Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Shrink Design Jewellery Review

My little ones love all things crafty so we were very pleased to try something a little bit different that actually took me back to my own childhood.

What’s in the Box:

  • 30 x Jump Rings
  • 3 x Clasps
  • 6 x Clamshell Clasps
  • 4 x Earring Hooks
  • 240 Mini Beads in 3 colours 
  • 7 x Shrink-Plastic Sheets
  • 1m x Plastic stretch Cord
  • 3m x Black Cord
  • Mini Hole Punch
  • 32 Page Colour Instructions book complete with templates

Before diving in we had a think about what designs we wanted to make and my son and my daughter brainstormed some fabulous ideas and interesting designs. As well as making our own designs we also tried some of the templates contained in the Instruction booklet . The first design we tried of our own was a Creeper creature from the Minecraft game as my son, like many children, is absolutely Minecraft mad!

After a bit of colouring then cutting out  we were on to the next stage. Before going further I would suggest to either colour in after you have cut out the shapes or use coloured pencils rather than pens as we made the mistake of using pens directly on the sheet and ended up with ink all over our hands and smudged the designs a little.

Once our designs were drawn, coloured and cut out we punched holes into the various shapes so they could easily be made into jewellery once they were shrunk down too size. We were now ready to pop them in the oven. This was a bit hit and miss as although we had the oven at the advised temperature but the designs shrank a little too quickly causing them to curl. Again I would advise trying at a lower temperature and seeing if that would help the curling issue. I seem to recall that similar products of many, many years ago were on thicker material to begin with which would certainly prevent curling, the material here is certainly thin so I would start at a lower temperature and perhaps experiment with a small piece first.

Overall it was hit and miss as to what designs came out okay and which ones curled a little too much to be useable – unfortunately they snap if you try to uncurl them even before they cool. However we did have some success and once the surviving designs had cooled  we finished making them into jewellery and admittedly they looked pretty fab...

It was a shame one of a pair of earrings broke but we were able to make the other one into another necklace.  Next time we will try to shrink them more slowly under a temperature lower than recommended so they don’t curl too much and we still have a some sheets left so plenty of practice yet to come. We will update this review if we have more success the next time around.

Overall this would make a good little gift for a wide variety of age groups, particularly good for Christmas time. It was simple enough to use the product and despite the issues we had, which are likely resolvable by dropping the temperature (or the use of thicker material), for £9.99 you really can’t go wrong. It passes the time very nicely and all things considered we had fun. My son really loves his Minecraft Keyring and was so proud of himself for making it.