Friday, June 22, 2012

Craft Tutorial: Shrink Plastic Curly Bead Necklaces

Shrink Plastic Curly Bead Necklaces by The Silly Pearl

I had one more sheet of shrink plastic left over from my Patriotic Centerpiece project. So I painted it in bright colors with acrylic paint.


Then cut it into nine 1-inch by 8-inch strips, and put them in the oven.


I had meant to make chain links, which was an idea on the shrink plastic packaging, but they curled up by themselves, and I thought it looked pretty cool.


All curled except for one, so I threw that one back into the oven for a few minutes.


And curled both ends around a chopstick, working really fast while it was still flexible (and hot…so I used tongs).


Note: Please see my previous shrink plastic tutorial for more details on working with shrink plastic.

I planned on making three necklaces…one for each of my girls and one for myself. You will need:


  • Cording (this one is Bamboo Cording, from Michaels)
  • Scissors
  • Jewelry glue, such as Aleene’s Jewel-It

The first necklace was a cascading pendant of three beads. 1) Cut a 4-foot length of cording and fold it in half. Insert the folded end into one of the curls of the beads. 2) Then take the other end and insert both strands into the loop, and 3) pull until it is snug against the bead.


4) Form another loop with the cording, and 5) thread it through the 2nd bead. 6)Thread the first bead through the loop…


…7) and pull. You may need to scoot the 2nd bead down towards the 1st bead. Again, 8) make another loop, and thread it through the 3rd bead. 9) Take the 1st and 2nd bead, and thread it through the loop and pull.


10) You’ll have the two strands i.e. the opposite end of the loop remaining. That’s what will go around your neck. 11) To finish, tie a double knot up against the 3rd (top) bead.


And tie the two strands together to throw the necklace over your head.


The second necklace also uses three beads, but they’re knotted together side by side. 12) Cut about a 1-food length of cording. Thread one end through one curl of the 1st bead and center it on the cording. Tie a double knot. 13) Take the 2nd bead and thread both ends through one of the curls, crossing to the other side. 14) Tie a double knot, making sure the double knot is tucked inside the curl.


15) You’ll end up with two strands coming out from either side. 16) Trim with scissors, and 17) add a dab of jewelry glue. You can use a toothpick for more precise application. Go ahead and add some glue to that first knot as well.


The 1st bead will be the middle bead, so add the 3rd bead to the other side of the 1st bead. Do the same thing as with the 2nd bead (repeat steps 12-17).


To add the strands to go around your neck, just repeat the very first step but with a longer strand (maybe 2 feet long, or however long you need it to be to throw it over your head). And this is optional, but I added some double knots along each strand, just so they would stay together.


Then tie a knot in the back, and you’re done.


With the third necklace, it’s simply a single pendant on suede cording (there were 9 beads total, I know. Two broke during experimentation.) Just knot the cording on like the first step in the 2nd necklace.


Feel free to add more beads, but I like the shrink plastic beads to be center stage. They’re colorful enough to stand on their own. And kids could definitely paint their own as well.

The Silly Pearl Shrink Plastic Curly Bead Necklaces

shrink plastic necklaces sq



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  1. These are awesome Steph! So cute. Don't you love when you plan one thing and something else that's equally or even more awesome comes out of it? Such a neat project. :)

  2. I just ordered this stuff from blitsy a few days ago - now I have something to do with it! You are so crafty and I'm so psyched I found you from the mod podge site!

  3. How fun! We love shrinky dinks at this house! Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Steph, what a wonderful project! I love the rainbow colors in the plastic and the way they curl up -- Magical!

  5. WONDERFUL. Found you via The Crafty Crow. Can't wait peruse more of your crafty goodness. Thank you so much for sharing!


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