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School Bead Necklace

By: Heidi Borchers of Inspired at Home

Kids can help make this school-themed necklace with shrink plastic and wooden beads. This cute necklace designed by Heidi Borchers of Inspired at Home makes a great gift for teacher.

School Bead Necklace


  • Shrink plastic – white
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Permanent marking pen – fine tip black
  • 1/8” diameter hole punch
  • Colored pencils
  • Non-stick baking sheet
  • Spray sealer – gloss
  • 5 (6 mm) jump rings
  • Needlenose pliers
  • 54” (1/8” wide) red satin ribbon
  • Wooden beads: 26 (3/16”) assorted colors, 18 (3/8” ) white
  • Pattern


  1. Sand 1 side of each piece of shrink plastic. Be sure to thoroughly yet lightly sand both vertically and horizontally. Using marker, trace patterns onto sanded side of plastic. (Note that marker ink may bleed slightly on sanded surface but not to worry – this will disappear during baking!) Cut out designs. Punch holes in designs where indicated on pattern. Use colored pencils to color designs. Remember that colors will be more intense after shrinking. Referring to photo, add letteirng to designs with permanent marking pen.
  2. Preheat toaster over (or conventional oven) to 275º to 300º. Place designs on room temperature baking sheet and place in oven. Edges should begin to curl within 25 seconds; if not, increase tempearture slightly. If edges begin to curl as soon as designs are put in oven, reduce temperature. After about 1 minute, designs will complete shrinking and lie flat. Remove from oven. Let cool. Apply 1 coat of sealer to front of each design. Let dry.
  3. Attach 1 jump ring to hole in each design using pliers. Knot ribbon about 24” from 1 end. Working from other end of ribbon, thread 4 colored beads and 3 white beads alternately onto ribbon. Thread 1 shrink platic design onto ribbon and knot ribbon, catching jump ring of design in knot. Repeat beading sequence to thread remaining wooden beads and shrink plastic designs onto ribbon, reserving 2 beads for ribbon ends and knotting ribbon after last bead. Thread 1 bead onto each end of ribbon and knot ribbon around bead to secure.


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Clear plastic containers that are marked recycle number 7 are the same material as shrink plastic.


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