Tamara Berg: Not Your Grandmother's Cameos Directions


  • *Basic shrink kit
  • Matte shrink plastic
  • 3 1/2-inch (8.9 cm) diameter scalloped circle punch (optional)
  • 3 -inch (7.6 cm) diameter circle punch (optional)
  • Permanent stamp ink or permanent markers
  • 1/8-inch (3 mm) hole punch (optional, see step 6)
  • Jewelry adhesive
  • drill with 1/16-inch (1.6 mm) bit (optional, see step 11)
  • large, long needle (optional, see step 11)
  • Butane lighter (optional, see step 11)
  • 3 jump rings
  • chain 18 inches (45.7 cm) in length
  • clasp set

1. Either use the scalloped circle punch to punch the base shape from the shrink plastic, or use the template provided to trace a scalloped circle onto the shrink plastic and then cut it out with scissors.

2. Either use the plain circle punch to punch a circle from the shrink plastic or use the template provided to trace one onto the shrink plastic and cut the circle out with scissors.

3. Trace the image of your choice from the templates onto the plastic and cut it out with scissors. the letter "t" was created using the lucida calligraphy font at 140 points. Simple cursive fonts tend to work best for monograms when using shrink plastic.

4. If you're going to use permanent stamp ink instead of permanent markers to apply color to your plain circle, use sandpaper to roughen one side of the circle and apply a light layer of the color of your choice. Remember that colors intensify as the plastic shrinks so try out a few test scraps first and shrink them to find the finished color desired. Sometimes the shrunk plastic looks great when viewed from the wrong side, because it's just a circle, using it "backwards" is certainly an option.

5. Preheat your oven, following the shrink plastic manufacturer's instructions.

6. It can be tricky to get the holes in both the scalloped and plain circles to align after the pieces are shrunk. Use the 1/8-inch (3 mm) hole punch to punch a hole through both circles simultaneously. If this method doesn't work, follow step 11 to make a hole in the circles after the pieces are shrunk and glued together.

7. Place both the plain and scalloped circles on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Follow the shrink plastic manufacturer's instructions to bake and shrink the pieces. Meanwhile, have something flat and smooth, such as a hardcover book, ready nearby to use as a flattener.

8. When the pieces are shrunk and flat, carefully remove the entire baking sheet from the oven, and press down on the parchment-covered pieces with your flattener. Repeat steps 7 and 8 to bake your cameo image.

9. Once all the shrunk pieces are cool, sand the edges if needed.

10. Apply jewelry adhesive to the back of the plain circle and center it on the scalloped circle, taking care to align the holes in the circles if you punched them before shrinking. Apply jewelry adhesive to the back of the cameo's image and center it in the plain circle. Allow the glue to set completely.

11. If you gave up on the hole punch method (hey, sometimes it works!), use one of the following methods to make the hole through both circles. either drill a hole near the center top of the inside circle with a drill and a 1/16-inch (1.6 mm) drill bit, or carefully heat a large, long needle using a soot-free source, such as a butane lighter, and poke the needle through both pieces of the plastic to create a hole.

12. Attach a jump ring through the hole and then thread your chain through the jump ring.

13. Connect the clasp set to the ends of the chain with jump rings.

*Basic Shrink Kit: Straightedge or ruler, sandpaper (300 to 400 grit), scissors, small curved scissors, hole punches (in various sizes), oven or toaster oven, parchment paper, baking sheet, potholder or oven mitt, flattener (smooth heavy object), sealer, round-nose pliers, flat-nose pliers, chain-nose pliers, wire cutters or flush cutters Click here to get Tamara's Cameo stencils:

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