Monday, April 2, 2012

Shrinky Dink Bracelet


How cute are these.  I used Shrinky Dinks to create the plastic middle on these little gems.  Here is how I worked the lesson.

Day One:
Students received a worksheet that had for spaces on it.  The spaces were the same size as the plastic shrinky dink before shrinking.  In this case, 2 inches by 5 inches.  They were to draw three ideas and present me with their #1.  I would make suggestions or approve the design and present them with a plastic sheet (shrinky dink).  They drew the design on with permanent marker.  

Day Two:
When finished up with the plastic design, the students were instructed to get the 'practice string' to try out the knots of the friendship bracelets.  As they were practicing, I was shrinking plastic in the back with a toaster oven.  I would assist in placing a hole punch BEFORE shrinking the materials.

I decided to double (actually triple) myself by recording myself making the friendship bracelet knots (two videos, one for the basic and one for the more advanced).  I explained them knots verbally once at the beginning of class and then looped the video on my Smartboard with out words.  The kids could refer to the video when they needed assistance.

Knot 1 Above

Knot 2 Above

Above is an example of what I had playing on the board for the kids.  It was very helpful!

Day 3 and 4:  It took the average student a bit over an hour to complete the two bracelets off each end of the plastic.  I would allow early finishers to make other friendship bracelets.  I also graded the bracelets before letting them take them home so I was grading those two days too.

Things I learned... I learned that the plastic part should be shorter.  I found that the length or the curve of the plastic made it week and when middle school kids took these home, many of them broke.  I would make the plastic shorter and perhaps with out the curve next time.


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  1. THese are awesome!!! I am doing an after school enrichment class with some of my 4th and 5th graders this spring and we are making friendship bracelets! I love this idea - I am thinking it will be our END bracelet after they learn a bunch of different knotting skills.

  2. Seriously awesome.

    You know middle schoolers so well! I can't believe you just started teaching them.

    I am stealing this lesson for sure.

  3. Shrinky Dinks Rock! Friendship bracelets rock! Put them together and you have some very lucky students.

    This would be perfect for art camp as well!

  4. Try any plastic with the number six. Works the same as the commercial sheets.

  5. My students save the clear plastic clam shell containers from the cafeteria and the small frosted cups melted cheese comes in for the giant soft pretzels. These are all marked with a number six recycle symbol and is the same plastic as the commerial sheets. The price is right and we are recycling the plastic into a two part pendent for a Mother's Day gift. Very creative and fun! Besides the plastic pieces, students use pliers, wire cutters and learn how to make and use jump rings for their jewelry.

  6. I love this project and plan on creating some with my art camp kids--can you share how you curved the plastic--did you mold it over something after heating it? did you heat it with a heat gun or in the oven? thanks for your help!
    What a great idea!! i might even have them make necklaces too!

  7. These are awesome! I would love to create them with my art camp kids--can you answer a couple questions? How did you curve the plastic? Did you heat the shrinky dink in the oven or with a heat gun? I might even have my kids make matching necklaces in a shape to match their bracelet design. What a great idea!!
    thanks for your help!