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Kid’s Art Bracelet Tutorial

It’s no secret that I love the art both of my kidlings make. But really, what mom doesn’t feel that way? So, I decided I needed to have a way to show off their art work, no matter where I am. I thought about a pendant, but…that would be only one piece of art. Then I thought of a bracelet…that could show case a lot of cool things! But how? Shrink plastic!!! What a fun project for you to create with your child(ren)! Wanna learn how? Well, I put it all together in a tutorial for you!

Phoenix is ready too! So let’s go! I started of by cutting my Shinky Dinks into 2” squares. The sheets I have are 8 1/2 x 11, so I was able to get 4 squares and a rectangle from a row.  I cut two rows, so I had 8 squares, and 2 rectangles (a good crafter wastes nothing! So be sure to use those rectangles!).  I pre-sanded one side of the shrink plastic before Phoenix started to color. You need to rough the stuff up a bit so that the color “sticks” better.

I let Phoenix use my EK Success watercolor markers, but with 20/20 hindsight, watercolor markers may not have been the best choice, as if his little hands got clammy while touching a piece, the inks would  get on his fingers, and he would leave fingerprints. A marker that dries quickly and completely is the best for this. We also used some Crayolas, and they were great.
I had Phoenix work on a piece of scrap paper. You can see here that he has started to draw a rainbow.

Here is his first piece. He chose to start with one of the rectangles. And you can see his smudgy little fingerprint on the face. After he finished coloring, I punched a hole in the top.

I put the finished little piece of art on to a couple of pot holders on my table.  This is where the real fun begins!

Please be sure to read your manufacturer’s instructions, as different brands may require different things. But for mine, I was able to use an embossing gun to heat up my tiny charm. See how it starts to curl? Have no fear. It’s supposed to do that. It will flatten itself out after it is done shrinking.

They tend to jump around a little bit, and I tend to flip mine over so that I make sure that it shrinks properly. I suggest keeping pliers or tweezers with you to do this, because those babies get hot!

And here you can see the huge difference in size. The before and after always wows me. And I love how much more vibrant colors are after the piece shrinks.
 
Here is Phoenix coloring the second rectangle (as seen the before and after shot). He really got a kick out of this project!

This is a train that he drew. I love this one. There is so much detail and so many fabulous colors! The texture you see is from the sanding that I did. You are looking at the side that was not sanded here. It’s still nice and shiny.

Phoenix really wanted to make me a Halloween charm, since he knows it’s my favorite holiday. So he drew this cute pumpkin, a bat, and a crescent moon.

This is the only example of when the sanded side will need to be facing out. My sweet boy wanted to write “I Love You,” so of course it will look reversed if you flipped it over to the shiny side.
   
Here are all the charms. I sprayed them all with a fixative, to ensure that the colors wouldn't run or fade.

And now it’s time to assemble them into a bracelet!

I got some chain, sized it to my wrist and added a toggle closure. Pretty basic stuff, but you will certainly need 2 pairs of pliers. Then I had to do a wee bit of calculating to figure out where I need to place the charms so that they sit on the bracelet equally apart.  Don’t make yourselves crazy people. It’s not about the spacing, it’s about those adorable charms.

I used jump rings to attach them, which is super simple and quick.  Look how sweet this bracelet is already!

Ta-da! It’s done! And may I just say, Phoenix and I are totally over the moon with how it turned out.

What a fun way to show off your little one’s art work!

Plus, the charms are super light, so it’s comfortable to wear. Wasn’t that fun? I hope you enjoyed my little tutorial, and that you will give this bracelet a go for yourselves! Your kidlings will be so proud, and so will you! Thanks for stopping by. Have an inspiring day!  

Comments

Jenn Borjeson said…
Alison, this is just awesome! Phoenix did a GREAT job, what a wonderful tutorial. :) xo
I want Nix and Rhi to color some charms for me!!!!!!! That is so totally wicked cool! Wonder if the teens would be interested!!!
Kathi said…
So fun. I bet he had a blast doing this with/for you!
Laura B said…
This is such a great idea! I especially love Phoenix's train charm.:)
THIS is wonderful in sooooooooooo many ways! I love it TONS!!!!!

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