Oh my goodness! So over two weeks have flown by since I've posted - sorry about that. It's been a very busy couple of weeks! We just got back from an amazing week in Texas with family, which came hot on the heels of VBS week. My last post was right before Vacation Bible School, where I was in charge of the crafts! I had some awesome helpers, and we had so much fun!
The first day we did Shrinky Dink key chains for every single class from ages 4 up through 18. They all loved them, and even our workers got in on the fun! Have you ever played with Shrinky Dinks? They are awesome!
Shrinky Dinks are thin sheets of plastic that you color or stamp to decorate, then bake. In just a few minutes, your shape will shrink to 1/3 of its original size and thicken to 9 times its original thickness. Your colors will be brighter and more vibrant, and you will have a nifty little key fob, name tag, pendant, zipper pull, etc.
They come in several different versions: shiny clear; opaque black, white, or brown; or translucent sheets that are shiny and smooth on one side and rough on the other side. These last ones are called Rough and Ready (snort!), and they are the ones we went with. You can buy a 50 pack of these for $22 from the Shrinky Dinks website, which is much cheaper than buying a 10 pack at the craft store, if you need a bunch that is. On the shiny ones you need to use either permanent markers or a StazOn ink pad, which is fine, but not really the best idea for kiddos, especially ones you need to send home to their parents with unstained clothes. But the Rough and Ready sheets are the perfect surface for coloring with good old color pencils.
I cut each sheet in fourths, then used a corner rounder punch to round the corners so they wouldn't be sharp when they baked up. Then I gave each kid two and let them color whatever they wanted. When they were done, I used a standard hole punch to place a hole wherever they chose. After VBS was over for the night, Nick and I baked them all.
To bake, preheat your oven to 325°F, then lay a flat piece of parchment paper or lunch sized paper bag on a cookie sheet with one corner turned up. This will allow you to lift the baked Shrinky Dink off the hot pan without burning yourself or bending the flat shape. Lay your colored pieces ink/pencil side up and bake for 90 to 180 seconds. You really want to start watching through the oven window at about 90 seconds. Your shape will curl up as it shrinks, then flatten back out completely, which is how you know it's done. Occasionally larger pieces may stick to themselves (which is why you need to watch). If that happens, I've found that the easiest and safest way to unstick them is with a couple of forks. Just kind of gently work them apart, then let the piece finish baking. After I take the pieces out of the oven, I like to press down on them for a few seconds with a large acrylic stamp block to really make sure they are flat. Really anything flat that's larger than the surface of the shrunken piece will work for this.
This was one of my favorites:
I love that this sweet little 7 year old girl drew the happy little sun and butterfly and cross and then plopped a black widow spider right down in the middle of it, lol.
Here are some Shrinky Dink necklaces Sawyer, Lily, and my nephew Max made when he came to stay with us in May. I might have helped a little with the Jays one ;).
The rest of the VBS week included paracord bracelets and keychains, painted wooden magnets, finger painting (for the littles), pom pom caterpillar clothespin magnets (also for the littles), decorated teddy bear banks, Scupley magnets, and some really neat copper and leather stamped bracelets that I'll have a tutorial on coming soon.
Right now I'm off to fill an Etsy order and hit the sack!