DIY shrink plastic typography pendants

I played with shrink plastic in the toaster oven last night to make some fun typographic pendants.

I used white shrink film sheets made by Grafix, purchased at a local craft store. (Rumor has it that Shrinky Dink brand plastic is a little better, especially if you plan to make larger items. It curls less. But Grafix worked just fine for this.)

How to make your own pendants:
Print out images to trace onto plastic. They should be 250% larger than the intended finished size. Download my ampersand and "hey" shapes here, or make your own words or characters—try asterisks or names! I used Helvetica for the ampersand and Pacifico (a free font) for "hey."

With a pencil, trace shapes onto the shrink film. If you're using glossy film and it's difficult to make pencil lines show up, roughen the surface of the plastic a bit with sandpaper first.

Cut out the holes in the shapes with an X-Acto knife and trim the outer edges with a scissors. Punch a hole at the top if desired; I used a 1/8" punch.

Erase any pencil lines from the edges or they'll be baked on.

Following the instructions on your film package, bake the pieces in a conventional oven or toaster oven. I laid my shapes on a piece of cardboard and stuck them in a 300 degree toaster oven. I watched them like a hawk, yanking them out and flattening them a bit if it looked like the edges were curling so much they might stick together. Then I put them back in the oven to finish baking. Don't be horrified by the crazy curling that happens; as long as the edges don't get stuck together, the shapes should flatten out by themselves. When they stop shrinking (2-3 minutes), pull them out and press them with a spatula or more cardboard while they're still hot to get them perfectly flat.

Add a jump ring and chain, and you're all set.

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