Monday, November 21, 2011

Make Your Own Monday: Shrink Charms

It's here isn't it?  Thanksgiving week!  Aaaaaaaahhhh!!

I sound so negative don't I?  That's terrible!

We're visiting my parents for Thanksgiving and I'm really excited about it.  So, why the negativity, you say?  Well, I've been saying it for a while... time is going by way too fast and Thanksgiving week means only just a few more weeks until Christmas.  I had hoped to have Christmas gifts put together to take to my family this week.  Nope, it's just not going to happen.  At the rate I'm progressing, they'll be lucky to get something by Valentine's Day.  

With that said, I'm probably not going to blog much this week.  I've definitely got a little something planned for Black Friday though, so stay tuned for that.  Other than that, this will probably be it for Thanksgiving week blogging.  There, I just rid myself of one thing on my to-do list.  I feel better already.

I couldn't let the week go by without mentioning the good happenings around our house.  Next Sunday is Hailey's 6th Birthday.  Happy Birthday, Hailey!  The poor girl was cursed to be born during the holidays.  That means that partying for her birthday is always last minute.  We decided last week that the only way we were going to squeeze a party in would be to do it this past Saturday.  I'm so blessed to have a wonderful best friend, Heather, who also makes amazing cakes.  So, I begged her to make me one.  She consented and I immediately regretted it when Hailey announced she wanted a Dinosaur Train cake.  Great, fondant dinosaurs? Heather is going to kill me!  Luckily, I found a motorized train set with some figurines and Heather was able to use that to decorate the cake.  I'm glad it relieved some of the pressure of decorating a last minute cake for me.  We called all of Hailey's friends on Friday and surprisingly 12 out of the 14 we invited were able to come!  We did dino face painting, jumped on the trampoline, whacked the crap out of a dino pinata, ate yummy cake, and opened presents. Before we knew it, the time was up.  In the end it was fun even for a last minute party.  Hailey was thrilled.  I'm not sure I can really believe that she is going to be 6 years old.

Aren't they just two of the cutest dinosaurs on the planet?

Happy realization for me?  Remembering that we have an every other year party rule... no big parties next year!  Yippee!

Okay, on to some crafty stuff.  I've been noticing a big resurgence of things made out of shrink plastic lately.  Remember Shrinky Dinks when you were a kid?  Well, now it's graduated from kids stuff to a "legitimate" crafter's material!  I have enjoyed using it for some time now.  I was just thrilled to discover a couple of years ago that my KNK MAXX digital die-cutting machine would cut the stuff!  An endless world of opportunities for shrinking cute things down to minuscule size opened up before me.  I thought I'd share one quick and fun technique for shrink plastic with you.

Today you will learn to make your own... Shrink Charms

The charms shown above are approximately 1" across.  Cute, aren't they?

A few notes before we get started:

I'm using my Itty Bitty Charms and Pen Doodles - Autumn Leaf digital cutting designs.  You can do your doodling by hand if you want.  You could even cut your charms by hand it you want.  The cutter is optional but makes this lots easier.

I'm using Transluscent Shrink Film by Grafix.  I love how it cuts.  Nice and smooth.  For a pen, I'm using a plain old fine point Sharpie marker.

For software and cutter I'm using the KNK Studio MAXX software with my KNK MAXX cutting machine. You'll want to check to make sure your cutter can cut shrink film before you try this.

Shrink Plastic
Fine Point Permanent Marker
Die Cut Machine
Sticky Cutting Mat
Itty Bitty Charms (Optional)
Pen Doodles - Autumn Leaf (Optional)

1. Open your charm cutting design.  Make your charms the size you want them to be when you are finished shrinking them.
2. Size everything up 200%.
3. Overlay your pen doodle design on top of your charms.  I deleted out the parts I didn't need and moved a few things around.  Let your doodle design be larger than your charms so the lines spill off the edges.
4.  Get your machine ready.  Test cut your shrink plastic and draw with your pen tool so you'll know exactly what settings you need before you start.  Be sure you've got the pressure set correctly for your pen or you will squish the nib of your pen.  I've done this... sad!
5. Draw your doodle design with the permanent marker.  Position your starting point so that the rollers won't roll over your doodles.  It takes a while for permanent marker to dry and it will smear if the rollers go over it.
6. Cut your charms out.
7.  Carefully remove them from the mat.  The ink will be wet!
8. Shrink them via the manufacturer's instructions.
9. Ta Da!  Cute little guys aren't they?  Let them cool before you touch them.  They will be hot!

I also wanted to add that you can color these with Copic markers.  You'll have to wait until after they are shrunk though.  I tried a sample piece before and it just dissolved the marker lines.  After shrinking it worked fine!  If I get a chance to color some, I'll post a finished photo.

Here's a little portable version of this tutorial. Pin it or save it... whatever works for you!

Coming up... Some fun things happening on Black Friday!  There will be a freebie and giveaway this weekend along with a fantastic sale!  50% off everything Sam & Hailey!  See ya then!

Time to get crafty, people!


Caroline said...

great tutorial, I am really enjoying this series :) the girls look gorgeous!

Trisha said...

I'm a little behind, but I wanted to tell you how cute your shrink charms are! And thanks for the tutorial, I've wondered about the details of how to do that.

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