Monday, December 19, 2011

~shrinky dink my world~

Pinterest is all the rage lately!  I seem to be pulled there by some weird magnetic force every time I get online.  It's addictive!  While I am a creative person and I'm inspired by a lot of the projects I see on Pinterest, I know I'll never get around to making most of them.  I did want to try to do a few projects with the kids this Christmas so they could give gifts to their grandparents.

Fast forward to this past Friday night.  Hubby and I went Christmas shopping in a nearby town and we stopped in Hobby Lobby to buy supplies for a few projects.  We were in the store browsing aimlessly through the Christmas decorations for an entire 5 minutes when we heard over the intercom, "Hobby Lobby will close in 5 minutes".  WHAT???  We ran in two different directions to hurry and gather what we needed.  I glanced over the Shrinky Dink plastic film and hurriedly decided to buy the kind you can run through an inkjet printer ($12.99 for 5 sheets).  Yes folks, you heard right.  Shrinky Dinks!!!

 I had intended to make rings for a few family members (and myself, of course!) - a project I had seen on Pinterest that directed me to here.   I have quite a bit of experience with those pre-made Shrinky Dink things that you paint, then stick in the oven, but I have never in my life heard of making anything else besides a suncatcher! Where have I been???  My world just opened up to tons of new ideas!  Once I quickly glanced over the package, I found other ideas - one being a keychain.  I grabbed a package of beaded key chain ($1.50 for 20 chains) and headed to the checkout.

I decided that tonight while my husband was in class, the kids and I would give it a try.  I would make sure to print out the designs beforehand so there were no mishaps.  This afternoon, I got everything ready to print (making sure to set my pictures at 75% transparency like the directions said) and the paper kept getting jammed in the printer.  I took it up to our church and the same thing happened!  I must say, I was beginning to freak out a bit!  I finally called someone I knew and we were able to print.  The only problem - it wasn't a color printer.  No problem!  It printed in shades of gray and actually turned out well!  Here's a picture of the final product.  The light picture in the background is the original size and color of the print.  After shrinking down, the colors get richer. I laid them on a foil covered cookie sheet in a pre-heated 325 degree oven for 2 minutes.  By the way, you have to make sure you use a hole punch to make the hole for the chain before you bake it.  Any imperfections you make while cutting will only intensify after it shrinks, unfortunately.  Thankfully these are for grandparents and they're usually blind to those silly mistakes:)

Don't you just love it?  I think the grandmas will be thrilled!  What I love most about this is that this picture was taken with a phone and was really grainy and not good quality when it was blown up.  Because it was shrunk, the picture looks better!  Amazing!

For less than $15 I made 6 keychains and still have more paper!  One sheet was wasted after sticking in the printer.  I used 2 sheets to print the pictures and some designs for some simple jewelry.   I still have 2 sheets that haven't been touched.  The possiblities are endless!

Check back soon because the plan is to try our hand at the rings tomorrow!  I'm so excited I won't be able to sleep!