i have been waiting for AGES to post this – but had to hold off until after CM Erin’s birthday, as it involved a present I was making for her and it was a surprise!
I rediscovered my childhood love of shrinkie plastic last summer, and recently realised you could buy shrinkie plastic you can PRINT on! O.M.G! Seriously. The opportunities are endless, but most importantly you can now make shit with photos on! Aye carumba.
I had seen a fabulous tutorial and couldn’t wait to try it out when my printable shrink plastic finally arrived. The best idea was using Erin’s own fantastic images, and a quick trawl through her facebook photos threw up the obvious choice – feet! Erin has taken some amazing feet shots, and the resulting bracelet is personal, without being too twee or advertising the fact you have your child’s image on your wrist, which might not appeal to everyone! So I chose a handful, and had to lighten the images in photoshop first, as the shrinking process deepens colours. Then I estimated the size I would need to print them at to account for how much they would shrink and what size I would like the end pieces to be. Then I cut them out with a guillotine to get really straight edges and used a punch I have to round the corners of straight edges so they wouldn’t be sharp. Then I decided on my eventual order and punched holes top and bottom, left and right, apart from the two edge pieces, which needed a single hole on one corresponding side for the catches.
Then the pieces went into the oven on a low heat for about a minute. I watched through the oven door as they start to buckle and warp, and you panic they are going to never straighten out, but eventually they do. It’s really cool to watch, and I can imagine it being set to music, like a nature stop-motion film speeded up to show a flower blossoming and dying!! As soon as they flatten back out you can whip them out of the oven and I place a hard flat object like a place mat on top of them and press down to make sure there’s no lumps and bumps, as they are still a little pliable now, but that passes VERY quickly and they cool almost immediately and become so rigid.
And look how small the end square is, and how much deeper the colour is. I also did this with some images of birds I had, and a round punch, and these end up just the right size for a charm bracelet, like the one I made for Jennie last year, but that was all hand illustrated.
And here are the finished pieces. I am mighty proud of the end results – and have some plans for more designs for the Picnic in the Park! I also made some little Easter themed necklaces for little girls, but they are not my finest work!