Married to the Empire

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Stormtrooper Pendant

I know. A Star Wars post! It's only been something like three months. But if the resident stormtrooper doesn't do any trooping, I have nothing to show you. But All-Con is coming up this weekend, and my stormtrooper is in charge of Imperial Gladiators again this year. I have to be ready to show my support. Seeing as I'm not into costuming or anything, a t-shirt and/or some tasteful jewelry is as far as my fandom goes.

I have a trooper pendant that I made last year, but my husband likes to point out that it's a clone trooper. Apparently, it matters. So, I made a new one.

I started with a patera pendant from Judikins. I measured out some shrink paper (2.25 inches seems to be the right size to cut to shrink to fit this particular pendant) and stamped a stormtrooper on it.

Then I used my heat gun to shrink it. I find the heat gun easier to use than the toaster oven, as I can control the heat a bit better. I use a piece of cardboard covered in aluminum foil (I'm very fancy and high-tech here) to heat the plastic on. I also use a bamboo skewer lightly on top of the plastic to keep it from sticking to itself when it folds up in the shrinking process.

I was using black pigment ink for this, and it kept smearing in the heating/shrinking process. Since pigment inks do so well on paper with embossing powder, I thought that might help. I tried it. It didn't work. Not even a little.

I was becoming more and more frustrated. Right before I was about to head out to the craft store for some Staz-on ink, I decided to try lightly sanding the surface of the shrink paper. Success! But now there was a new problem: sizing.

Sometimes the plastic shrank crooked. Sometimes it was too small. Other times it was too big. And of course, there were the smeared attempts. To say that this project required patience is an understatement. It took the better part of an afternoon just to get the darned plastic near perfect! See the line-up of rejects?

But eventually I did end up with a good-enough stormtrooper. By good enough, I mean, it fit the pendant fairly well, and the smearing was minimal. I don't think perfect exists when it comes to this project. At least, it doesn't for me. My patience was gone.

I popped the plastic into the pendant, then covered the surface with Diamond Glaze.

If you look closely, you can see an air bubble in the glaze. You can pop those with a pin. In my case, I used the tip of my bamboo skewer that I used for the heating process.

I let that dry, then added a second layer simply because I wanted a more raised-glass effect. It dried some more, then I added a silver chain. Done!

This is as geeked out as I get, folks.


Anonymous said...

Haha! You had your own clone factory going there...

Thirsty said...

A stormtrooper pendant -- seriously?! seriously?!

I'm not sure this isn't *worse than* my campout! [snicker]

Eliza28 said...

That is actually really cute, nice key chain or bag charm.