DIY : Handprint Keychain

Friday, June 17, 2016

For Father's Day this year the kids got to help in making a special little keepsake for their Daddy. A DIY version of shrinky dinks (A special overpriced piece of paper that shrinks when heated in the oven and makes hard miniature keepsakes).

All you need is some clean flat #6 plastic, which I think are easily found in the deli dept. of grocery stores, ours came from sushi to go containers and a top from a fruit tray. You could also go scavenge your local recycling depot if don't want to specifically go out and buy food just for the plastic. 

The next thing you need are something to colour your plastic with, we used Sharpies, but I've read you can use felt pens, acrylic paint, and pencil crayons (but not cheap ones), keep in mind however that I have no tried those options and have no idea how they would turn out (let me know if you try, would love to know how they turn out).

First things first for our project is we traced the kids hands and then I cut them out and traced a thicker line around the edges with black Sharpie. Then the fun part, hand it over to the kids with a plethora of colours to choose from, I'm going to be honest I literally had to bite my perfectionist tongue to let them be and design their hand however they wanted... end result they turned out to be beautiful toddler scribbled messes, just the way they should be! Last but not least I hole punched them and wrote their name and the year with a fine tip Sharpie (do this on the side they coloured on... it turns out better).

(If your kids are older or you want something different you can always print out a picture of a favourite character or animal and place it under the plastic to trace the outlines and let them color it in.)

While your waiting for the kids to finish colouring preheat your oven to 300 degrees, line a tray with foil or make a tray out of aluminum foil by folding up the sides. Once your kids are done put their little pieces of art in the tray and turn your oven light on so you can watch what happens! In the first minute you'll see them curl up and shrivel and you'll panic a little thinking this is going horrible wrong, wait... just wait! They will begin to flatten out and thats when you know their done... takes about a minute and a half. Bigger pieces might take a little longer... key is to just wait for them to flatten out. 

Take them out of the oven, let them cool for a minute or two, if they need a little extra flattening it is essential to do it in the first 10 seconds while their still hot, hot, hot! After they're cool they are free to be played with! Once the kids were done having fun with them I painted some coats of modpodge on them to hopefully help keep them intact while being banged around with keys... we'll see how they hold up.

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