Monday, February 18, 2013

Shrinky Dink Love

     Anyone who knows me knows I love some Shrinky Dinks!  And it amazes me that people have never heard of them because I grew up making Shrinky Dinks for Christmas ornaments and on rainy days.  Lately though, my Shrinky Dinks have gotten all grown up!  I love to use them in my art, whether it be on tags or in dangling charms.  The latest fave I have is using them to make charm bracelets.

  Since digi images are so readily available for free online or for purchase in Etsy and Zibbet, it is really not hard to find themed pictures to copy on to Shrinky Dink paper.  The true trick and art of it is determining the size that will shrink to charm perfection once it is baked in the oven.  If this is all completely over your head have no fear as it just takes reading the directions that come with the package of Shrinky Dinks.  And a word to the wise is to print something on both sides of your Inkjet (and you really can only use Shrinky Dink paper that is especially for Inkjet...there are other types of SD paper that will not work with your printer). It is too hard to match your images perfectly so I generally pick a piece of coordinating scrapbook paper to copy to the other side.  I will try to show you a few before and afters below, but I realize now that I should have given you a size reference so you could see how big they started out and then the size they shrink to.  They do start out as flimsy and thin but, once cooked,  shrink and harden immensely.

So here are a few images that I bought from an Etsy seller of vintage children's books.  I printed them all onto ONE sheet of SD paper and then cut them out. I use either a punch or my paper trimmer to cut them because I want them in the neatest shape before they cook (takes less maintenance once they are cooked). Yes. you must cook them either on parchment or on an opened paper bag because they will stick to your cookie sheet.

This is the finished bracelet...made for my niece who is in college to be a teacher and absolutely adores children's books. You can kind of see how the images shrink and get hard but you can also see their size based on the charms that are next to them.    When they shrink, the colors also intensify so they recommend that you dull down your original before printing (it does save on ink)
Here is another example made from vintage images of Scrabble tiles for my SIL who is a Scrabble addict.  I made the mistake of not copying something on the back of this paper before I cut it out and you can see the white backs of these charms.  While I normally would disapprove of leaving them blank, I liked this because it went with the overall color scheme of the bracelet.
Another example using vintage images and button cards.  The difference with this bracelet is that I colored the sides with a black Sharpie in order to add to that vintage vibe.  Sharpie or alcohol markers will work just fine to color the thick white sides if you choose.
There are a bazillion other ways to make charms using the Inkjet SD paper; the ideas are only limited by your imagination!  I have made charms from photographs too but the quality of your photo needs to be good and there needs to be a focal point that is fairly big.  For example, a pic of you and your bestie clinking your champagne glasses while out at a girls night would be great, but the picture of your entire family at the yearly family reunion is just too busy and will shrink down to look more like a blob than your Uncle Ed.
Shrinky Dink paper comes in other forms as well...clear, different colors, etc.  Another of my favorite things to do is to run some of the paper through my Vagabond to create a shape and then stamp on it with Staz-On (you must use Staz-On as anything else will just wipe off) and shrink it down to add to a tag or a mini album. You can use your Copics or Sharpies to color in the image once it is stamped if your heart desires.  The Tim Holtz Sewing Room die works wonderfully.  The dressform shrinks perfectly and has lots of real estate for stamping too! It is definitely something you should try INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY!  And it is also something you can distract share with your kids as they will love watching the images shrink in the oven.  They make lots of fun little kits for children to color and shrink too. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

My Design Team Project for January!

WOO WOO!  I am official!!  While I have been on the design team for Gina's Designs (  for quite a few months, my projects are usually geared towards getting things ready for the retreats that I vendor for.  Because of that, I generally create my projects based on  the ladies at the retreats and what I know their style to be.  This time, however, was different.  When Gina sent me this perpetual calendar kit, I KNEW exactly what paper I wanted to use and I KNEW it was going to be my taste...MINE, MINE, MINE!!! 

Gina's Perpetual Calendar kits come with everything you need to put together a lovely like this one (but in your style) except the paper.  It takes the guess work out of finding letters and numbers to make the months, days and dates.  And it is made of WOOD!  Yep, not chip!!  As you can tell, I beat the bejeezus out of mine and distressed it until even it's mama wouldn't recognize it (what a stress reliever that was ).  I also painted it and antiqued it. 

The paper I used is Graphic 45's Place in Time!  I love this paper!!  The images are fantastic.  Now had I thought I might like my project to be "matchy matchy: I would NOT have used this line.  This paper is anything but and yet I still HEART it so!!!  It is vintage and lovely and ME!! 

I also used one of Timmy's library drawer pulls and typed up a word on my TYPEWRITER (I FINALLY have a typewriter and couldn't be more thrilled).  It is a word I must be reminded of daily...BREATHE!  As with every G45 collection, there are postage stamps scattered throughout.  I used them to make the box holding the calendar look even older...kind of like when you were young and used to stick stickers to everything??  I remember my mom yelling at me about that and me thinking at the time that I couldn't even imagine a day in which I wouldn't love the New Kids on the Block stickers I had stuck to (EVERYTHING) my bed. 

Yes, mom won that argument too.  But I did want this project to have that abandoned but at one time well loved kind of feel to it too.  And what would a perpetual calendar be if it didn't have a spot to put birthdays!  I had to include some space for the birthdays that I always manage to forget.  The collection actually had a cut out that fit perfectly on my month pages so that is what I used.  Of course I will have to write small but it is the thought right??

Gina offers this version as well as a bracket version of the calendar kit.  I am working on that version as we speak using an Authentique line of paper.  It coordinates much differently and instead of painting my exterior, I was able to cover it because Gina provided the cut files as well.  As soon as I get that one done, I will do my best to post it.  Of course I have a bazillion projects to get done before the retreat on Friday and plan on working my booty off on them INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY!!