Friday, November 15, 2013

Silhouette Bracelet How To

So here is how to make the silhouette bracelet.
Run to your nearest craft store. I chose Hobby Lobby. Grab yourself some printable shrinky dink paper. Yes, you heard that right! Shrinky dink paper. It’s important to make sure you get the kind for your ink jet printer though. And don’t forget your 40% off coupon if you’re going to Hobby Lobby! J
You’ll also want to grab a bracelet from the jewelry isle. I think this one was 1.99. I went with CHEAP! You’ll also need to get some jump rings. Make sure you get open ones though otherwise you will have to be “cool” like me and have to get a wire cutter to make them open. Yes I bought closed jump rings! LAME! And if you want the little pearl separators you’ll need to get some little pin things to put your beads on. Sorry I don’t know what they are called. They have a flat head at the bottom to hold the bead in place. And if you don’t have an 1/8 inch hole punch you’ll need to grab one of those as well. I didn’t have the 1/8 inch punch so I had to go back to Hobby Lobby for a second time to grab one of those.
So now that you have all your stuff the fun begins. Take your iPhone, or heaven forbid your android or other cellular device, and take several side shots of your kiddos. This is what mine looked like.

After you get your side pictures taken you need to upload them to some sort of photo editing program. I have photoshop but ended up using this free program
Once you upload your picture you need to go to the decorate tab. This next part I felt was the hardest. You’ll have to zoom in close and trace around your image. First you will need to outline your picture in white and then fill in the background with white. Then you have to trace the inside of your image with black and fill in the inside of your child’s picture with black. Seriously, this was the hardest part. I kept having to undo my work cause my hand would slip, but a little patience got me through. Once you finish outlining and filling your picture you can save it to your computer. Oh! And I forgot to mention this program is FREE!!!  Gotta love FREE!

So once you finish your silhouette images you need to figure out how big you want them. I went through a couple batches to figure out I wanted them to be pretty small so they looked more like little charms on a charm bracelet.  I liked the idea of having their names and birthdates as a charm as well. After much trial and error, I decided I liked the size of the birthdate charms I made so I just made the silhouettes a tad bigger.
I uploaded my images to Word and sized them there.
The circles for the names were 1.5 X 1.5. I did a very light gray outline around the circles to make cutting easier.
The silhouettes were 1.2 X 1.5.
I also had to make a little template to trace around the silhouettes once they were printed out. The template was a circle/oval that was 1.5 x 1.65.

So after I did all the stuff in Word, I printed them out cut out the name circles. Then I traced the template circle very lightly around the silhouettes and then cut those out as well.
Now this next step is SUPER important! Remember that 1/8 inch punch that you needed. Get that out NOW! I may have forgotten this step once and before you knew it, it was to late! You have to do this before they bake. Punch a hole right in between the top of the dink and where the top of your silhouette head is. You need to make sure that it is not to close to the edge of the dink and not to close to the silhouette otherwise you won’t be able to get your jump ring on.

Now here is where there was a learning curve. Shrinky dinks can be very unpredictable. I found the easiest way to get around mess-ups was to preheat the oven to 275. Get 2 pizza pans. Cut a brown grocery sack to lie down on your sheet. Make sure that if there is any ink on the bag that that ink does not come in contact with your shrinky dinks.
Place your shrinky dinks about an inch apart on your brown paper bag lined pizza sheet. Then place a second sheet of brown bag over the top of your dinks. Then place the second pizza pan on top of all of that. Once your oven has heated up, put your dinks in the oven for 20 mins. That’s right! Just stick them in there and walk away. It will all be O.K.!
Once the 20 mins is up, take them out of the oven and CAREFULLY take the top pan off and CAREFULLY slide the brown bag sandwich on to your countertop and set a couple of heavy books on top for about 5 mins.
Once they have cooled a bit you can take your brown bag sandwich apart and you should, fingers crossed, have super cute little charms just waiting to be put on a bracelet.
The rest is pretty easy. You lay them out next to your bracelet and figure out your spacing. Attach a jump ring to your charm and then add it to your bracelet.
If you want the little pearl things you just and a couple beads to your “needle” things (sorry I don’t know the technical term) that you picked up earlier. Get some wire cutters and cut off the extra wire leaving about ½ inch to wrap around a ring on your bracelet.  I needed needle nose pliers to do this.
As for the little heart that’s on mine, I just took some permanent marker to the uncooked dink paper and cooked it with the rest of my charms.
Hopefully this all makes sense and feel free to ask if you have any questions!
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