A Charm-ing Tutorial!

Hello, all!  Sue Sykes here today and I’m going to share a tutorial that will be fun for kids, young and old (or not-so-old, in our cases, right?)

When I opened my package from Bettina, containing the new CHA stamp set, Holiday Monkey, I was so excited to see the large Sock Monkey stamp!!  I knew exactly how I wanted to use it and so today, we’re going to be making Valentine’s day treat boxes, with a tiny charm attached.

So how are we going to turn that large stamp into a tiny charm, you ask…?

Well, I broke out a blast from my past – Shrinky Dinks!

First, (with a little help from my lovely assistant :) ), I stamped the Sock Monkey and heart images on the rough side of the Shrinky Dinks plastic sheet with Distress Ink in Black Soot:

Using permanent markers, I coloured the images.  To ensure a clean, dark outline, I went over the stamped portion with a black permanent marker:  I then cut out the image, using my micro-tip scissors, leaving a slight border.  This is just a matter of preference, however – I wanted a small clear border around my shrunken image after heating.

Note:  You can see how the Distress ink started to bleed into the grey.  It wasn’t as noticeable with a darker colour (we also created a brown monkey!) but to avoid this, I would suggest using Staz-On ink for your image.  I would have, but my ink pad wasn’t juicy enough!

Using my  Crop-o-Dile, I punched a 3/8″ hole in the top of the monkey’s head.  Remember that the plastic will shrink to one-third of its’ actual size, which means your hole will shrink by one-third, too!  So err on the side of caution and use a punch that is 3/8″ or larger – and make sure it’s not too close to the edge!

Now the fun, and sometimes tricky, part!  Package instructions indicate that a toaster oven works best, but you can use your oven as well.  But I’ve always been a bit of a rule breaker, and like a true stamper, I decided to use my heat gun instead!

A word to the wise… sometimes it’s adviseable to follow directions. :) LOL!

Using my tweezers to prevent the plastic from blowing away, I aimed my heat gun at the plastic until it began to warp and bend.

Truth be told, I had forgotten it was supposed to go all curly and I freaked out a bit and let go of the tweezers – so his tail sort of stuck to the side of his body.  So, as with all great experimenters, we repeated the whole process and cut out another monkey!  This time I held onto the image by the arm – and I didn’t get go until it was completely shrunken.  It does tend to fold over and sometimes doesn’t lay flat but while it was still hot, I immediately pressed it flat, using an acrylic stamp block, until cool – about 15 seconds.

I carefully threaded a jump ring and a mini paper clip through the hole.  (You could use two jump rings, but I wanted my monkey to dangle a bit lower off the ribbon.)

Now for the treat box – I cut a sheet of lightweight cardstock to 5.5″ x 4.25″.  Using (*wink*) from the Sigh Gush Gasp stamp set for the sentiment, and the Border Lines heart in three colours with a masking technique, I stamped over entire cardstock area.

Using a very strong adhesive tape, I lined one short side and both long sides of the cardstock on the unstamped sides.

I created a tube by adhering the 4.25″ sides together.

I then sealed one end by carefully pressing tube together in the middle first and then sliding my fingers to both edges to adhere.

I filled my treat box with cinnamon hearts but you can use any small item (candy hearts, Kisses, love notes, small toys… use your imagination!).  To seal the other end, I then turned the tube so that the sealed end was now perpendicular to my body, like so:

Using the same technique as above, I sealed the tube.  For added stability and finished edge, I fed the ends of my treat box through my crimper for a few turns.

Lastly, I threaded my Shrinky Dinks charm onto a length of ribbon (or twine, if you prefer),wrapped around one end of the container a few times and tied into a bow.

And voila!  Not only do I have a cute little treat box for a special someone, but they also have an adorable charm that they can add to a charm bracelet or key ring!

Hope you enjoyed today’s tutorial!

About Sue


  1. marsha. says:

    Cute! And clever… I never thought I needed a crimper, but now I see that maybe I do :-) .

  2. Agata says:

    That’s a great tutorial! Love your idea and the treat box is so cute!

  3. That is flippin’ adorable! My boys love making Shrinky Dinks, and I think the Holiday Monkey set is PERFECT for this. Great job!

  4. super cute project…….and BEAUTIFUL assistant!!!!

  5. Annette A. says:

    aww how cute…wonderful creative assistant…

  6. Janet Zeppa says:

    I’ve never tried shrinky dinks…how fun!

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