Remember making designs on shrinkable plastic as a kid, then sticking them in the oven and watching them shrivel? The shrunken designs were fun to trade with friends as a kid, now they’re fun to wear as adults.
The crafting smarties at Photojojo devised a way to turn ordinary photos into wearable art that’s reminiscentof the Shrinky Dinks many of us spent hours making back in the day. The supplies you’ll need are easy to get and most of them you’ll probably have on hand already.
Most craft stores carry inkjet-printable shrink plastic—or, “biaxially oriented thermoplastic polystyrene” if you want to get technical. You’ll also need a baking sheet, some parchment paper, scissors, and, of course, some photos.
Your pictures will shrink significantly, so choose ones that will be easily recognisable at a very small size. Since the plastic may not shrink proportionately, cut the photos into shapes that can stand a little wobbliness. Ovals and circles are pretty forgiving; squares and rectangles will come out off-kilter and drive you up the wall. Crop them into the shape you want in the computer, or do it by hand after they print out.
Once you’ve got the pictures you want to use, the rest of the process is a piece of cake. The post walks you through exactly how to copy the images onto the plastic sheeting, how to cut them out, and how long to bake them.
Once you have your personalised plastic gems, you can make nearly anything out of them—a pin, necklace, pair of earrings, or even cufflinks. String a few similar-sized discs together and make a bracelet. Not into jewellery? Glue magnets on the back and stick them on the fridge.
This idea would make a cute and clever gift for grandparents, or a whimsical idea for party favours. Make a shrunken head from a picture of the boss? Let’s hear your ideas in the comments.