Monday, 18 August 2014

A rainbow necklace made with shrink plastic and a Bigz banner dies

A few weeks ago I shared a necklace I made using the Prima Love Gears in this blog. I was one of my favorite projects I have done and today I would like to share another necklace project but this time with a very different look.

I used Sizzix Bigz Pennats die 659739, a Big Shot, shrink plastic either in frosted or clear, Versamagic ink pads in different light colours, a 3/16" whole Punch, jump rings, heat gun, link chain and if possible jewelry tools.

I started by die cutting the banners.  One of the beauties of Bigz dies is that you can cut pretty much anything you can cut with scissors, so two layers of shrink plastic is no problem, so with one go I die cut 12 banners. A part from time saving, die cutting makes sure than all are exactly the same, which is very important when you want a handmade look not a homemade look. I placed them in a row to make sure that the right mix of shapes in the "right" order.

I made a template to place the wholes in all the banners. The holes are about 5mm from top and left/right edges. I used the template to punch out each hole in all banners. I place the ink pads in order so I would know which ones to use in which order.

 I colored each banner separately on a piece of scrap paper. This is important since if ink gets to the other side will show later. Then I placed it on a heat resistant surface and heat it up with a heat gun. If you font have one, you could always use the oven with very low heat, but follow the shrink plastic manufacturers instructions!

I love watching the shrink plastic get all curly and more curly. It looks that it is all going wrong, but you just need persevere to keep the heat on.

Once that it looks pretty even, still is very hot, so if you would like to flatten it use a acrylic block or any heat resistant flat object.

On the left you can see how they look colored and shrinked beside the original size. On the right, you can see all the coloured banners.

One of the things you need to consider with shrink plastic is that the colour intensifies, so some may not look as you thought they would, like the pink and purple. So I redid them with a different ink pad to get the right hue. Once I was completely happy, I started to link them with jump rings.

OK, this step I recommend to do before than I did this. To preserve the color layer it is best to apply some sort of glaze all over the back of the banners. I like to use a clear gloss spray glaze from DecoArt and let them dry completely.

Open each jump ring with the help of two flat nose pliers or similar. Then I thread the banners  through the jump ring: right hole from one - left hole of the next one.

Once I had them all linked, I used a link chain and joined the ends. Finally I added a lobster clap in the middle.

And here it is, a rainbow banner necklace!

I love how colorful it is and how shinny looks.  I hope you do too!
And give shrink plastic + Bigz dies a go!