A childhood hit: Shrink charms made from plastic packaging

Some people might remember these from their childhood — tiny pieces of toy jewelry made from shrinking plastic. What fun it was to put the plastic in the oven and watch intently as it curled slightly and then began shrinking until it ended up as a tiny charm. Take a trip down memory lane and relive this excitement all over again! This fun shrinking effect works great on plastic packaging.

You'll need:

Here's how:

Before working with the plastic packaging you should clean it thoroughly. Then you can cut out a large, flat piece, e.g. the bottom of the takeout box.

Find some nice designs or cute images that you would like to use. These can be found online and printed out. Keep in mind that the images will shrink by up to 70% in the oven, so make sure they are large enough. Now lay the images under the plastic and copy them using the colored markers. It's best to use a black marker and start with the outline.

The next step is to color in your image and punch a hole at the top. This hole will be used to attach the charm to a bracelet or to make a necklace. Now cut out the image making sure not to cut off the hole.

Place the plastic on a baking sheet and bake it for two to three minutes at 330 °F. You'll notice that the plastic begins to curl and crumple but don't worry, this is completely normal. When it is finished baking it will be flat again.

Now the plastic is smaller and thicker which makes it more stable. You can use metal jump rings to attach the charms to a piece of jewelry.

You can watch the whole process in this video:

The best thing about these shrink charms is that you can make them into any shape you like — candies, cartoon characters, words and quotes — let your imagination run wild! It's the perfect activity for a rainy afternoon, a child's birthday party or anytime you're feeling a bit nostalgic for those childhood days gone by.

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