Tuesday, February 01, 2011

I Love You Necklace Tutorial

Here's a fun tutorial just in time for Valentine's Day!

This would be a fun little craft to do with your kids that they can keep for themselves, mail to Grandma or give to a classmate! You don't have kids? It's still fun to do!

Remember Shrinky Dinks? This is a way to do Shrinky Dinks, using recyclable plastic. Just use a plastic strawberry or take out container with a #6 on the bottom.

The strawberry containers I've gotten lately are #1. Don't use them. They don't work right, and I'm pretty sure they emit toxic fumes!

(If you don't have any plastic on hand, Hobby Lobby sells Shrinky Dinks paper.)

These pictures show us using the official Shrinky Dinks paper AND the strawberry containers, so don't let that throw you off. First, I traced Addie's hand. Remember to keep the fingers upright and the thumb straight out in order to make it look like the sign for "I Love You:"

Then we cut it out.

Then, she colored it! On the actual Shrinky Dinks paper, you can use colored pencil, but if you're using the strawberry container plastic, use Sharpies. With all the beautiful colors they come in, you really can make a work of art!

Just lay them on a cookie sheet, and put your finished pieces in the oven at 350 degrees for just two or three minutes.

This is the fun part! Turn on the oven light and watch them get all curled up and deformed, and then magically flatten out again. It's so fun to watch! I've found that when doing the hands, sometimes the fingers stick together and don't flatten. Just gingerly get in there with a fork and gently separate it and it'll work out. But sometimes just when you think they're stuck with no hope, they surprise you and flatten on their own. It's really fun!

As soon as they come out, bend the middle and ring fingers down with a fork or flat-head screwdriver. Hold them down for a minute until the plastic hardens. Make sure that they are touching the palm of the little hand, so that the ribbon doesn't slip through when you make it a necklace.  If it hardens too fast, pop them back in the oven to heat up again and try again.

Slide a ribbon under those two fingers and voila! You have an "I Love You" necklace made with your own child's hand.

But! The possibilities are endless! You can cut out any shape and punch holes in it. Just remember that the holes shrink with the plastic. You can make pendants for necklaces, charm bracelets, keychains, hair clips, and more! We made Christmas ornaments a few years ago. And I made these necklaces for my little lovelies:

And, in the spirit of February being the love month, we decided to make some today to share with a couple of girls who could use a little love right now. Today's "I Love You" necklaces and charm necklaces were made just for Joanne's daughters, Audrey and Emma. These seemed especially poignant to make after reading this encouraging post about Joanne's progress.

Deidre at For Such A Time As This is encouraging her readers to post about something we love or a way we're showing our love to others during the month of February. (Details here!) So today, this first day of February, we want Audrey and Emma to know how much they are loved! We popped them in the mail today, so hopefully they don't see this until they get them!

Wanna join the love party?


  1. F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S idea, Angie! How perfect is that for Audrey and Emma! :)

  2. Oh, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea! My girls will be all over this. I can't wait to make some. Thanks for the idea (and very thorough tutorial :) I love that you made them for Audrey and Emma. So, so sweet.

  3. These are so adorable! I kind of remember making something like this with my mom growing up... I'll have to make them with Adelaide one day :)

  4. Okay Angie, you win the "amazing mom" award! I can't figure out how on earth you do these cool projects, blog about them and have 4 kids. I seriously need to take some lessons from you!

  5. What a sweet idea. Trying to think of some good boy things to do with shrinky dinks. :)

  6. wgat a great idea!

    angie, you are such a great mommy and friend. what great, teachable moments for you with your girls, as well as the blessing y'all were to joanne's girls.....just melts my heart. this is what it's all about.....

    i'm proud to call you my friend. love you! :)

  7. Great idea! But how do you use the strawberry containers for this?

  8. Good information here. I really enjoy reading them every day. I've learned a lot from them.Private tutor Short Hills Thanks so much for sharing this information. Greatly help me being a newbie.


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