Monday, April 26, 2010

A Face Bracelet

I can't wait to share my follow up to the post Giving Gifts that Tell Stories. I've been meaning to try this project that we found at Another Day in the Life for months now. If you're faster than I am, you can easily get this done in time for Mother's Day!

While I absolutely LOVE the sweet vintage artwork, I just knew this was the perfect way to share my cherished photographs of those people most important to me! I had plenty of pictures, I just needed to gather a few supplies...

1. Shrinky Dinks for Ink Jet Printers
. You can buy them online, but I was able to find a package at my local Michaels Craft store for about $10.00 for 6 sheets. (Be sure to use an INK JET printer. The instructions implicitly state NOT to use your laser printer as it gets too hot, but always the one to test theories, I sent a sheet through and can personally confirm that laser printers will not work for this project!)

2. 1/8" hole punch.
I can never find my tools when I need them. You can be the most organized person in the world (WHICH I'M NOT) ...but if you have kids that abscond your equipment for their own random art projects, you'd better be familiar with their hiding spots!

3. Corner rounder punch. Ugh! I have one of these too. I gave up trying to find mine and just curved the covers using a pair of scissors.

4. Clear Acrylic Sealer. I have boatloads of this...and the real miracle is that I know where it is!

5. Charm Bracelet with jump rings
for attaching charms.

6. Scrap paper and Mod Podge glue
- This is optional, but I felt like the white back of each charm was PERFECT for some fun scrapbook papers that I could attach with my ever handy bottle of Mod Podge glue.

7. Oh yes, you'll need an oven too!

8. This project also requires a computer with some type of photo editing software
(i.e. Photoshop Elements) and an ink jet printer.

Pictures need to measure approximately 1.5 x 3". Once the material shrinks your final charm will measure a mere .6 x 1.2" so photographs of individuals with simple backgrounds work best. You'll still need to make some cropping decisions. Notice that I cut off a few tops of heads and even an ear or two. Using Corel Draw, I started with a grid (5 across, 3 down) that I could use to place each picture. Once the picture filled the rectangle to my liking, I cropped it to its final size. I am showing the final page using all black and white pictures, but color pictures worked well too.

This next step is VERY IMPORTANT. You must decrease the opacity of the pictures to accommodate the shrinking process. Here are the pictures at 50% transparency. The original color / intensity will return after baking. Also keep in mind that the Shrinky Dink sheet measures slightly smaller than the standard Letter size sheet. Make sure that your pictures will fit on the 8 x 10 sheet.Print the sheet and cut out each picture using a pair of scissors. If you want, round the corners using the corner punch.

Use the 1/8" hole punch to punch a hole in the top corner of each charm.

{I like a vintage look, so I antiqued the edges of each charm with a quick rub of
Jim Holtz Distress Ink. I LOVE the color Vintage Photo on EVERYTHING!}

Instructions for baking your Shrinky Dink charms come with the packaging, so I wont go into too much detail here. Just be prepared for the edges of the charms to curl. I used two flat pieces of metal to flatten each charm AS SOON as they came out of the oven. They cool quickly, so only shrink a few charms at a time.

After the pieces have cooled, add some coordinating scraps of paper to the backs of each charm. You could also add names / dates of each person. Spray the charms with the sealant. Allow the sealer to dry completely.

{At first, I was regretting this extra step because it added so much time to the project. Now that it's finished and dangling from my wrist I am OH SO glad that I took the time.}

All that's left is to add a jump ring that will let you attach the charm to your bracelet.

I've been wearing my face bracelet for about four hours now. I LOVE everything about it. It's the perfect weight...very light! It has just the right level of tinkling sound...not too loud, but just enough to notice it! I'm going to be careful not to let it get wet as I don't think water will be kind to it.

The best part is staring at the bracelet and thinking of the stories that accompany each picture. Right now I'm practically carrying a library on my wrist!


Beth Graham said...

So fun!

suni said...

i love love love it!!!

Kaysi said...

Those are awesome!

Anonymous said...

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creativejewishmom.com said...

Wow, another amazing project! And who knew that there was such a thing as shrinky dink for inkjet printers! Thanks so much for sharing on Craft Schooling Sunday, all the best!

Deanna said...

I had tried this before. I was thinking charms, keychains, xmas tree ornaments. But mine was a flop- I did not understnad the opacity thing. I am trying it again. I used fotoslate to do teh layout and saved it as a jpeg and changed the opacity (I had to google how to do that) to 50%. Now I am waiting a few minutes before touching it.

Is that the hardest part or what?!

Thanks for giving me the umph to try again!

Lauri said...

Deanna, I wish I knew Fotoslate to tell you the easy way to do transparency. I love my Corel software. It's SO easy to use! My big mistake was trying to make my laser printer work for the project...even though the packaging said NOT to use laser. I wasted an entire sheet of Shrinky Dink material. Wahhhhh!

Christy said...

This is such a great idea! Such a cute bracelet. I think I'll make one of these this weekend :)

Michelle @ Sweet Something said...

Fantastic project! This would make a terrific Mother's Day gift!

Julie said...

This is great! I can't believe those are shrinky dinks! I'm going to have to get some!

Andrea @ TheTrainToCrazy.com said...

Such a fun idea! Thanks for sharing!

I have a weekly Thursday blog party especially for people to share things they've made to be worn. Stop by if you'd like!

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Ashlee said...

Just beautiful! I make silhouette earrings and necklace pendants and am going to try a bracelet next! This idea is GREAT!

Lori said...

I love your bracelet!

Thanks for joining Get Your Craft on Thursday. Please join me next week for another great party.

Jax @ AlyandAsh said...

Wow I LOVE this!! I'm hosting a link party for Mod Podge Projects this weekend! I'd love for you to come link up!


Carolyn @ My Backyard Eden said...

Those are so cute. What a great tutorial too!

Thanks for sharing at My Backyard Eden!

Heather@ My Frugal Family said...

What a great tutorial! This is a really unique gift, indeed, and can be customized so easily!

Your post was tied with another one for the most clicks during last week's Talented Tuesday at My Frugal Family, and is on of this week's featured projects!

Thank you for participating in Talented Tuesday! I look forward to seeing more projects!

Jamee said...

love it- wanted to let you know i featured you on my blog jameehomemaker.blogspot.com

Lori said...

I love this!!

I'm featuring this at my Get Your Craft on Thursday. If you would like to stop by and grab my I was featured button, please do so.

Jenn @ Delicious Ambiguity said...

Hi! Love your site! Just wanted to let you know that I featured you on my DIY Mother’s Day gift post.

I host a MckLinky party called Tot Tuesdays every week where people come link up their recipes, crafts and activities for their toddlers. I am also hosting Yummy Mummy Week which starts this Sunday. I hope you will join me for 8 days of featured mom bloggers sharing inspiration and tips on motherhood as well as 8 giveaways which are perfect gifts for mom. There will also be a Blog Hop where moms can share their stories, photos and “mommyfessions” about motherhood and how their bodies have changed. I’d love it if you would come stop by!


B's Mommy said...

The PERFECT Mommy's day gift!! Laurie you are amazing!

mommy2luke2008 said...

Love this!!! You have such great projects!! I featured this on my friday favorites!!

Kat @ Black Kats Design said...

Hi. You were caught being creative! I've featured your wonderful project on my blog www.BlackKatsDesign.blogspot.com. Thanks for the inspiration. Stop on by and grab a featured button and show off!