Monday, 28 September 2015

Shrink Plastic

I was first introduced to Shrink Plastic over 30 years ago, when my husband went to the States on business and brought home a "Shrinky Dinks" kit for the children. They loved it, and now my grandchildren love similar kits - there's a huge range of them now, I think the brand name is Shrinkles or Shrinkies.

Some time ago, I bought some plain shrink plastic for crafting from either Hobbycraft or The Range, I can't remember which, but I've never really got on with it. All the colour seems to come off my finished pieces. Or at least it DID, before I realised that my grandchildren were colouring theirs with pencils, not markers! I'd completely forgotten that important point from when my girls were children themselves. The pencil colouring looks quite faint on the full sized plastic, but after shrinking it contracts into a really bright finish.

It's absolutely amazing how much the image shrinks - here is my shrunken image next to the butterfly stamp it was created with:

A few tips for using shrink plastic:

  • If you are using a heat tool, protect your work surface with lots of heat insulation. I have an insulated tablecloth, a craft mat and an inch thick wodge of scrap paper between the work and the table top.
  • Always use Staz-on ink for stamping. Even that will smudge in the first few seconds if you aren't careful!
  • Whether you shrink it in the oven or using a heat tool, have a couple of wooden sticks (not metal, it conducts heat too much. I use satay sticks) to hold the plastic in place if it threatens to curl up too much.
  • If it DOES curl until it sticks to itself, you can usually persuade it to unstick by heating the stuck area. An extra person to hold the heat tool while you prise it apart with wooden sticks is ideal, if you can rope somebody in to help!
  • Have a clear acrylic block ready to press down on the image immediately you remove the heat source. It will flatten out any bumps and wrinkles.
My little butterfly turned out to be a very good match to the butterfly printed self adhesive fabric paper that I won a few months ago at Mrs. A's Butterfly Challenge, and along with a punched border and some knotted ribbon, gave enough interest to the card while still leaving lots of the beautiful paper on display.

The current Butterfly Challenge is K is for Knots  and I'm playing along with this card.


Mrs A. said...

Jane this is beautiful. Your tips on shrink plastic are all the things I have found out by trial and error so invaluable for someone using for the first time. Must admit though that I use my promarkers for colouring in with and like the way the colour does it's own thing. One piece will never be he same. After shrinking I ways coat with glossy accents. Love how you have used your fabric paper and will add to the winners wall of fame. Thankyou for fluttering by my challenge. # 39. Hugs Mrs A.

Barb said...

I love your card Jane. I don't often do shrink plastic as it does make me feel anxious! When stamping on shrink I always have stazon cleaner handy hehehe!. Barbxx

Liz said...

It's ages since I used Shrink Plastic. I think I still have a few sheets at the back of a cupboard somewhere. I love how you incorporated your little butterfly into your beautiful card. xx

Kath said...

A lovely card - your shrink plastic butterfly is fabulous and matches the background perfectly. Thank you for joining us at the Butterfly Challenge.
Kath x