Remember all the fun shapes and characters you’d make in an afternoon with a small toaster oven and a few sheets of Shrinky Dink? Countless, I am sure. While Shrinky Dink is still on the market, Cassie LaGreca, owner of Better To Gather did a little experimenting and discovered one way to make this fun and colorful jewelry at low or no cost. Basically, in this case, being a scavenger could land you the resources for some seriously fun, creative and one-of-a-kind jewelry.
“You can hold up a water bottle and say, from this” Cassie says as she points to a brightly colored floral Poppy ring, “to this!” In the end, the bottle was cut, colored, heated, molded and shaped into a true work of art. It’s bedazzled with sparkly beads and jewelry-making wire to create a real show stopper of a piece.
“It was so much fun,” Cassie says.”The process just started with how do I get the colors that I want? How do I melt the plastic into specific shapes?” With a smile on her face she says, “It really is something that just requires you to play!”
In the end, Cassie settled on a heat embossing tool that you can find at your local craft store. Armed with some heat resistant work gloves and a long set of tweezers, she had the tools it took to turn used plastic cups and bottles into earrings, rings, necklaces, bracelets or even a funky drawer pull or two.
“When I do this project here, I am going to do the rings with everyone,” Cassie says of Better To Gather’s upcoming class in June. “This is super gratifying and you can get this project done pretty quickly. I will teach them the flower bead, the basics of the other beads and I will show them the other samples so that it kind of opens their mind to play outside of here.”
If you’d like a little helping hand in making this flower power ring, expertise can be found at Better To Gather located at 2402 Montana Avenue. The shop will offer this project for a small fee during the month of June during their open studio hours every Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday from 3 to 7 PM. This project will also be offered in a class setting on June 18th from 6 to 9 PM. For more crafty fun, log onto bettertogather.com and click on the Get Creative! tab for more on workshop events.
Love the thought of getting crafty under the summer sky? Look for the white tent in the patio area between Better To Gather and Trailhead Spirits. Cassie plans to have impromptu outdoor studio hours during the summer as well as regular crafting on the patio sessions every second Friday during the summer from 5 to 9 PM.