Hello! Kristen Swain here today to show you a fun and cute project that you can create with the kids for a great mother’s day present. I think Shrink Art is fun, fast, and fabulous! So today I created this pretty charm bracelet that I think will just ‘charm’ mom on her day! And don’t forget, mother-in-laws, grandmothers, sisters and cousins are sure to love this sweet gift as well. And of course, with your Cricut Expression Electronic Cutting Machine you can make your own gift boxes and not only will they be gorgeous, but so much less expensive then buying wrapping and bows and bags at the store.
I bought some clear shrink film at the craft store. You can buy the opaque kind and sand it and use colored pencils.But I prefer the clear, and I use sharpie markers to get the color on each charm.
First thing to do is find the images you would like to use and cut them out using your Cricut Expression Electronic Cutting Machine and cartridges. I chose to use several flower images and sized them a bit larger so that they will be the correct size after I shrunk them down.
I used several shades of pastel permanent markers to color over each shape. There is no need to worry too much about doing a completely perfect job with the marker, because the color deepens and evens out during the next step when you shrink the shapes down. Before shrinking your images, be sure to punch a hole with a hole punch to enable you to hang your charms later on. When I shrink the shapes, I use an embossing heat gun, the kind usually used for heating embossing powders for stamping. I find that this tool gives me more control and a much faster shrink time. I use a large needle through the punched holes to hold the shape in place and to keep it from blowing around my desk from teh heat of the heat gun.
Now I have an assortment of shapes (flowers) and colors to work with. You could personalize this more if your mom likes a certain kind of animal, flower, has a specific job or enjoys a particular activity.
Next, you will need a large link bracelet (or charm bracelet), some assorted charms, shell disks, and jump rings. You will also need a pair or two of needle nose or jewelry pliers.
I spaced out the shrink art charms evenly, then randomly added extra beads and charms to the bracelet. Buttons would also be fun!
Here is another view of the bracelet . . .
Finally, to package the bracelet as a gift, you can create a pillow box using the Something to Celebrate cartridge. I used kraft paper and a small pink leaf patterned paper. After cutting the pieces out, I adhered the box together and wrapped twine around it several times tying a knot on the front. I adorned the front of the box with a beautiful, dimensional flowers I made using the Flower Shoppe cartridge. I layered several flower cuts together and then added some leaves. The center of the flower is an old button tied with a simple twine bow. Wrap the bracelet with some tissue paper and you have a sweet handmade gift for mom!
Happy Mother’s Day!
Designed by: Kristen Swain
Cricut Machines Used:Cricut Expression Electronic Cutting Machine, Cricut Craft Room
Cricut Cartridges Used: Flower Shoppe, Something to Celebrate, Sophie (Cricut Circle Exclusive)
Other Supplies: Cardstock (American Crafts), Patterned Papers (Pebbles Inc.), Shrink Film (Graphix), Markers (Sharpie), Twine, Button, Jewelry Supplies, Adhesives