There’s no feeling quite like wearing something you made yourself, right? Miss Sue here, sharing another way we used my Ellison die cut machine for a classic DIY project at Art Camp this summer! Warning: if you grew up in the 80’s like I did, this project might trigger some serious nostalgia.
Ellison SuperStar Machine
Alphabet dies (same ones we used while making our fused plastic wallets)
Shrink Film (I’m partial to brand name Shrinky-Dink, but this time we used Graffix, and it worked fine!)
Sharpies in every color available
Small hole punch
Jewelry connectors, jump rings, elastic thread, beads, etc.
For this project, I tried to let my campers take the reigns and design anything their hearts desired. I’m not one for many “make yours like mine” projects anyway, so the girls had the choice to make letters using the die cut machine or to cut their own shapes to shrink down. Many of them chose to spell out their favorite texty shorthand and first names, others mixed and matched with some hand drawn symbols and added pre-fab beads to the mix.
We started with a demo - I cut a small (about 2" x 2”) square from the shrink film, cut a letter “S” with the AllStar, then colored it with Sharpie. I added a small hole using a hole punch. Following the directions on the package, we shrank it in a toaster oven (much to the delight of the girls! Some of them had never tried out Shrinky Dinks before!)
After they saw how cool it was to make a teeny tiny letter, and they got right into cutting and decorating their own. They baked them with an adult looking on, then strung them into jewelry after they cooled. You can see how cool their bracelets and necklaces turned out!
We managed to make a whole Claire’s worth of bracelets without any injuries, but definitely(!) if you’re working with kids and a toaster oven - exercise caution! It gets hot!
Our favorite part was holding them up to the light in the studio, and seeing the sun filter through the transparent colors!