I was browsing through Pinterest one day and came across this photo by Urban Outfitters.
It is sooo pretty, but I’m not one to drop 59 bucks on something like this. The glass jewels reminded me of Shrinky Dinks. You know those clear plastic sheets you would color as a kid and they would harden in the oven? I thought it would be simple enough to try out. Let’s just say it took a few tries to get the kinks worked out.
Here’s what I used:
- Clear Shrinky Dink sheets found here
- 1/8″ hole punch like this one
- Silver metallic paint (I used this one)
- White metallic paint (I used this one)
- Gold metallic paint (I used this one)
- A spool of chain
- 4mm jump rings
- 15mm jump rings
- A 1/4″ wooden dowel (Mine is cut to about 14 1/2″)
Start by cutting out paper stencils for the jewels. They will shrink down by about 1/3. I used a baseline of 3 inches so the cooked product would be about 1 inch.
I used Scotch tape to keep my stencils in place while I cut out the Shrinky Dink plastic. All together you should have 13 triangles, 9 squares, and 11 diamonds. I would have had more, but the first batch didn’t turn out so well. Turns out the paint darkens A LOT once they’ve baked. The key to the sheer “glass-like” look was painting the jewels AFTER they’ve shrunk.
Punch in your 1/8″ holes on two corners of the squares, (this way they lay like diamonds) on the long corner and the middle of the flat edge of the triangles, and on on the long corner of 9 of the diamonds. Hole punch the top and bottom corners of the remaining two.
Once all the pieces are cut out and hole punched, preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Make sure to spread the pieces out a bit so they don’t fuse together. The packaging says to bake for 1-3 minutes, but it took mine a good 5 minutes to finish. (Excuse my dirty oven)
I found the best way to prevent them from curling was to let them cool between two cutting boards.
Now the tedious part begins… Start by painting on a sheer coat of silver paint. I used a medium sized paintbrush for this.
After the silver dries, randomly sponge on the white paint. (This gives the “bubble” effect) I cut a square off of a kitchen sponge that I had laying around.
This next step takes some concentration, but it is WELL worth it. Use the smallest paintbrush you can scrounge up, and paint the outside edges and inner edges with the gold paint. This simulates the gold casings of the Selma pretty dang well if I do say so myself. My brush strokes are wonky, but once it’s up on the wall no one can tell the difference.
While the paint is drying you can go ahead and paint the wooden dowel with the same gold paint and start cutting the chain with some wire cutters. Here are the chain measurements that I used:
- Rows 1 and 9: One 1.5″ piece for the top and two 1″ pieces for the body
- Rows 2 and 8: One 2″ piece for the top and two 1.5″ pieces for the body
- Rows 3 and 7: One 1.5″ piece for the top and three 1″ pieces for the body
- Rows 4 and 6: One 3″ piece for the top and three 1″ pieces for the body
- Row 5: One 4″ piece for the top and four 1″ pieces for the body.
Once the Shrinky Dink pieces are nice and dry use 4 mm jump rings and two pairs of needle nose pliers to secure the chain and the jewels together. The bottom of each row should be the long diamond and the top should have a 15mm jump ring.
Here’s a list from top to bottom if that helps you:
- Rows 1 and 9: 15mm jump ring, chain, triangle, chain, square diamond, chain, long diamond
- Rows 2 and 8: 15mm jump ring, chain, square diamond, chain, triangle, chain, long diamond
- Rows 3 and 7: 15mm jump ring, chain, triangle, chain, triangle, chain, square diamond, chain, long diamond
- Rows 4 and 6: 15mm jump ring, chain, square diamond, chain, triangle, chain, triangle, chain, long diamond
- Row 5/Middle: 15mm jump ring, chain, long diamond, chain, triangle, chain, square diamond, chain, long diamond, chain, long diamond
For the mounting chains at the top, cut two pieces of chain at about 1 foot each. Attach the ends of the chains to a single 15mm jump ring using the smaller 4mm rings. (This is what will sit on the nail once you hang it up) Then, on the bottom ends (that aren’t connected) attach one 15mm jump ring to either side.
Before I strung my rows onto the dowel I cut little slits 1″ from the edge using a drill and drill bit to keep the mounting chains from slipping. Glue would work just as well if you don’t have access to a drill. Just make sure you glue them down after you’ve strung the rest of your rows.
All that’s left to do is string the 15mm jump rings onto the wooden dowel and mount it on the wall! The final product is pretty darn close to Urban Outfitters! And at a fraction of the cost.
Here is Urban Outfitters’ version…
And here is the DIY…
Not too shabby!
Thanks for tuning in, Karis