I think the price of this leather and shrink plastic bracelet craft (under two dollars each!) is my favorite part, and the next best part? How much fun they are to make!
This project is a good one for all ages. I had two young assistants who were entertained for hours.
- White Shrink Plastic
- Clear Shrink Plastic
- Spectrum Noir Alcohol Ink Markers (your choice of colors)
- Bands & Bling Faux Leather Strap Bracelet (your choice of colors)
- Crop-A-Dile Punch and Eyelet Setter
- Shaped Craft Punch (Measuring 1 1/2″, I used a flower- similar to this flower punch)
- Mini Brads
The first thing you will do is punch your desired shape out of shrink plastic. I used a flower punch for my bracelets. I used both clear shrink plastic as well as white shrink plastic.
When your shapes are punched, you will need to make a hole in the center of your shape. The easiest way to do this is to use a Crop-A-Dile. This tool is designed to punch holes in heavy materials, and will easily punch holes in several of your shapes at one time. Quick and easy! Stack your shapes evenly and mark the center with a marker.
Using the standard sized end, and using your mark as a guide, punch through your shapes.
Using Spectrum Noir Alcohol Ink Markers, color and decorate your shapes as desired.
My little helpers were quite artistic!
I chose an autumn color palette, and colored my flowers first with a base coat of marker. Then, I simply dabbed the marker tip (same color) on the flower surface in various areas. The alcohol ink spread darker in the areas that I hit twice. This created a pretty tortoise-shell effect.
Here are some tips:
- Lay out some scratch paper for your work surface. Shrink plastic is a slippery surface, and the marker will get on your table if you don’t protect it.
- When working with the white shrink plastic, we found you need to color both sides of the plastic, and try to get some color on the edges of the shrink plastic too. When the white plastic shrinks, it becomes opaque. It doesn’t look opaque when you first open the package- but it will thicken and become white.
- Any color you choose will intensify quite a bit when it shrinks. So if a color seems dark to begin with, it will be really dark when it shrinks.
- If you make a mistake, you can wipe the shrink plastic with rubbing alcohol to remove the marker. However, this only works BEFORE you shrink the plastic.
When you are finished with your creations, lay them out on a cookie sheet, making sure they do not touch each other.
I set a quarter on my cookie sheet to give you an indication of the size of the flowers before we shrunk them. (I did not bake the quarter!)
Our directions were to set the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, and bake the plastic for 3-5 minutes.
If you have never worked with shrink plastic before, you will be hooked! My assistants were mesmerized watching the plastic shrink.
The shrink plastic will be hot. If the pieces are not completely flat, you can use the bottom of a water glass to flatten your items.
Did you notice my tortoise-shell looking flower? Isn’t it awesome!
Let the plastic cool down.
Lay out your flowers where you want them to go, and then mark the placement with a marker.
When you place the brad, turn the bracelet over, and gently press the shape, brad side down, onto a flat surface to level the brad out-and push the back prongs into the leather so they will not irritate your skin while wearing the bracelet.
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Shaunte is a 30-something, chocolate-loving, SAHM from Utah. She has been scrapbooking since 1997, the dreaded era of photos cropped with deco scissors. Since then, her work has evolved into a clean, linear, photo-focused style. Her favorite subjects to scrap are her husband and five kids (never a lack for subject material there).