Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Thor Week - By Odin’s Beard: a tutorial for DIY Shrinky Dinks!

This is a neat tip I had picked up a few years ago. I have always been money-conscious (a trait I inherited from my dad) so the opportunity to upcycle something I would have normally thrown away was very appealing!

Materials Needed:
Permanent Marker(s)
#6 Recyclable Plastic
Hole Punch
Aluminum foil
Cookie Sheet

1.       Take your recycled plastic and clean it (or if it is new, you can skip this step). The #6 plastic is typically found at supermarket salad bars and take out.

2.       Using a permanent marker, draw a design. You aren’t limited to black so have some fun with it! I drew a free-hand version of Thor's Hammer while the kids were coloring their own art.

3.       Cut out the image you just created using scissors. Here, you will want to decide if you want to leave a clear border around your object or if you are going to cut right up to the image edge. There are benefits to each! In some cases, you can punch your hole for the charm jump ring in the clear and not disturb your image. In other cases, it might not bother you or the design to punch a big o’ hole right in the center of Batman’s head.

 4.       Now, decide where you want to place your hole and punch it out with a hole punch. You can skip this step if you aren’t making a charm. Alternately, you could put two holes in the center of your charm and make a custom button. Oh! Wouldn’t your little one look adorable in a shirt with buttons you have replaced with ones you made yourself?!?? If you decide to go to clothing route, make sure you seal the buttons! You don’t want the marker to wear off after continuous washings.

5.       Preheat your over to 350 degrees. Take a cookie sheet (the non- insulated kind) and cover it with aluminum foil. This is mainly to protect your cookie sheet for future cookie baking adventures!

6.       Place your charms on the cookie sheet with the drawling side up. Place the sheet in the oven for 2-3 minutes. Keep a careful eye on the baking—this is the fun part! At first, the designs will curl up and you will start to worry—“Oh, no! Did I do something wrong?!?” DON’T JUMP THE GUN! Keep those bad boys in there until you see the plastic straighten itself back out. When you think they are flat again, pull out the sheet (using a glove) and quickly look them over. If you have any bumps, now is the time to fix them. Take something wooden (I use a spoon handle) and press the area flat. Because you might need to fine tune the flat-ness, I only like to bake 2-3 at a time. The great thing is—since they only take 3 minutes to bake and are fun to watch, making them in mini-batches isn’t a big deal. 

 7.       Your creations should cool for a minute or two but then are ok to handle. You now have smaller, thicker, sturdier versions of your artwork that you can use on a scrapbook page, on a charm bracelet, on a shirt… the possibilities are endless!

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