Remember Shrinky dinks? Well, you can still get them in craft stores. If you buy the ones that are non-printed you can make your own personalized items. It’s easy and with some help from a parent during the baking part, makes a great kid’s snow day craft.
You will need:
Clear sheets of Shrink plastic (you can find it in the craft store or the office supply store)
Permanent markers in desired colors
Scissors or decorative paper edgers
Large hole punch (Keep in mind that the hole will shrink too)
Brown paper bag
Toaster oven or home oven
Needle nosed pliers
Key rings, jump rings
1. Cut the brown paper bag open and lay it flat to protect your work surface. (Or you can use some newspapers to work on) Cut a 7-inch square out of the bag and set aside. (You will bake your piece on this paper placed on the baking sheet)
2. Make your pattern. The shrink plastic shrinks to about a third of its unbaked size and will be the thickness of a nickel. To make a heart shape pattern fold a piece of computer paper in half. From the fold measure 2 ¼” and mark with a pencil. When you draw your half heart shape the widest point should be 2 ¼”. Draw a half heart shape (See photo) You can play around with the various shapes, but make sure the widest point is 2 ¼” from the fold. Cut out. When you open it will be a heart approximately 4 ½” from one side to the other.
3. Trace your heart on another piece of paper and use the compass to make a ¾” diameter circle in the center.
4. Place your piece of shrink plastic on top of your pattern. It is a good idea to tape both the pattern and the plastic so that it doesn’t slide around.
5. Trace your pattern onto the plastic with a permanent marker. Freehand your initial in the center of the circle. Turn over and color in your heart on the other side. Cut out with scissors or decorative paper edgers.
6. Use the hole punch to make a hole in the top center of the heart.
7. Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 325 degrees. Lay the piece of brown paper on a pan and place the prepared plastic colored side up. Bake for about 2-3 minutes. The piece may curl at first but don’t fret, in about 3 minutes it will lay flat. If not put it back in the oven for a bit. Use a spatula to aid in flattening the piece if necessary.
8. Remove from the oven and let cool. Twist open a jump ring and put it through the hole in the heart, add the key ring and close the jump ring.
Note: Adult supervision is required when baking. A microwave oven will not work. Wouldn't these make great personalized and useful Valentines? You may use acrylic paints if desired but you might want to use a permanent marker to draw the initial.