The 90s brought us so many glorious things – the Backstreet Boys, Giga pets, Mary-Kate and Ashley straight-to-video movies, and one of my personal favorites, Shrinky Dinks.
If you never experienced the joy of watching Shrinky Dink paper magically shrink down in the oven into little plastic trinkets, then you’ve missed out on a pretty crucial part of childhood. But don’t worry, you can still get the same Honey I Shrunk The Kids pleasure in a more grownup way through making your own Shrinky Dink jewelry.
Not only is it way more simple than you’d think, the possibilities of what you could make are literally endless.
What you’ll need:
- Shrinky Dink Ink Jet paper | Buy here
- Exacto knife | Buy here
- Photoshop | Buy here
- An oven or microwave oven
- Jewelry jump rings | Buy here
- Jewelry chain | Buy here
- Jewelry clasp | Buy here
- Needle nose pliers | Buy here
- Wire cutters | Buy here
- A 90s inspired outfit | Buy here
Step 1: Design your charms
We used Photoshop to make some fun designs, as well as pulled images from online. Keep in mind when designing, that your final charm will end up 1/3 of the size of the actual design. Also, keep in mind that a hole will have to go somewhere, so for some designs you may need to add a circle to the edge of it.
Before you print your designs on to your Shrinky Dink paper (this step is important) bring the saturation of your designs down by about 50%. When you bake your designs and they shrink, the colors will become more intense so this prevents them from coming out too dark.
Step 2: Cut out your designs
Not going to lie, cutting out the cursive words took some time and advanced cutting skills. I’d recommend using an Exacto Knife and cutting board to cut out the insides of letters. Don’t forget to punch holes in all your designs.
Step 3: Time to shrink
Now comes the fun part! Follow the directions on the Shrinky Dink package and watch the magic happen. In the oven, the edges of your designs will curl up but don’t panic. As they continue to bake in the oven they’ll eventually flatten out. It’s all part of the process.
Step 4: Let’s make some jewelry
Depending on what you’re deciding to make, grab your jewelry chain, measure it around your neck, wrist, ankle, etc., and using the wire cutters, cut a piece of chain at the desired length.
Next, take a jewelry jump ring and using your needle nose pliers, carefully pry it open so it makes a “C” shape. Take one of your newly shrunken charms and hook it on the opened jump ring.
Step 5: Hook it up
Now grab your measured out piece of jewelry chain hook it on to the jump ring as well in the desired spot. Using your needle nose pliers, carefully squeeze the jump ring back to an “O” shape, attaching everything in place.
Step 6: Embellish
Continue to attach as many charms as you’d like to your chain, or keep it simple with just one – totally up to you.
Double check in a mirror that your necklace (or whatever piece of jewelry you decide to make) is at the desired length and using the same jump ring technique, attach a clasp to the end of your piece of jewelry on one end, and a larger jump ring (to hook your clasp to) to the opposite. And voilà, you’re done!
We had a blast playing around with all the charms and made a variety of necklaces, earrings and an anklet. The possibilities are endless!
Check out our Lala looks for some inspo:
The cool thing about this DIY is it’s so customizable. We spelled out RAD and spaced the letters out when attaching them to the jewelry chain to give it a different look. You could spell out your initials, school name, sorority letters, nickname, “Harry Styles Forever”, etc.
Get the look here.
A donut and a rainbow “lala”? Yes please.
These necklaces are so fun to layer. How brilliant is the peace, love, pizza combo?
Think outside of the necklace box. We grabbed some earring hooks and made some fun dangly earrings. Totally digging the 90s only-wearing-earrings-in-one-ear look.
Also can we agree the BFF earrings totally trump BFF necklaces?
Also slightly obsessed with how this emoji anklet turned out. We love the look of layering a quirky anklet over high colorful socks. Too cool for school.
And the holy grail of all the necklaces – the “yas” necklace.
We can’t wait to see what amazing Shrinky Dink creations you’ll come up with. Make sure to share your DIYs on Instagram and tag @followbebrightgirl.