Thursday, June 15, 2017

Throwback Thursday with Kids Craft

You may remember last year a Father's Day post from last year when Lil Monkey and his friends, The Princess and The Professor, joined us to decorate fabric that we turned into pillows for the 2 dad for Father's Day. We had a lot of fun and the Dad's loved them ... though the kids enjoyed them just as much.

This year, we didn't really plan n doing a craft, but lately I'd been toying with the idea of DIY Shrinky Dinks. Remember those from when we were younger? I loved them, but that may be giving my age away. 

Well, I'd heard that you could make them yourself using plastic from specific clear to-go containers. If I could recycle some plastic, that was more preferred than buying specially packaged plastic sheets and of course, that's less waste in the garbage.

 I was intrigued, but then none of the places we'd eaten at had the specific containers I was looking for ...

There was a container with a clear lid that  I thought might work and saved it. Last night we went to a local Italian restaurant that had what I was looking for and gave us an extra container with our leftovers. Today The Princess and The Professor joined us for playtime for a few hours, so I thought it would be a great time to try it.

Before they arrived I tried the lid that I'd gotten last week and it was an EPIC fail!

I had read that the plastic would curl in the first minute, but that it would uncurl. Well, not all plastics are created equal. That curled piece of plastic was suppose to be Lil Monkey's hand-print.

I cut a strip from the side of the leftover containers from last night and gave it a try. It curled and uncurled as expected, so it gave me a little hope. I then cut the 4 flat sections (2 top, 2 bottom) and had Lil Monkey trace his hand again. Then I wrote a little message on it and popped it in the oven. (Full instructions below.)

It curled as expected, and at one point I was a little nervous about the way all except the middle finger had started to curl ...

But as it neared the 2 minute mark, the hand-print started to flatten out. It didn't perfectly flatten, but it was not really a concern for me. I did have to let it sit out and cool for a few minutes, but it hardened much faster than it cooled.

How cute is that!?! It's so tiny compared to his original.

While the 3 kids played, I pulled them aside one at a time and traced their hand, then had them sign their name. I definitely held my breathe, but they turned out adorable and their mom was quite happy with them, I think.

I will add two things ...

1. I placed them on an Applique Pressing Sheet during the baking and cooling process.
2. I cut a small hole in each of them before baking them, but it was slightly smaller than an average hole punch. Unfortunately as it shrank, the holes closed, so we'll probably have to make larger holes.

If you are interested in trying this project, this is how we did it ...

  • Plastic (we used #6 plastic successfully, but you can try others)
  • Sharpies
  • Hole Punch
  • Applique Pressing Sheet (but parchment paper is another option)
  • Baking Sheet
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Cut plastic to the size you want - you can also do this once you draw your design if you want to cut around it.
  • Draw or write your desired image or text on your plastic using Sharpies - using the fine tipped might not be the best, but the regular size and larger ones are great.
  • Use hole punch or other device to cut hole for the ones you want to use as charms or key rings.
  • Place decorate plastic on Applique Pressing Sheet covered bake sheet- give them a little space in case they roll while baking.
  • Place in oven for 2 minutes- they start to roll, but give them some time and they will start to flatten out again. You can almost see them stop shrinking, so play a little with the time.
  • Set aside to cool.

I hope if you decided to try this project that you will share some photos in the comments. I'd love to see your creativity.

Until next time, stay #CreativelyInspired.

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