You can make custom monogrammed jewelry with a little bit of sparkle. This project would be a lot of fun for a sleepover!
- Shrink plastic (aka Shrinky Dinks)
- Jewelry tweezers
- Glue dots
- Super Glue (craft)
- Cardboard scraps
- Hole punch & scissors
- Printer & Oven
You’ll need to purchase a package of shrink plastic. The name brand is called Shrinky Dinks, but I’ve found other brands work just as well. It costs $5-$6 for 8 sheets, and you can make at least three necklaces out of each sheet.
You’ll also need rhinestones. I think the tiny ones look best. It’s also useful to have a pair of jewelry tweezers. They cost around $3 and they make this project so much easier.
You’ll need some super glue. I prefer the craft type, because it doesn’t immediately bond to skin, and it has a very narrow applicator tip.
1) To start, you’ll need to print off the name you want on your necklace. You should make the letters twice the size you want your necklace to be, because the plastic will shrink in the oven. You may need to change your page layout to “Landscape.” The letters must be touching. The easiest way to do this is to simply pick a cursive font. However, there is also a way to format the text in a word processing program so that the letters touch. Here’s how to do it in Microsoft Word.
- To condense your text, highlight it and go to the Format menu. Click “Font” and choose the “Character Spacing” tab. Choose “Condense,” then adjust the size until the letters are touching.
2) Once your name is printed, add glue dots directly on top of the text. Then press a sheet of shrink plastic on top. Use sharp scissors to carefully cut out the letters.
3) I like to use a hole punch on the closed segments. Then I trim out the excess. You could also use a craft blade. For this name, I plan on using the holes in the A’s to attach the necklace. But if your name doesn’t have evenly spaced holes like this, you’ll need to use a hole punch to make some in the first and last letter. Be very careful to not cut the letter in two with the punch.
4) Then peel off the paper and the glue dots.
5) Lay the word down on a scrap of cardboard. Then lay another piece of cardboard on top. This helps prevent the word from curling on top of itself as it melts. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. You can use a slightly higher temperature with shrink plastic, but I like this temperature because the plastic melts more slowly so there’s less chance of distortion.
6) Set your timer for 3 minutes so you can check on it. My names took about 8 minutes, but it’s a good idea to stay close to your oven and check it often. As the plastic warms, it will start to curl. It’s supposed to do that, so don’t worry. Keep baking, and the plastic will soften a bit and begin to uncurl. It’s finished baking when the plastic is flat once again.
7) When you remove it from the oven, you have a couple of minutes to adjust the word. If it’s become crooked, you can use tweezers or your scissors to straighten it out. Or if you want the word to be curved, you can manipulate it into the shape you want. Don’t use bare hands, because it can be hot.
8) To remove the word from the cardboard, bend the cardboard instead of trying to pull the word off.
9) Put superglue on one small segment at a time. Use your tweezers to apply rhinestones. Don’t cover up your punched holes.
10) You can add a necklace by threading a chain through the holes and behind the letters, or you can add jump rings to your necklace. Alternately, you can use ribbon segments to finish your necklace.