Wednesday, July 9, 2014

"Be You, Bravely" Key Chains, MOPS

Here's a tutorial for making key chains that coordinate with this year's MOPS theme, "Be You, Bravely."  These ended up being about $1 per key chain, since I purchased the beads when they were on sale and used my 40% off coupons wisely.  I made several different variations, but the ones with the feathers were my favorite :)

The directions will be slightly different depending on which kind you want to make, but they all use Shrinky Dinks. 

1. The first step is to create a file you can print onto the Shrinky Dink plastic.  You could use Microsoft Word, or an image editing software, or even the program that came with your printer to print multiple copies of the image onto each page.  I used Microsoft Publisher so I could print 20 logos per page with enough spacing around them to cut with a Paper Punch into perfect circles, squares, or scalloped circles.  It took a bit of time and trial and error to get them to work.

2. Print them onto the Shrinky Dink plastic.  You have to use the Ruff N Ready Frosted kind or the ink will never set and it will just smear right off.  I tried bringing them to an office supply store to reproduce for me, and the plastic got caught in the printer.  The problem with most commercial printers is they use heat.  Shrinky Dinks shrink with heat, so they get warp and get stuck the minute heat is applied.  They are also slippery, so its tricky to feed them through.  It may take a little time and patience to get them to work, so be sure to allow yourself ample time for this step.

3. Color them, if desired.  I used a Neon Green Sharpie and a Turquoise Blue Sharpie to add a little color to the feathers.  My 9 year old son enjoyed helping me.

4. Punch them out.  I used a 2 1/2 inch circle punch (from Stampin' Up!) to punch out each one.  They will shrink down to  about the size of a quarter.  Also, don't forget to use an 1/8 inch hole puncher to create a hole near the top of each one so you can attach them to the key chain.  If you don't have a large circle punch, you can use a paper trimmer to simply cut them into squares.  I recommend you cut them at least 2"x2" so they don't shrink down too small to see the logo.  The scalloped circle punch below shrunk down to about the size of a dime!

5. Follow the directions included with the Shrinky Dinks to bake them.  It helps if you use a pan that is totally flat with some parchment paper or brown paper bag on it for easy transfer.  When you take them out, lay another sheet of paper over the top and put something flat and heavy on the top so they won't warp.  Don't use paper towels...the texture of the paper towels will leave an imprint of the texture into the Shrinky Dink.  Same with wrinkled paper.  Your final product will end up with creases in them.  My kids loved watching them shrink.  It was like magic.

6. Next, assemble the key chains.  You could skip the beads and just use a jump ring to attach the circles to the key chain ring.  If you decide to go this route, make sure you use extra large jump rings (15 mm or greater).  If you've never worked with a jump ring, be sure you open it by twisting, not prying it apart.  Here's a blog that explains the right and wrong way to use jump rings:

If you want to create beaded key chains, you'll need an eye pin with a loop on one end, one large bead of choice, and two size E seed beads.  Those are the larger seed beads.  Put them on in the order shown in the photo below.  Then you'll have to use a needlenose or round pliers to create another loop on the other end of the eye pin and wrap the extra wire around the eye pin to secure the beads.  If you've never done this before, here's a tutorial I found on YouTube that shows you how to do this:  Attach a jump ring to both ends.  Then attach one jump ring to the key chain ring and the other end to the Shrinky Dink circle. 

If you want to do the feathered key chains, you'll have to buy Tube Crimper Beads and use a special crimping tool to attach the tube crimper to the stem end of the feather.  Here's another tutorial for using crimp tubes, (but instead of chain use the feather:) 
I found the pack of feathers and the tube crimp beads at Hobby Lobby.  I also used a little glue inside the crimp tube to make sure the feather was secure.  I made a bead charm using a flat ended eye pin and an extra large jump ring to attach all three items onto the key chain loop.   

That's all there is to it.  If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments section.  Thanks!!

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