I remember in the 70s when Shrinky Dinks came out. I always wanted to give them a try but I never got them for Christmas. Now, here it is 40 years later and I decided I wanted to give them a try. I wanted to make my own stitch markers to use with my knitting.
I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a package of 6 sheets for $4.99 and a package of silver jump rings (12mm) for $1.99. I also bought black Sharpie ultrafine marker and colored pencils to use for coloring. I had a regular whole punch at home that I used.
I had to search the house for something to use in order to trace a uniform circle. I didn’t want it too big but I didn’t want it too small. After trying cans of food and cleaning items, I finally decided to use the lid of an aspirin bottle from the Dollar General.
First I traced about 16 circles on my plastic sheet. I drew my design inside each circle with the black Sharpie and colored them in with my colored pencils. Then I cut out each circle. If I did it again, I would cut out each circle before designing them because I felt like I smudged the other circles when I cutting out the individual circles. Once each circle was cut out, I put a hole in the top for the jump ring and I initial and dated the back.
Now it is ready for the toaster oven. I preheated the oven to 325 degrees. Then I put parchment paper down in the tray and added my circular disks but made sure none were touching. I put them in the oven and watched the magic. At first they curl up but I was prepared for this and didn’t panic. Eventually they flatten back up and they are really small. Once they all flattened out again (about 3 minutes from the time I put them in the oven), I took them out and immediately covered them up with another piece of parchment paper. On top of this paper, I put a thick book to make sure the items were flattened and let them cool for a few minutes.
After admiring them for a few minutes, I slipped the jump ring in the holes. Next I added a 6mm seed bead on the jump ring which was a pain because I had to open the jump rings up to slip the bead on using needle nose pliers. This process hurt my fingertips but I got them done. I put a tiny bit of super glue where the jump ring closed together and then moved the seed bead over the join. This will keep it from snagging on my knitting when I use them.
Now I have a wonderful personalized set of stitch markers and had fun making them too!
I think this would be a fun activity to do with children of all ages. They would enjoy designed the items but there needs to be adult supervision when baking them. The children could make key chains or holiday ornaments.
Have you ever made something like this? If so, please share.
Original photo by Pat Hensley