By Desiree Stewart
Photographed by Sarah Anne Ward
Styled by Maya Rossi
Geometric jewelry is all the rage right now, but the designer stuff will put a massive dent in your wallet. Luckily, crafting your own pieces out of Shrinky Dink plastic means you’re limited by your imagination, not your budget. The jewelry possibilities are endless—you can whip up some earrings, a brooch, or even rings out of this easy-to-use material. For this tutorial, we’ll create an ultra-hip necklace that’ll look like a million bucks, but cost less than 10.
- Shrinky Dink paper (or any shrinkable plastic sheets, available online at dickblick.com, or at most craft stores)
- Permanent markers (you can also use acrylic paint or, depending on your paper, colored pencils)
- Hole punch
- X-Acto knife
- Jump rings
- Chain of your choice
- Pan or cookie sheet
- Parchment or brown paper (to line the pan)
- Find inspiration—you can go to pinterest.com and search for “geometric jewelry” to come up with ideas. Sketch your concept on paper before you draw it on your shrinkable plastic.
- Once you’re happy with your design, start drawing on your plastic sheet. Remember that the image will shrink to a third of its original size, so draw it three times bigger than you want your final product to be.
- Now it’s time to cut. Use an X-Acto knife to remove any empty spaces in your design, then cut your sketch from the plastic with scissors.
- Punch holes where you want your jump rings to go through. (I used a standard 1/8 ” hole punch.)
- Place your designs in a pan lined with parchment or brown paper (I used a cut-up paper grocery bag), making sure to leave plenty of room between the pieces. Follow the instructions for your plastic, and put it in the oven at the correct temperature. Most plastic should be shrunk in a 325-degree oven for 2–3 minutes.
- Use a spatula to remove the plastic from the pan—careful, it’ll be hot! If the edges are curled, quickly put the plastic on a flat surface, cover it with a cloth or napkin (to protect your hand from the heat), and press down to flatten. If the plastic cools and stops being malleable, re-warm it in the oven and press flat.
- Put a jump ring through the hole (or holes, if you’ve made more than one) in your plastic, attach a chain, and voilà! You’re ready to wear your custom piece out on the dance floor.