should give the beads the once over, giving them a firm press to ensure they are stuck down well.

Next, take the glitter and ensuring the egg and basket shapes are laid on some newspaper, sprinkle the glitter all over the tapped and beaded area, blowing and lightly tapping off any excess (This will cover any gaps between beads which will be much easier to see if using white tape)

Now with the paint brush cover your beaded area in clear glue, giving it a protective and shiny coat (do not use white glue as this will dry white and take away any sparkle you have going. 

Leave to dry for 1-2 hours before using your glue stick to stick down the decorated shapes any way you like on your black card (or which ever colour you chose). 

We chose black as I felt this helped our creation to really stand out.

So, there you have it! A beaded Easter Egg picture that’s both inexpensive to create and loads of fun to make.

 Why not try it yourself?