How To Make Jewelry With Your Favorite Dies

Posted by Adrianne Surian
Are you Bird Crazy? Learn how to make an amazing birdcage necklace with your favorite Tim Holtz Bird Crazy stamps & dies.

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Are you crazy for the new Bird Crazy stamps and dies from Tim Holtz? Some friends of mine got me hooked on this set, and I thought it would be fun to use it to make a whimsical bird cage necklace!

I used shrink plastic and a bird cage fillable pendant to create this stamped accessory. I'll show you basic jewelry-making techniques today, mixed with some paper crafting techniques. I love crossover projects like this because I get to use all my favorite supplies for both jewelry making and paper crafting!

Here's what you'll need:

  • Stampers Anonymous Bird Crazy Cling Stamps
  • Sizzix Thinlits Bird Crazy Dies
  • Sizzix Big Shot
  • Idea-Ology Bird Cage Pendant
  • Clear Stamp Block
  • Black Ink Pad
  • Spectrum Noir Alcohol Ink Markers (or your favorite permanent marker)
  • White Shrink Plastic
  • Heat Tool
  • Idea-Ology Ball Chain
  • Foam Adhesive Square
  • Chain Nose Pliers

To begin, mount your cling stamp to a clear stamp block, ink it with black ink, and stamp your bird of choice onto a sheet of white shrink plastic. Next, use alcohol ink markers or permanent markers to gently fill in the beak and some feathers. Clip out around the stamp (if you haven't already).

Next, carefully place the corresponding Bird Crazy die over the stamped image, and die-cut it with your Big Shot.

You'll now have a thin sheet with a 3-4" bird. You can use the package directions to oven-bake your shrink plastic, but I find that it's much more convenient to use my heat embossing tool to shrink my plastic. Hold the tool 1-2 inches away from the plastic, and move it around to heat it as evenly as possible. It will twist and curl as it shrinks - which is completely normal! Don't panic. If two parts stick together, try separating them with a toothpick. If any portion of the plastic ins't flat, then continue applying heat to it until it flattens out.

Allow it to cool, and now you have a sturdy, thicker, smaller bird. A perfectly-sized bird, in fact, to fit inside the Tim Holtz Idea-Ology bird cage pendant! To open the pendant, you'll have to twist open the ring at the top and remove it. The back will pop off.

I found that the best way to give the bird some dimension without risking it "escaping" through the bars was to mount it to the back of the pendant with adhesive foam so that it's not flat against the back, but the bird is stationary.

Finally, re-assemble the cage, re-attach the ring, and string the pendant on a long chain. I enjoyed using a 36 inch length for this necklace (which hits the midriff on most women), but you have the option to customize the length to whatever you like! Use the ball chain connectors to close the chain. Just slip the end ball inside the opening, and press it down until you hear it snap into place.

Thanks for joining me for this fun (and okay, a little crazy) jewelry project. Happy Crafting!