This fun little Valentine’s necklace started its life at a local restaurant, carrying french fries home inside. Those #6 plastic containers make perfect DIY shrinky dink materials!
To make your own heart charm necklace, pick up the largest container you can find like the one above. The plastic should have a “6″ inside the recycle symbol on the bottom.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Cut off the edges, leaving only the flat plastic. (Note that you CAN use the entire thing, and it will shrink flat. See my ornament tutorial for more details.)
Then, start cutting. Or punching. You can see that I was also working on making buttons. My circle punch, from the scrapbook section of the craft store, worked fine cutting through the plastic. My four year old son suggested that I get some extra force by stepping on it, and that’s what I did! To make the smaller holes, I used a standard paper hole punch. I didn’t have to step on it – it went through without any trouble.
I’m sure some of you have some really cute craft punches that could work for this. Flowers would be adorable. I just cut the hearts out in random sizes with scissors.
Add color with Sharpies. These are going to shrink up, so be aware that whatever you draw will be about half that size when the charms are finished.
Next, it’s time to bake them. You’ll need to do this one at a time. I learned the hard way that you don’t want to rush things and put multiples on a baking sheet. They finish up at different times, and that doesn’t work well if they’re in together.
For detailed instructions on how to do this, including photos of them inside my oven, I’m going to refer you back to this post where I made ornaments with this plastic. Basically, you just want to put one on an old baking sheet, and close the oven door. Wait a few seconds, and peek. Continue as it shrinks up, letting it do its thing with the door closed, until it’s time to pull it out.
Have a wet paper towel handy, and immediately use that to flatten it out when it comes out of the oven. It cools and hardens very fast, but you have a second to flatten it this way if it curls up in the oven.
If it sticks to the baking sheet, it’s very easy to pop off with a spatula. Mine didn’t leave any residue at all on my baking sheet.
It will shrink by about half while it’s in the oven. Here’s a before and after:
You can see that when the charms shrink, the marker lines pretty much disappear and leave it solid red. The plastic will now be thick and no longer bendable.
You could use these charms for all sorts of things, including bracelets and earrings. If you want to continue on with me to make a necklace, make 7 heart charms.
Then, using jump rings (from the jewelry section of your craft store), attach the hearts together.
Then find a chain and cut it to your preferred length. Attach a piece of chain to either side of the hearts with jump rings. And finally, attach some sort of closure to the chain.
And that’s it! It’s a quick afternoon project. And it gives me something fun to wear for Valentine’s Day without really spending any money on it.