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I am a faithful subscriber of Country Living magazine. I want to live inside of every page in every issue - inspiration from cover to cover.

A few issues back, I read about this great DIY project and it immediately grabbed my interest.

I was blown away when I discovered it was made from Shrinky Dinks! Are you kidding me? I hadn't thought about Shrinky Dinks even once in the past 2 decades.

Did you play with Shrinky Dinks as a kid? I sure did. I remember how awesome it was to peer through the oven window and watch as the plastic twisted and bubbled and shrank down to a tiny portion of the size it was.

It's still just as magical.

And now, you can invite your computer to the party!

I started researching about the new ink-jet printable product and discovered Cathe Holden of She actually designed the project for Country Living. She's nothing short of amazing. I want to make everything on her site.

I followed her tutorial for making Shrinky Dink jewelry. It was great. Not only was it easy to follow, she's ever so generous to provide her own artwork for free download. Thanks, Cathe!

So, rather than providing the play-by-play here, let me provide you with some tips and tricks that I picked up along the way.
  1. Don't buy your Shrinky Dinks online! Unless, you live in a very remote area and have no access to a craft supply store. I was so excited about getting started with this project that I ordered my material directly from the Shrinky Dink website - one pack {with shipping} cost me $15. Afterward, I discovered that several of my local stores sell them {no shipping!} and I can use a coupon {bonus!}.
  2. The directions included in the package indicate that you should use a TRANSPARENCY setting on your printer. I do graphic design for a living so "transparency" can have any number of meanings. I didn't understand that these instructions were referring to a paper setting for the clear sheets that you use with a projector. I wasted more than half of my $15 pack before I finally understood. **sigh**

  1. Rings. I love rings. Here's a great tutorial for those. I had this really great idea that I'd make stackable bands. No such luck. The thin ribbons of plastic were very hard to work with and wound up breaking every time I tried to bend them into shape. The wider bands were easier to manipulate, but the technique was tricky for me. After breaking a few of those, too, I finally started working directly from the oven. I'd pull the tray out just enough to allow me to reach the pieces without burning myself.

    I used a highlighter as my ring sizer. It is wider on one end than the other so I was able to make a few different sizes. Start by wrapping one end around the highlighter and rolling toward the other, like rolling a "pig in a blanket" for my fellow southerners.
    I've included some graphic files below that you are welcome to download and use. If you need a pdf, please message me at rachelhgarza{at}gmail{dot}com. I'll be happy to send them your way! They are already screened at 50% transparency {not to be confused with the printer setting you should select!} so all you need to do is print, cut, punch your holes, and bake away!

    You can take these into any photo editing software to overlay text. Check out some of the photos that I've included in my previous posts for more ideas.

    Have fun and send me your photos! I'd love to see what you come up with.