This was my first time ever using Shrinky Dinks. They make some that work with your Inkjet printer that I've been wanting to try, and that's how I made these :)
The adorable images are from Digi Crafts. I had purchased a some cute images from her, the Kawaii Ice Cream, and made some cards. When I shared them with her she asked my permission to put them up in her Etsy shop. I said yes, and as a thank you she sent me these great fruit images. I had to do something really special with them. So, if you bop on over to her shop you'll see a little of my work in her listings. Cool, huh?
For those of you that haven't made jewelry before or worked with Shrinky Dinks I'm doing a walk through type tutorial with some photos so you can get a feel for the process I went through to see if it's something you'd enjoy. Here goes!
With the instructions for the Shrinky Dinks it tells you that you need to lighten your images before printing them. When they shrink the image will get much darker, so they recommend lightening the image about 50%. If you skip this step your images will be too dark and may not dry properly. Luckily with the images I was using she includes each image individually, as well as a collage of them, including cut lines. I used the sheet with all of them, so I just had to adjust the one photo and print it. Super easy!
Next I had to make holes and cut around the images. I separated the images from each other with a very rough cut, and then punched the holes before I cut the images out nicely. I used my Crop A Dile on the larger punch setting - and it's a good thing too, because those holes shrink WAY down! I followed the provided guidelines on my image as cut lines, except for where I added the hole I had to eyeball it. Make sure you think about how you want the images to hang before adding the holes. I placed holes near the stems in a couple of the images. For the cherries I did not cut out the center portion of the cut, I figured this would help keep them more sturdy.
The next step was baking, which I did in my toaster oven. The package tells you the recommended temps, but I was so nervous doing it! *LOL* The images curled up A LOT while they were baking and the orange nearly got stuck together. The package says sometimes they will actually stick together and you have to stick something in there to separate it from itself if that happens. Luckily I didn't have to. The images curled up a lot, and then started to flatten out some.
After I removed the images I was not able to get them very flat, I even tried individually baking one a little longer and then re-flattening it. No luck. So, I decided to use my heat embossing gun and a smooth piece of cardboard to flatten them. I did this carefully one piece at a time - heating it until it was pliable, and then smushing it gently under the cardboard. It worked great!
When the images were all flattened the last step was turning these pieces into jewelry. I used a chain, a clasp, and some jump rings. The only tool I needed was a couple tiny pairs of jewelry pliers, which are inexpensive. I laid out all the pieces in a row to determine placement, and decided not to use the orange. I wanted the banana to be the center because it was bigger than the others, and then I had 3 pieces on each side of it.
I let my daughter play with the extra orange piece, and it was ruined pretty easily. I am going to seal up the necklace with some clear nail polish, I just haven't done it yet. The package recommends a couple brands that they tested so I know it will be safe :) Here's a photo of the piece with a quarter so you can see how tiny and cute these came out. Thanks for stopping by and have a fabulous & very crafty day.