Monday, April 18, 2011

A Charming Idea - Shrinky Dinks and the Imagine

Hi ya everyone! I'm at She's A Sassy Lady again today to share with you a little project I made for my daughter.  Lately, I've seen a number of people using Shrinky Dink material to make little charms or pins.  I first saw this project at 217 Creations.  Elizabeth one of our own Sassy Designers made a darling little pin in honor of Autism Awareness.  I love this idea and wanted to modify it a bit to make charms.  Now, there are a few tutorials already available out in blog world however, there are a few things that some of those tutorials don't mention and I would like to show you how here. 
The best way to start is to have a checklist of items you will need:
  • Shrinky Dink Film Frosted/Graphix Inkjet Shrink Film
  • Imagine with favorite cartridge or Inkjet Printer with a number of cute images
  • Gypsy (optional)
  • Heat Gun
  • Chain for bracelet
  • Jump rings
  • Lobster fasteners
  • Pliers and tin snips or wire cutters

I used the Gypsy to set up this little project.  You don't have to - you have two options - 1) use some adorable images you find online and print them on an Inkjet printer then cut them out or 2) Go right from your Imagine.  I wanted to use the new application that is currently on my Gypsy.
Chose print and cut from the next screen:
The next screen that appears is this basic screen of shapes that comes with the Imagine.  From here you want to choose your cartridge - if you are choosing an Imagine cartridge click on this icon:
Now you can choose your cartridge - I chose the Imagine cartridge called YUMMY!
Your adorable images from the cartridge will now appear.  I picked a few of my favorites including this little cupcake.  Just click to choose.
Once I choose my first image I want to resize it - the shrink film will reduce to about half - I chose 2 inches for a good size.  Certain images will have to be even smaller as the length is long - the piece of candy is one such case.  Here is how I adjust the size.  Click on the image once it's up on your bar.  Then click the pencil and you can edit the item.  This is what you will see first.  Down at the bottom you can see where I adjusted the size to 2.
The great thing about the Imagine is once you choose this size all items will automatically be set at this.  I did shrink the candy and the banana split to 1.5.  After you have all images chosen and have set all the sizes you click the next icon.  This will bring you to this screen.
My shrink film is 8x10.  Here I set the paper size.  Also, on this screen is the Cut settings - I chose 3 multi-cut and leave the speed and pressure at 5.
At this point you will see exactly what the Imagine will cut along with the paper size.  Anything in white is paper and anything green is mat.
The other good thing about the Imagine and the Gypsy feature is that you don't have to turn them on in any particular order.  So I just plug my Gypsy right into my Imagine to begin.  I also have to insert the Yummy cartridge into the Imagine - the Gypsy does not allow you to not have your Imagine cartridges at this time.
Next, on the Gypsy I click the Next button to begin cutting.  The Imagine jumps to life and looks like this:
Here you can see the images printed and now cutting on the Imagine.  The multi-cut remember is set to 3 so this process takes a bit of time.
Here are the cuts.  Next, punch your whole in the shrinky material BEFORE shrinking.
and here is the hole for the jump ring:
Next, shrink material under heat gun.  The material will wrinkle but don't worry - this is supposed to happen just concentrate your heat on the center until it flattens back.
Here are all the little charms shrunk down.  Next time I will use the film specifically for Inkjet printers because it's white - this is sort of translucent and frosted and the colors just aren't as vibrant.
 These are the items I will use next.  I chose a real light silvery chain and attachments.  
Attach each jump ring through the charm and leave open.
Choose a length of chain and attach your lobster claw to one end and a jump ring to the other.  Next attach your charms!  Here you have an adorable little charm bracelet!
Thanks for stopping by today!  I'd love to hear your comments and please feel free to ask questions too!  For more fun projects and tutorials head over to She's A Sassy Lady!
Thanks and big hugs!


  1. OM ... this is so cute and so unique. Your daughter will have a Melissa One-Of-A-Kind! And I bet her friends are all going to want one too!

  2. How adorable!!! I haven't tried shrinky dinks yet. :)

  3. I keep thinking I will try this and I still havnt done it. I really must get my finger out,
    H xx

  4. Melissa, I saw this at Sheila's and had to run over here to tell you "hello" first, and next that I absolutely love this charm bracelet. Great - no! Fabulous -- yes!!!

  5. Fantastic Project Melissa! Love it! I was wondering what size cuts you need for this... Thanks so much for sharing so much detail! YAY!

  6. This is such a great project Melissa. Love the details and it is something that my 3 grand daughers would love! Thanks for the great tutorial and for sharing with us today at Shes A Sassy Lady.

  7. Just saw this over at Sassy's place (I am a little behind due to baseball season)and I wanted to tell you how adorable this bracelet is! I bought shrinky dink material a while ago, and you guessed it ~ haven't used it yet! Never thought about using the Imagine with it. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  8. OMG how adorable. I've been wanting to try shrinky dinks, haven't seen that in years, I keep forgetting to look for it. Love that bracelet. Great job. I love all your creations.

  9. What a fun and creative project! Totally cute!

  10. Cool!! Thanks for the step by step tutorial. I Have been wanting to try this I was just never sure if which paper would work beest.
    Jess :)

  11. Oh my Gosh, Melissa, this is SOOOO cute! Maddie is going to want one! :) Great job!