Hi all, I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day with the special people in your life. I know this one is a little late for Mother’s Day this year, but it’s a good one to keep for next year, or Mum/Nanna’s birthday etc.
May is a killer month in our family, we have about a million family members who have birthdays in May (it’s ok I only exaggerate 500% of the time), including my own and my husband’s, AND it’s also Mother’s Day. Every year we find May really hard to budget for, and usually hubby and I don’t bother getting each other a gift because it’s just too much of a financial stretch. This year, with a bazillion other things going on, Mother’s Day REALLY snuck up… I actually thought I had another week (hence why this blog is essentially a week late).
When I first became a Mum three and half years ago, I loved looking at the available keepsakes online, you know the type, pendants with their precious little foot or hand prints, gorgeous jewellery stamped with their name and date of birth. Whilst on maternity leave, I was only receiving part of my regular wage and at the time hubby was on a minimum wage, things were tight before I went on maternity leave. So I could look and wish, but those keepsakes were just out of reach. It was around this time that my jewellery making took off. I set about finding ways to create my own keepsakes at a fraction of the cost… and I found a myriad of methods of doing so.
For this particular blog I will focus on the keepsakes that I made for my daughter to give my mother and my mother-in-law for Mother’s Day this year (other keepsakes I will discuss in future blogs). To create this blog’s feature thrifty gift all you need is some Shrinky Dinks (shrink plastic), Sharpies (or other suitable permanent markers), ink pad, and some Diamond Glaze or other similar substitute. Some jump rings and keyrings help to finish the product off but really how you choose to finish and present your keepsake is up to you. I had pendants in mind but in the end decided upon keyrings.
So to begin I got my daughter (who is nearly 3 and half) to draw a picture on each of the two pieces of Shrinky Dinks I gave her with permanent makers. I got her to tell me which one was for which Nan. On each Shrinky Dink I wrote a little message to the intended Nan and then I set about shrinking these little personalised works of art. I have a special heat tool made especially for Shrinky Dinks but I have seen other tutorials where shrink plastic is shrunk in an oven though I have not tried this method and cannot comment on technique nor instructions on how to do so. I would advise to always follow the instructions on the product packaging for the specific product you are choosing to use.
Once that part was done, I took a fresh sheet of Shrinky Dinks plastic and an ink pad. I patted the ink pad across my daughter’s hand and guided her hand to press down onto the shrink plastic. We did this twice, once for each Nan. Tip- have baby wipes on hand to save getting little inky hand prints everywhere. I then cut around each hand print before shrinking them into adorably cute little plastic hand prints.
Oh! I almost forgot! Punch holes into the shrink plastic BEFORE shrinking them, this will give you a hole that a jump ring will fit through.
One side of the Shrinky Dinks (the side we drew on) has a matte finish. In order to make it shiny and also to make sure the ink would be sealed, I added some Diamond Glaze to the matte side only.
Once the Diamond Glaze is set/dry all you are left with is the decision on how you are going to finish off this keepsake to suit the tastes of its intended recipient. Below is how I chose to finish this one off for my mother.
I added the Hematite key just because it was cute (and I love Hematite so it had personal touches from both me and my daughter). My Mum loved it of course 🙂 And as these were all items I had in my craft stash, this gift cost me zero dollars to put together (obviously if you had to go out and buy these items there would be a cost, but even then it is still a relatively inexpensive, yet priceless gift).
Personally I would recommend investing in some form of shrink plastic for your craft stash as this stuff has a myriad of uses. It’s particularly fantastic when you have children because not only does its magic shrinking ability delight the littlies, but it allows you to keep their treasured works of art or handprints, footprints, even photos, forever immortalised and made into a special keepsake. I must admit I am using the word “forever” somewhat loosely as I actually have no idea how long a Shrinky Dink keepsake would last in reality, although I wouldn’t mind betting it would be long enough for you to enjoy it in your life time.
I hoped you enjoyed this blog post and that you had a wonderful Mother’s Day. I have found that when you have kids, finding gifts to give their grandparents is easy, especially when the children are still young, as items the children have invested their own time and creativity into are just absolutely priceless and most adored by doting grandparents.