Monday, May 10, 2010

Shrink Plastic Jewelry Tutorials

I used to only gravitate to precious metals and gemstones. However, since I started making shrinky dink photo art jewelry I've discovered a whole new world of shrink plastic jewelry out there.


By being willing to consider other materials, the design possibilities as well as color ranges suddenly opened up. Yes, plastic can be really gorgeous and be another medium for artistic souls. The shrinky dinks from your youthful past has grown up!

The above stamped flower bracelet tutorial by Helen Bradley is just super as it shows you the potential of shrink plastic. Raise the bar and the designs will look good. The process is easy and fun to do.  You work with much larger pieces of plastic, decorating them before you punch holes and shrink in the oven. Some sort of protective coating is required. So check out the other tutorials here for helpful tips and tricks.

Still need convincing? Then check out this awesome shrink plastic statement necklace by Alisa Burke. She hand draws all her designs too! Via 


You can make all sorts of jewelry charms. The sky's the limit. These lovely nature inspired charms are by Jenn Anderson.  She uses shrinky dink for inkjets.

Ashley over at the Lil Blue Boo blog takes it a notch up as she adds her own texture and paint treatments to her teeny tiny shrinky dink leaves pendant design tutorial. Ashley's how to has several pictures of the shrinking process and includes her tips on controlling the unfurling step so the shrinky dink doesn't curl and get stuck.

You certainly can mix and match all kinds of beads to shrink plastic pieces as shown by Susan Beal's Art Nouveau inspired shrink plastic pendant tutorial.

Flex your artistic wings by creating stained glass like charms. Dabbled's doodle charms tutorial doesn't use bought shrinky dink. - just the #6 recyclable plastic used to contain bought foodstuff.  Via
Make rings too! Planet June's ring tutorial uses rubber stamps to create the images.  Her tips on how to mold the rings are invaluable. She also shows you the alternative finishing effects - sanding edges vs. not sanding edges.

Another ring tutorial which shows you other design possibilities is the chunky zebra ring how to by Alisa Burke. Via

This delightful 3D shrinky dink diamond ring by Emily V may suit playful souls or little girls.

Another how to which shows you how to slightly curve the shrinky dink piece are the tutorials by Barb of the Craft Therapy blog. They are in two parts - Part I and Part II.  Shown here is her Dream bracelet which is a good example why this type of material allows you to add your own distinctive designs.

You can also do 3-D pieces as shown by Jewelry by Jessica's flower pin tutorial. Her Youtube video shows you how large the original pieces have to be before shrinking!



If you sew or if you like making button jewelry, then make your own shrinky dink buttons with the help of Susan Beal's button tutorial. It's really no different from making any charm. Just extra holes with the single hole punch.  Check out my past posts - Button jewelryButton jewelry inspirations and tutorials and how to make button rings.

You can use scissors or even a paper cutter for straight edges. But the round, oval and other shapes are best cut with paper punches used by scrapbookers.

Here are some lovely die cut shrink plastic work if you have a Stampin' Up Lattice die already. Connie Collins of Constantly Stamping shows how she first made the lattice shape in the first video. The second video shows the jewelry pieces being assembled. She broke up the lattice piece for smaller bracelet segments. See her blog post for the final look.





Before You Go :
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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 

13 comments :

Jacqueline Fouche said...

Another great post BeadingGem.

I have to admit I am scared to try shrink plastic. I've already had a polymer clay detour for a couple of years.

Looks like a really fantastic medium though.

zsazsazsu said...

I use shrinking paper to make labels for my jewelry and packaging :-)

The Beading Gem said...

If you can bake cookies, shrinking this type of plastic is easy! And fun.

Zsazsasu - that's a fantastic idea!

Cate said...

Yes, indeedy, shrinky-dink has grown up!

Joyce said...

this looks so much fun!

Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor said...

OMG I love the die cut shrink plastic lattice idea! There is so many jewelry applications for that one. They are all awesome though, thanks Pearl!

Dot said...

Thanks for including my shrinkie dink tutorial!

dot - dabbled.org

The Beading Gem said...

You're welcome Dot. Thank YOU for sharing in the first place!

Kymm! said...

i've been wanting to create with shrinky dinks for years... but having so many other jewelry outlets, adding another just didn't seem like an effective use of my time. i've also been struggling the past few days with a design idea that i couldn't figure out how to execute properly. then i just ran across this blog from a link, from a link, from a link, etc, & OH MY GOSH i know how to do it now!!! i think i also, whilst writing this, have devised a way to more mass-produce my pieces, while allowing me to keep my prices down! YAAAY!!! thank you, thank you, thank you!!! actually, i haven't even read it, yet. it all just hit me while i was glossing over it (THAT'S how awesome your post is!), & then i had to stop & thank you. about to go back & read it all for real, now! & then go sit in my sunroom with my sketchpad... :)

Adrienne said...

I'm starting to make jewelry with the inkjet shrink plastic, has anyone had any problems with lint/dirt getting stuck to it after baking? I clean as best as I can and then when I seal it with acrylic spray it's like more lint gets stuck in there. Any help is much appreciated!

Pearl Blay said...

I've done quite a lot of shrink plastic jewelry including the inkjet kind. I haven't encountered the lint problem nor do I have to clean the pieces.

What I suggest you do cover the printout with an upside down box or plastic container to keep the dust away while drying. Same thing once you have sprayed with sealer. This is the same trick used with resin when it is curing. Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

@ Adrienne---- why not just leave it in the oven. turn the oven off and crack the door a bit to let the heat escape and cool off the oven and try parchment paper over the top of it while its in there.this wil also allow you to set something on top of it to keep it flat as soon as you take it out as well.
as for the lint during spray try as mentined to cover immediately.
vm11238( nina)

Pearl Blay said...

Love the idea about leaving it in the oven and putting some parchment and a weight on it while cooling! Thanks for sharing.

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