This is my first Shrink Plastic (Shrinky-Dink Type) project! I can't be more pleased with how it came out!
I started with one of my favorite pictures of my Miniature Dalmatian, Pixel! It's from about a year and a half ago, so he looks very slightly different, but not too bad. (He's 2.5 years old)
Then I hand traced it in Illustrator to get an outline:
And after this point, I completely forgot to take any pictures until it was done. FAIL
But I can describe it! I fed the vector outline into my Silhouette craft cutter machine, and placed my clear shrink plastic sheet in there and hit go. The torque of the blade depressor is not strong enough to cut through the shrink plastic (I ordered a new, sharp blade to test that, though, later) but it does score it really nicely.
I took the shrink plastic and cut out the shape very roughly, leaving about 1/4 inch around the actual shape.
I used sandpaper to roughen one side of the plastic, so the colored pencils would have something to grab hold of.
I printed out the image on my regular printer, and laid the shape down on it, it lined up exactly, and used this to trace the black spots and shaded areas with a black colored pencil.
Then I used a Clear Acrylic Sealer in a can to spray one coat onto the black colored pencil spots.
After it was dry (Like, 4 minutes), I used a white colored pencil to color over the black spots and the whole shape entirely. I was sure to make sure that my strokes all stayed at the same angle, and tried to make the coverage even. (the sealer was an attempt to preserve the black spots and not smear them all to hell with the white pencil. Seemed to work! Go me! I do have good ideas once in a while LOL)
Then, the cutting out for reals. I took my #11 exacto blade, and, flipping the shape over, got to work. I could see the scoring the cutter had made, and tried to follow that as well as I could. I did a great job, with the huge exception of lopping off one of my beloved's ears. -_- ProTip: Shrink Plastic is slightly brittle, and somewhat trixy! Bah, nothing a little superglue can't handle.
I remembered to make the holes for necklace-affixing prior to shrinking, but only just! I was on my way to the oven....
It shrunk SO fast. Like, 20 seconds, and it was over. The severed ear did not want to reattach, no matter how soft the plastic was. I was informed of this behavior of shrink plastic in tutes i'd read before. Ah well.
Then came the jump-ring wrangling, and it was done! I used some old beads that I loved very much, that used to be in a different necklace of mine years ago that I made (friendship-bracelet-style) and of course the floss wore down and my beads fell off it, but I kept them. So glad!
And now, MOAR PICS!
And, my money shot! woo hoo!
Bonus pic of my dalmatian fingernails: (I'm going to a gathering of Mini-Dalmatian owners very soon, hence all the over-the-top Dal gear. ^_^ )
Anyhows, I hope this inspires some of you to try out shrink plastic as a medium for your ideas! If you have a photo that's simple enough, you can even convert your photo to a nice shrinky dink piece! Shrink plastic is my new crafting love, and most of it is bound to be jewelry, so you're very likely to see more of my shrinky stuff here hopefully soon!
Thanks for lookin! ^_-.