These crafts are a little more time consuming, tedious and tricky…. so have patience – the outcome is worth the trouble!!!
Race Bib Shrinky-Dink Necklace
There is nothing better than a memorable race, but unfortunately you can’t go around wearing your bib and medal everywhere you go…. or can you? Since bibs are made of a plastic material I wondered what if I put it in the oven. Answer? It just curls and kinda melts…. but it gave me the idea of putting the bib on printable shrinky dink material (Hello childhood!). Question is: did they MAKE printable shrinky dink material? Yes they do!
- Your most memorable race bib, scanned into the computer (or a clear high resolution photo of it)
- Shrinky Dink Printable Paper – I got mine from Hobby Lobby. It was $12.99 for 6 – 8.5×11″ sheets. Plus I used a 40% off coupon that you can get on their app. So that brought the cost down to $7.80 which isn’t too bad. You can fit about 6 race bibs per page (they are roughly 4″x3″ on the sheet and shrink down to 1.3″x1″) so if you are making them for your friends or just want to keep charms of your fav bibs you can get a lot out of a pack. If you print the bibs larger you can make things like coasters or something out of them!
- Hole punch – 1/8″ hole punch worked well for me for making the necklace hole. If you don’t want to buy a tiny hole punch you can probably poke an ice pick or something through the top – but you need to punch the hole BEFORE it goes in the oven and remember the hole will shrink too!
- Jump ring – little medal ring that you use to connect the bib to the necklace. These are super cheap and you can get them at walmart, or any craft store. They come in packs of a bunch so share with your friends!
- Necklace chain – Hobby lobby had TONS and they were only $1-3 each. Some came in packs of 2!
- Optional: extra charms or beads to embellish the necklace
- Scan your race bib or take a photo. Try to lay it as flat as possible and take a photo from straight on if you don’t scan it. You can also print a photo of your medal and shrink it too!! I’d probably use a photo from the race’s website. They usually take high quality photos,… taking one yourself may not work as well.
- Open a photo editing software. I use photoshop. I’m sure there are a ton of free programs if you don’t have one, but your computer should come with something. Shrink your image to the appropriate size. The image will shrink to 1/3 of the size so do the math! I wanted a 1″ tall charm so I printed a 4″x3″ race bib.
- I like to maximize my sheet – once it’s cut it doesnt go through the printer again well so plan ahead and try to fill up the sheet with race bibs, photos, medals, whatever you want to shrink! You can even type out your name or a friends name in a pretty font and make a charm out of it!
- Once your images are the way you want them, you will need to change them to 50% lightness (according to the instructions). When I did that they came out REALLY light, but as they shrink they get darker. I reprinted mine with 75% and it worked better. The images should look washed out when you print them…. remember when they shrink they get darker. If you don’t know how to do this look for “lightness” or “opacity” options.
- Put the shrinky paper in the printer and get ready to print! I’ll say maybe it’s because it’s printable, but I wasn’t totally crazy about this brand. It’s a white paper and kinda turns yellow, but it could be my oven settings…. this was my first attempt at this ;)This is a different brand but I couldn’t find the official “shrinky dink” brand online. Grafix Shrink Film
- When they come out they should be kinda washed out looking. Cut the bibs or photos out around the edges.
- Punch a hole where you want it to hang
- Follow the instructions for “cooking” them. It usually takes 3-5 minutes. Keep an eye on them but don’t freak out when they start curling up.
- When the time is up pull them out and QUICKLY flatten them by putting a piece of paper over them and pressing. You have to be QUICK. Mine still had kinda curled edges but it kinda looked like a worn race bib to me so I ended up liking it better than if it was perfectly flat. It adds character ;)
- Add the jumpring to the charm and add the necklace.
- You are done! Give it to a friend and watch them well up with tears ;)
“RUN” Wall hanging made from your race bibs!
There are a lot of things you can do with race bibs when you are done with them………. Ok maybe there isn’t. Most just go in a shoebox, shoved in a drawer or thrown away. Now you have something you can do with them to remember your races AND have some cool art on the walls!
- A stack of race bibs. The more colorful or meaningful the better, but the plain ole black/white ones end up looking great too!
- Wooden or Chipboard letters for R-U-N (or any other word you want to spell!) I used 13″ tall letters and it seemed to be a good size without being obnoxiously large. I got the white wooden letters at Michaels for $4.99 EACH and the brown letters made of chipboard (think heavy duty super dense cardboard stuff) for $3.49 each at Hobby Lobby… so it just depends on if you want to save a little money. I ended up using the chipboard letters for this project. Michaels sometimes has 20% off your entire purchase so look for those coupons and stock up! ;)
- Mod Podge. I found a small 2oz bottle at the Dollar Tree for $1 – but it was only enough for 1 and a half of another letter…. You can grab 3 of these and be fine, or spring for the larger bottle at Hobby Lobby and use your 40% off coupon (I actually had a 50% off coupon for Michaels so I got that – score!) Be warned that there are now A MILLION different types of Mod Podge. Shiny, Matte, Glittery, Glossy, you name it. Pick whatever tickles your fancy :)
- X-ACTO Knive for trimming away the race bibs. I would say you could use scissors, but just go get a knife ;) It’s worth the $2 investment ;)
- Sponge brush. I recommend using a sponge brush otherwise you may get bristles from the brush in your art and that’s not cool.
- Optional: Very fine sand paper
How to make your RUN Bib Art
- Have your race bibs kinda pre-organized as to which bibs will go where and how you will place them. Don’t expect to get every part of the bib showing – that’s kinda the fun in it… it’s just a hint of your race bib.
- If you don’t want to use your ACTUAL bibs – or if you are making this for a friend – you may want to consider making photocopies of your bibs. I used photo copies on the “U” and you can’t even tell! The one thing I will say is that it’s less forgiving to use copies because it’s paper and not plastic-y paper, once the Mod Podge has set you are stuck with it. On the letters that I used the actual bibs I was able to slide them into position better without them tearing or bubbling. You may have better luck if you use photo paper or at least cardstock, but printer paper will be fine if you work quick.
- Work with one letter at a time. Coat your first letter with Mod Podge then working quickly start layering the bibs on top of each other. You will need to coat the bibs with more Mod Podge so that the bibs on top will stick to them. You can trim away some excess if you need to, but I just left most of mine layered on top of each other.
- Once you have them all on, give it one more coat of Mod Podge all over the tops of the bibs.
- Let dry completely until it’s hard to the touch.
- Flip the letter over and using the X-ACTO Knife trip away the excess from the bibs. Be sure to use a cutting mat under when you are cutting so you don’t ruin your table or floor ;) Once you’ve trimmed away the excess you may notice small parts of bibs overlapped where you didn’t want. If you used ACTUAL bibs you may be able to peel up the small portions. If you used paper I wouldn’t touch it ;)
- After you have trimmed the letter down, you can take fine sand paper and lightly sand the edges if you want. Use a downward pull when sanding so you don’t pull the bibs off the edges. Whether or not you do this, you still need one more coat of Mod Podge (see why you need the bigger bottle now?)
- Repeat with your other letters.
- Hang and enjoy your accomplishments in a super cute decorative way ;)