I have been meaning to share how any stamp can easily become the cutest, tiniest little charms with very basic supplies. The first charms I made (and being replicated again for this blog post) were from Kindred Stamps's Girl Gang stamp set. (Keep reading to see Wizard Friends and Frida Kahlo made into wee charms too!) I love this set for the empowering messages it contains! I decided to use the hat and sentiment "Nevertheless, she persisted." I took many pictures for those visual learners (myself included); the process is actually very quick and really not very difficult at all.
I will also include the steps for creating the display card I send with the charms to complete the project. I hope you enjoy this fun way to expand your stamp uses, and gain the courage to try it yourself!
(If you decide you'd rather just buy this set, you can find the charms here.)
I used the Shrinky Dinks Frosted Ruff 'N Ready shrink plastic for these charms. There are several options available for purchase, but this specific shrink plastic is the only one I have used. I stamped my images using Brilliance black ink on the ROUGH side of the plastic. I understand Momento tuxedo black is great for shrink plastic too, but this is the ink I had on hand. I did NOT use Stazon ink for these charms. See the next picture for a comparison of the different sides of the shrink plastic sheet. (NOTE: Do not make the same mistake I did recently and stamp on the shiny surface. The ink never fully dried and made a smudgy mess later. Very frustrating! Please remember to stamp on the rough side.)
I carefully dabbed on color using my Copic markers--R32 and RV06. Yes, dab. The ink was not completely dry to the touch, but did not smear when I lightly added color. Not much shading is necessary since the images do shrink up, darkening and pulling the colors together, if you will. That being said, be mindful not to use dark shades since the colors will darken after the image is shrunk.
I have also colored the images with GREAT success using Primsacolor Premier colored pencils. For the ones below, I used Wizard Friends and Frida Kahlo stamp sets also from Kindred Stamps, and my daughter colored some unicorns from The Greeting Farm.
The colored side of the charm with pencils looks a little bit more rough versus coloring with Copics. That being said, it works beautifully AND is an easier way to color shrink plastic if done with children. As with Copics, stamp and color on the rough side of the shrink plastic. The rough side helps "hold" the color in place better.
(Below: the matte, rough side is on top with the image, and the slick, shiny side is beneath it.)
Next, trim the images! Make sure to leave space to punch the hole!! Trim too close to the image and you will end up having to punch a hole through the image later. Leave space wherever you want the top of the charm. If you are concerned about the splotchy look of the ink on the sentiment below, you will never notice it once the image is baked and shrunk. Promise. :)
I made a small mark where I wanted my hole, and punched a 1/8" hole using my Crop-A-Dile.
Now it is shrinking time! Follow the directions on your packaging for what temperature and length of time to leave the plastic in your oven. The shrink plastic I used says to bake the plastic for 1-3 minutes at 325F WITH THE COLORED SIDE UP. I laid my trimmed images on a teflon baking sheet to make sure nothing stuck to the pan. I believe I baked them for about 2 1/2 minutes. I did smash them with a flat-bottomed glass after removing from the oven, but they were relatively flat anyway. (Some crafters use their heat gun to shrink the plastic. I have not tried that, and find it easy enough to let my oven do the work. If you do choose to use your heat gun, please remember to use a heat resistant mat and a pic or other device to hold your plastic down--it will move and curl!)
And done!! Just add some jump rings and attach to an existing necklace, key chain, anything you want! Rest assured, these charms are very sturdy!
This next image shows charms colored with colored pencils for comparison. Keep in mind, especially with pencils, you will use the reverse (shiny) underside of the charm as the top. You, obviously, cannot do that with sentiments, since well, it just won't look right. :) Look at that amazing color blend and sharpness! I'm in love!
Now, let's create an awesome card to display these amazing little charms!
I looked through my stash for a girl stamp that had a head close in size to that of the hat. I LOVE this stamp set from Mama Elephant called In My Heart. I determined the placement of the hat, stamped the image in a Copic friendly ink, then masked the hat and stamped the girl. The girl remained black and white so feel free to use your favorite black ink.
I colored her hat using my Copic Ciaos in R32, RV13, and RV06. Then, I began adding distress inks in Picked Raspberry, Spiced Marmalade, and Mustard Seed to create a soft swath of color around the girl.
I chose to add the same sentiment that I used for the charm on the bottom of the display card. I stamped in VersaFine onyx black ink.
To complete the project, I added the charms to a piece of twine and taped it to the card back with washi tape. No, the card isn't necessary, but if someone chooses to gift the charms, what better way to send them!
Please comment if you found this tutorial helpful! And, I would love to hear if you plan on trying your hand at some charm making too! ...xo