As you may have noticed (read: how could you not have noticed) I am loving shrink plastic crafts right now so when I saw this idea over at ivillage.com I knew I had to try it out! Instead of making tree ornaments like in the original post I decided to put my own spin on things and created a snowflake charm bracelet. I was actually really pleased with how this one turned out and even though sadly the photographs aren't amazing (thanks poor lighting) I hope you like the idea. Here's the DIY...
You will need:
- frosted shrink plastic
- a craft knife (with a sharp blade) / scissors
- a snowflake template
- a cutting mat
- a chain bracelet
- small beads
- jewellery findings; headpins & jump rings
- jewellery pliers; flat nosed & round nosed
- glaze (optional)
The first step is to create the snowflake charms using your shrink plastic. For mine I used one of the templates provided in the original ivillage blog post and printed it out in the correct size for bracelet charms (approx. 1.5" to create 1/2" charms).
Stick your templates down onto a cutting mat and secure the sheet of shrink plastic on top so that you can trace over the design with your craft knife. I chose to use frosted Shrinkles as I thought this would give the nicest effect for snowflakes!
Making the snowflakes on a fairly small scale means that you may run into some issues with cutting out the details as it can be quite tricky - just make sure that you are careful with the knife and take your time on this step.
Once you've cut out your charms you will need to pop them in the oven, or use a heat tool, to shrink them down. For this step I would advise following the temperature instructions on the packaging as they vary between brands.
For a more in depth explanation of the baking process take a look at my recycling #6 plastic packaging post.
I would recommend adding a thin layer of glaze to protect the surface of your charms against damage however this step is not completely essential.
Once your charms are finished decide where you want to space them on the bracelet and add them on using jump rings.
Next you'll need to make the little bead charms to place in between the snowflakes. I used some simple frosted white and shimmery plastic circle beads for this as I thought they went well with the winter theme.
Attaching the beads to the bracelet is really simple with some basic jewellery findings and tools. Take a headpin and thread on your bead, take a pair of pliers and bend the headpin at a 90° angle. Next grab your round nosed pliers and use them to bend the end of the headpin round to create a loop. I would recommend using short length headpins for small beads like these, but if you are using standard length ones you will also need wire cutters to trim off any excess.
As I don't have a step by step photo tutorial on this technique I have found this one which has handy images if you need any extra guidance. (Perhaps I should start posting a jewellery basics tutorial series here?!)
To add these onto the bracelet just use your pliers to open up the loop, thread onto the chain and then close up again with the pliers.
Add on as many beads as you'd like and your charm bracelet is done!