You will need:
For the shrink plastic charms:
Frosted Ruff and Ready Shrinkable Plastic Sheets
a black fine tip permanent marker, I used a Sharpie ultra fine.
colored pencils or colored permanent markers (I used pencils)
1/8 th inch hole punch, about half the size of a regular hole punch.
clear sealing spray. The one I used was matte.
22 gauge wire, I used sterling, but colored wire also looks fantastic
22 gauge practice wire.
3-5 mm beads
round nose and needle nose pliers
The plastic sheets I chose are my favorite to work with, they are uniformly "frosted" on one side which creates a tooth for colored pencils. The reason I used color pencils instead of permanent markers to color in my design is when they shrink, the colors intensify quite a bit. I've had things I've colored in with markers come out so uniformly dark it's hard to tell without bright lights what's purple and what's green.
The scribble behind the bat is done with the same marker I colored the bat in with, and truthfully, in normal light, the bat looks a bit darker then that.
This is the design I used for my bracelet. The art comes from Dover Publications
Art Nouveau Motifs CD-Rom and Book.
Print the design, then lay the sheet of plastic over it, and trace it with the black sharpie. You'll want 4 of the center squares, and one of each end. The red dots are for the holes. Just mark the placement.
Color them in, cut them out, and punch the holes.
Now it's magic time!
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees, a toaster oven works fine for this. Put parchment paper on your cookie sheet, and arrange the pieces so they've got some space between them on the sheet. Put them in the oven for 2 or 3 minutes. You can watch this, it's neat. The designs will wave and curl and you'll be sure it's never going to come out okay, but after a couple minutes, they flatten back out. Take them out about 30 seconds after that. Let them cool, then take them off the cookie sheet. Spray them with sealer on the colored sides. I have a shoe box I use for spraying stuff, I put the pieces in it, then take it out on my porch and spray them lightly and quickly so I don't have the smell in my house.
Isn't that neat? The thin, flexible sheets shrink, the colors intensify, and they wind up about as thick as a nickle and rigid.
Assembling the bracelet:
It's assembled with beaded eye pins, because of the thickness of the plastic, you'll need to make the eyes possible a bit bigger then usual. This is where the practice wire comes in. Learn from my mistakes. I wasted probably a foot of sterling wire putting this together. You could probably use wrapped links if you use smaller beads then I did, the ones I used are about 5 mm, but do the practice links first to work out how big to make them, and put the bracelet together with the practice links to check the length, then adjust the size of the links as necessary. A great tip for uniform links is to mark your round nose pliers with a small piece of tape where you turn the links so you turn them in the same place every time. Attach your clasp.
This is a blank for your own designs. You can stamp on it using alcohol inks like StayzOn, or you could let your kids each color squares and create a fun bracelet for yourself or their grandmother.
Crafted By Us
video podcast recently had a great episode using stamps and shrink plastic to make keyring.