This shrink plastic necklace DIY is so lightweight to wear, can be made in any colour! This project is cheap to make, but is a little fiddly what with all the cutting out. But the results are worth it!
Its no secret that I love shrink plastic, and I have made quite a few projects using it over the years, but this time, I have outdone myself! This tutorial has been rolling around in my head for months and I and so glad to finally have made it a reality. If you have never used it before, shrink plastic is a thin plastic that you can colour and cut easily but when heated using a paper-crafting heat tool or in the oven, shrinks down and becomes thicker and tougher. Be sure to check out my other shrink plastic projects!
*This project contains some affiliate links. This makes it easier for you to find the materials needed and means that I earn a small fee if you buy a product using that link. I will only ever link to a product that I recommend and or/use.
Colouring shrink plastic: There are lots of ways to colour shrink plastic, the main thing to remember is that all colours will darken considerably once shrunk! So choose paler tones and test haya mix out on scrap before committing to your final piece. By far the quickest way to colour is to use solvent based ink pads like StazOn *, or pigment ink pads like Brilliance* and VersaMagic* that are designed for shiny surfaces. Just stamp over the surface leave to dry and you are good to go.
Alternatively, good old Sharpie* pens work, but be aware that even the palest colours tend to come out quite dark once the plastic has shrunk.
Colouring pencils and chalks work too but I decided to have a go with artists pastels, and they worked a treat! When using pencils, chalks and pastels there is the option to sand down the glossy plastic surface to get a better colour. They will work without sanding, but the colours will be lighter and lines more obvious. If in doubt, do a test. I decided to sand mine to get a stronger colour.
You will need:
-Thin card to print the template onto
–Heat Tool*, or use your oven.
-Colouring materials: pencils, artists pastels, chalks, pigment ink pads, permanent markers will all work.
-Chopstick or bamboo knitting needle
-Heat proof surface
-Fine grade (1200 or 1500 grit) sandpaper
-Cord or chain
How to make:
1.Print out the template onto thin card and cut out the three shapes
2.Take your piece of shrink plastic and using a pencil, draw around these shapes. You will need 3x the largest shape and 4x each of the medium and small shapes.
3.Carefully cut out all of the shapes. I found it easier to cut around the outside of each shape first then cut out the middle. Take extra care with the curve on the inside- shrink plastic can rip if you aren’t careful.
4.Use the fine sandpaper to smooth down any bumps left from your scissors.
5.Colour both sides of all your links. I chose to have each size of link a different colour. Even if you try to colour the edges, I always find they still end up white once shrunk. I left mine white, but you can always colour the edges with a Sharpie after.
6.If using a heat tool, shrink each link individually on a heatproof surface like a large dinner plate. I use a chopstick to stop the shrink plastic getting all curled up and stuck to itself. It really does help! Once the piece has stopped moving, make sure it is flat and that the gap is together, but not stuck. The plastic will be hot, so be careful. If you want to use your household oven, then you can do them all at the same time.
7.This is how much they shrink! If you get a link where the gap is apart like this one, you can re-heat the piece and push the ends together so they are tight.
8.Repeat with all of your shapes. See how all of the gaps are tight?
9.To join the links together, gently twist to create a gap and add on the next link. You want the three large in the middle, with two medium, then two small on each side.
10.The simplest way to finish your necklace is with cord. Take a 75cm length of cord (I’m using 2mm waxed cotton cord) and fold in half. Feed loop through the end link and pull the cord tails through. Repeat on the other side and tie the ends together to finish!
If you have a go at making this Shrink Plastic Necklace DIY, or have any questions feel free to comment below or message me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook! And if you don’t want to miss out on any future tutorials, I’d love for you to sign up to my monthly email! Happy Making!