Frugal Gift Idea: Homemade Heirloom Photo Jewelry

Remember Shrinky Dinks?  Well now there are printable Shrinky Dink sheets that you can use to make all sorts of things like jewelry, Christmas ornaments, keychains, magnets and even stand-up displays from photos of your loved ones or pets.  Just print your favorite photos, cut out the shape that you want, and bake them for three to five minutes!

Last year I used Shrinky Dinks to make these lockets for my mom and my mother-in-law for Christmas, and I made charm bracelets for my sister-in-law and my aunt from pictures of their kids (this is a photo of mine).  The Shrinky Dink sheets come in a package of 6 for around $10, which you can get at your local craft and hobby store or you can buy it on eBay

I picked up the lockets, picture frame charms, chain and findings on sale at Michael’s, measured the spaces I needed to fill then had a blast picking out which digital pictures to use.  All you have to do is crop the image that you want, enlarge it to three times the size you need, and lighten the image (it’ll darken when it shrinks) before printing with an inkjet printer.

Next you cut out the image and bake it per the directions for 3 to 5 minutes.  Once baked the pieces will be one third their original size and they’ll be nine times as thick so they’re very durable.  Use craft glue to fix the images in place then seal them with spray sealer or clear nail polish.  These were super fun and easy to make, and they look like a million bucks when in reality they only cost a few dollars a piece to make.

This year we’re using the remaining sheets to make special Christmas ornaments from photos of all the pre-k students.  One of the kids’ teachers has recently had a cancer diagnosis and is out for the rest of the year so the students are going to decorate a tree with their ornaments and deliver it to her as a surprise.  To make the ornaments we’re printing 4 1/2″ round photos of the kids then using a hole punch to make a hole at the top of each before baking, which we’ll use to string ribbon for hanging.


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  1. These are BEAUTIFUL! What a thoughtful gift!!!

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