Shrinky Dinks can be used to make earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings from original artwork. Certain aspects of the process of creating this type of jewelry can be difficult for a beginner without knowledge of tips that make this process easier. Using certain household items can help to improve the look and finish of Shrinky Dink jewelry. Learning these tricks of the trade can result in a polished, professional-looking accessory.
When designing a piece of Shrinky Dink jewelry, keep in mind that the colors intensify when shrinking. Using pale, light colors to color in the design will produce rich results. If darker colors are used, the design can look murky and too dark once it has been shrunk. A black outline can give depth to the piece while ensuring that the color will not bleed over the sides of the plastic as it becomes thick while shrinking. If using acrylic paints for color, adding water to them is a necessity. When acrylic paint is not thinned before it is applied to the Shrinky Dink paper, it will create bubbles on the finished piece.
A pair of manicure scissors is essential to cutting Shrinky Dinks. Unlike regular scissors, manicure scissors possess curved tips and a smaller opening. Never completely close the scissors when cutting out the design because the plastic will crack. Always move the design while cutting, not the scissors. For smaller cut details inside the design, create a hole with a hole punch first, the use the scissors to cut from inside the hole.
Large, 3-inch craft punches can be used to cut the plastic in one motion in a desired shape such as a heart, circle or square. Most craft punches are not strong enough to cut the paper and are too small considering that the design shrinks to almost one-third of the original size. The Shrinky Dinks' website recommends GIGA-brand craft punches that are available in scalloped or regular edged designs.
The Shrinky Dink can be monitored more easily in a toaster oven than in a full-size oven. Some full-size ovens do not have windows in them to be able to see the design shrinking. It is important to view the process because there are several mishaps that can occur.
When a jewelry piece will not unfurl while baking, immediately use chop sticks or two toothpicks to slowly and carefully pull the sides that are sticking together apart. If the piece is not lying completely flat once the baking process is complete, use a spatula to flatten it. The piece is still pliable for about 10 seconds after removal from the oven, so this must be done quickly. Sprinkling baby powder on the piece of parchment paper the jewelry will be baked on will help the piece not to stick to the paper after cooling.
Maude Coffey retired after 10 years working as a professional body modification artist in the tattoo industry. She is certified in principles of infection control and blood-borne pathogens. Coffey received additional training and classes, such as anatomy, jewelry standards and aftercare, from the Association of Professional Piercers. Coffey aims to educate about safe tattooing and piercing practices while writing for various websites.