by Michelle Wood, Jewelry-Making Expert, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Shrinkable plastic jewelry! Really? I remember being mesmerized as a child staring into the window of my EASY-BAKE Oven to watch my shrinkable plastic artistic creations magically shrink. I made everything from plastic "paper" dolls to Christmas ornaments, and was absolutely thrilled. Who would have thought that as an adult I would be even more fascinated by the shrinkable plastic jewelry designs I can create? Shrink and wear! So much fun and practically endless design possibilities. Now, I am telling my son, "Honey I Shrunk the Jewelry!"

Everything from super-hero styles to yoga or henna-inspired designs are showing up on my jewelry displays--Including bracelets, earrings, pendants, cell phone charms and so much more.

Permanent markers and artist's pencils work great, but like a kid in a candy store, I find myself going through my supplies to see what new technique I can try. My rubber stamps by Lisa Pavelka, Gilders Paste ®, metal leaf and top coat to protect it all. Hmmm, what else can I try? Oh, what about my clay cutters for shapes and designer hole punches and ... Well, you get the idea.

My EASY-BAKE Oven of years past is long gone by now, replaced by my new Hamilton Beach ® Easy Reach™ toaster/craft oven that works much better, of course. Who would have believed that I would demonstrate these techniques at the BeadandButton® Show in Milwaukee?

The basic idea is five simple steps:
  • Print, draw or stamp designs onto the plastic sheet
  • Color the designs
  • Cut out the design
  • Punch holes for jewelry application
  • Bake to shrink
If necessary to stabilize the stamped and colored designs, apply a coat of Mod Podge ® matte sealer or Mona Lisa Metal Leaf top coat sealant by dabbing, not brushing.

Shrinkable plastic sets are available in three different sheet types: Crystal Clear, Ruff N' Ready ™ and black. Each comes as a complete jewelry-making set that includes sterling silver-filled earwires, headpins, eyepins, jumprings, clasp and bail--everything you need to create a pendant, earrings or whatever your imagination can conjure up.

Packaging includes full instructions on how to use shrinkable plastic including tips and techniques plus step by step instructions for a butterfly earring project.

Don't shrink away from this fun and amazing jewelry-making concept!

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