I was recently introduced to the Cuttlelola Dotspen by Sandy McCauley and Michele Harvey. I was so excited when I saw it, I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on one… which I promptly did when I received a check for my birthday.
While I do most of my drawing on the computer and am not a freehand artist, there are a few things that are done best by hand. Such is the case with using the Cuttlelola Dotspen to add shading. (Although I also have plans to try it out in my Zing. You can see some cool results Sandy got here.)
This simple black and white nautical necklace I made has two charms; one is the shape of the lake we live on in Michigan, and the other is a compass rose. I used a sheet of Inkjet Shrinky Dink and did a print and cut. After cutting the charms out, I enhanced them using my Dotspen before baking them. I was able to represent the depth of the lake by shading the deepest areas the darkest, and gradually making the more shallow areas lighter.
Inkjet Shrink Plastic
Make the Cut software
Cuttlelola Dotspen (purchased from Amazon)
Jewlery Jump Rings – I used some from an old necklace I wasn’t using
Needle Nose Pliers
Ribbon or chain
Settings for Zing:
Force – 130
Speed – 10
Multi-cut – 2
Import pixel trace – I used a line drawing.
Follow instructions in manual to complete print and cut.
Use a standard hole punch to put hole in top of your charm for the jump ring
Use Dotspen to shade design as desired.
Place charms on cookie sheet
Bake shrink plastic according to manufacturers directions. I baked mine for 3.5 minutes at 350 degrees.
Remove from oven. If the charms are not completely flat, quickly flatten with spatula while still hot.
If desired you can spray with clear, use clear nail polish, or use a self leveling resin such as EnviroTex.
Multicut – 2 to 5 (I needed 5 for the white Ink Jet Shrinky Dink)
In MTC, put cut shape on one layer
Put sketch design on another layer. If you are using two colors, put each on its own layer.
Draw a “registration shape” at origin corner and put on its own layer.
Put Shrinky Dink on mat and insert into Zing. Put pen and holder into Zing.
Turn off cut layer and keep “Pen” and “Registration” layers on.
Adjust settings and “cut”.
Replace pen with blade.
Turn off “Pen” layer.
(If you are not using a pen holder, you may want to keep your cut layer off and only have the registration shape layer on. This will allow you to test to see if you have everything lined up and manually adjust if your blade doesn’t cut exactly your registration shape exactly where the pen drew it. If you have a pen holder, you should be able to skip this step.)
Turn on “Cut” layer, adjust settings for blade and cut.
If you want to draw on the other side, you can carefully remove the cut tag, turn it over and replace in opening. Make sure you do not remove the mat and that you line it up exactly where it was for the original cuts.
Heat oven to 275 – 350 degrees. You’ll want to check directions on your shrink film. I used both Ink Jet Shrinky Dink, and Grafix brand Matte Shrink Film.
When oven is at temperature, place shrink film on pan and cover lightly with tin foil or parchment paper. (This will reduce the curling as it shrinks. I didn’t do that the first time)
Leave in oven according to directions (about 3 – 5 minutes).
When it is done curling and has flattened out again, carefully take out of oven and lay on flat surface to cool. If it is not completed flat, you can flatten carefully with a spatula.
Tie a cute ribbon through the hole.
Completed Shrinky Dink Luggage Tags
I found that I had best luck with the Grafix brand shrink film. I am not sure exactly why that is. It may be because I had practiced a couple of times with the Shrinky Dink brand first. Or, possibly it’s because I made a aluminum foil “folder”, and slipped it in that before putting it in the oven. That helped keep it flat.
I’m not sure there is any way to keep the shrink film from getting somewhat out of proportion as it shrinks. I suppose this is especially true with bigger pieces. (I used half a sheet for these tags.) But that’s okay… I think it’s still pretty cute, and lots of fun.
Don’t be fooled into grabbing the wrong luggage! Go create some of your own Shrinky Dink Luggage Tags and add a little practical fun to your next trip!