Friday, August 2, 2013
Shrink Plastic Shark Necklace
Shark Week starts on August 4th, but I couldn't resist sharing this great sharky craft with all of you to get it kicked off early! This necklace uses shrink plastic to create a great shark silhouette pendant that can be enjoyed all year long. Shrink plastic can be found in most craft and hobby stores, as well as at online retailers. Be sure to read the package for the instructions of your specific brand.
To make this shrink plastic shark necklace you will need:
- Shrink plastic (feel free to look for trendy neon plastic to make this accessory really pop!)
- A shark silhouette to trace (google images is a great resource, but so are nature magazines, etc. If you have a cricut to die cut this out, even better)
- 3 jump rings
- a hole punch (standard size)
- jewelry chain (your choice of length)
- necklace clasp
- small needle nose or jeweler's pliers
- permanent marker (for tracing)
- rubbing alcohol (to wipe off excess marker lines)
Start by tracing your image onto your shrink plastic. I cut out my image from paper and then used a permanent marker to trace around the shape directly onto my plastic. I then used a scissors to cut out the shape, and used rubbing alcohol to get off the extra marker lines before baking. If you have never used shrink plastic before, it can be difficult to cut without tearing, so you may want to limit the details on your silhouette. Use your hole punch to make a hole where you want to attach the necklace chain, not too close to the edges.
During shrinking, any small tears will become barely noticeable, so don't get too discouraged! The silhouette will distort a little bit, I found that by using a cooler baking temp and baking longer it limited the distortion and curling of my final piece. My plastic recommended a temp of 300-350 degrees for approx 3 minutes. My best results were baking at a temp of between 200-250 for 5-8 minutes. Don't be afraid to experiment a little or try a test piece of plastic.
The plastic shrinks to become about 1/2 to 1/3 of its original size, above you can see my final shrunk piece next to the hole I originally punched out for the jump ring attachment. Once cool, you can use fine grit sandpaper or a nail file to get rid of any sharp edges if necessary.
Finally, assemble your necklace and add on your pendent to the chain with a jump ring. I cut my desired length of chain, attached my closure to each end with jump rings and then found the center of my chain to attach the pendent. I used my pliers to open and re-close each jump ring. Voila! A great new piece of costume jewelry for Shark Week.
Don't forget to follow me via facebook, twitter, or your favorite blog reader to keep up with all the great Shark Week crafts to come!