When I signed up for the "Mermaid's Treasure" charm swap last month, I knew it would be tight timewise, with our momentous trip to Florence in the middle. I knew I had a stash of potential materials and before we left, I played around with a few ideas like this one and the one above. I've had those sliced shells for a long time and since I need to make 26 of these, I thought that might me an unusual and simple solution.
But after thinking about it, I realized I wanted to try getting an actual mermaid into the charm somehow. I decided to try playing around with using my Shrinky Dinks for Inkjet printers. I've tried if before and the big trick seems to be lightening the colors of the original picture enough so that when the plastic shrinks and the colors darken, they won't be too dark.
So I started with a line drawing of a mermaid. I traced it onto another sheet of paper and colored it in using Inktense watercolor pencils, then scanned it into my laptop.
From there, I lightened it considerably, then put it into a word document, shrank it down, and fit nine onto a page. This is how they looked printed onto the shrink film.
Then I washed some blue acrylic ink over the back side, cut them into ovals, and punched a hole at the top. Straight out of the oven, the surface has no shine, so I added a small jewel and then put on a layer of Mod Podge's Dimensional Magic. Here is a sample, front and back. Pretty neat, huh? The color is not exactly what the original was, but it works pretty well! Now I can send 26 copies of my miniturized original art out into the world for other charm collectors to enjoy!