Shrink Plastic Geometric Pendants Tutorial!
I recently became obsessed with the idea of layered, geometric necklaces. I wanted to make some for myself, but I don’t have the supplies and equipment to make metal or wooden jewelry. And then it hit me – Shrinky Dinks! Of course! Here’s how I did it…
Get the full tute after the jump.
The Fine Print: Please remember that all tutorials, patterns and projects on Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky! are for personal use only and may not be distributed commercially without my permission. Make them for yourself, make them for your friends, hand them out at your kid’s birthday party, but please don’t sell them without my permission. Making objects from my patterns for charitable donations is also okay, as long as you do not exceed 25 pieces for that purpose. If you want to make larger quantities or sell objects made from this pattern, please contact me for licensing information at email@example.com. For independent handmade sellers, I ask for a nominal fee ($5-$10/year) and a design credit. Thanks!
MATERIALS & SUPPLIES
Pendant Templates PDF
Ruff N’ Ready Shrinky Dinks
Craft paints in choice of colors and finishes (matte, glossy, etc.)
Metallic craft paint (I used this one)
Scissors or Xacto knife
Standard hole punch
Jewelry wire cutters
Flat needle nose pliers
Necklace clasps (optional-for shorter necklaces)
The first thing you’ll need to do is print out the template I made of different geometric shapes. Most are chevron based designs, but there is also a fun gem shape in there. Your Shrinky Dinks will shrink down to 1/3 of their original size. Most of the shapes on my template will end up being a little over 1.5 inches wide when they are finished.
So, cut out your templates out and use them to cut out your Ruff N’ Ready Shrinky Dink sheets. Use a hole punch to punch out the holes that you will hang your pendant from.
Pre-heat your oven to 375 F (or whatever your instructions say on the Shrinky Dink package).
On a protected surface, paint your shrink plastic on the rough side. You want to keep it to just one or two layers of paint. The colors will become more saturated when it shrinks, too. I did some dry brushing. Also note that the finished pendant will have two very different looking sides. The side that you paint will be rougher and have a matte finish (if you used regular acrylic craft paint) The other side will be very glossy, and the color will be much darker and may have color shifts.
When the paint is dry, scrape off any excess paint that is on the back/shiny side.
Follow the instructions on your shrink plastic packaging to shrink the pendants. For Ruff N’Ready, that means you’ll need a flat piece of paper bag that you have cut out that fits onto a cookie sheet. Fold up a corner to make removing it easier, then place the pendants, painted side up, onto the paper bag. Put the whole shebang into the oven for 1-3 minutes. Leaving it open just a bit if you don’t have a viewing window, so you can watch the pendants shrink. They will curl up a bit. Don’t panic. When they are done curling and are laying flat, they are done. Pull out the cookie sheet, and let them cool for 15-30 seconds before touching them. Then you can carefully remove them. We’re ready for the finishing touches!
Here’s what the pendants look like from the back.shiny side. See how different the color is! My peachy pink became bright orange, and the light gray is more of a charcoal. You may want to paint a few test swatches ahead of time to check the color you’ll end up with.
I used the metallic paint to paint the edges of the pendants.
On some, I also added a teensy bit of black paint, dry brushed on, for a vintage distessed effect.
I then dry brushed one coat of the metallic paint onto the whole surface of the shiny side. I really like the way this side looks. With the layer of plastic between the layers of paint, you get a beautiful, multi-dimensional effect. I also painted some with glossy paint, and others with several coats of the metallic paint for different effects. These are super cheap and easy to make, so you can do a lot of experimenting!
I wanted to show you the difference between the two sides of the same pendant. I like them both, but they are very different from each other!
So here’s how I added the chains. I picked these up from Michaels and the brand is Bead Landing. They have tons of different colors and sizes of chain. Now, in jewelry sizing, the length of the chain is two times whatever it is called. So an 18″ necklace actually uses 36″ of chain. A 12″ necklace uses 24″ of chain, etc.
For the long necklaces, I didn’t even bother to add a clasp. I just slip them around my neck. For the ones that don’t slip around my neck, I added a clasp to the back. A clasp would also be handy if you want to adjust the length of the necklace one you’re wearing it. But if you’re lazy like me, skip it.
So cut your chain using jewelry wire cutters. For this one, I cut 36″ to make an 18″ necklace. Then attach the chain to the pendant using a jump ring (split ring). Make sure your chain isn’t twisted up, and then attach it to the other side. And remember to open your jump ring the proper way.
If you want to attach two to the same chain, make sure that the jump ring is attached to the inner side of the chain loop that you are attaching it to. If you attach it to the outside loop, it will twist the chain. If your necklace is too short to slip over your head, you’ll need to cut the chain at the top center using your wire cutters, and attach a clasp.
That’s it! Easy and adorable!