Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Shrink Plastic Tutorial

So with the amount of time I spend farting around on the computer and iPad, you'd think writing a blog post wouldn't be such a big deal. Ha! Somehow, it's always on my list.... A couple of weeks ago I shared my new love of Shrinky dinks and promised a tutorial to follow. Let me start off by saying I am no expert and welcome any and all advice! I simply want to share my discoveries and process and tools. So, here you go...if anyone is even listening or reading....
Penguin Magnet

 I've been using my linoleum blocks to print on the shrink plastic as well as drawing. The shrink plastic I've been using is the traditional Shrinky dinks that I purchased online as well as the kind from a.c.moore. The Shrinky dink brand is pre-sanded where as the other you must lightly sand with fine sand paper. It's easy enough, just go lightly in one direction on the whole piece then lightly in the other direction (vertically).
Waiting to go in the oven...

With the opaque and white type of shrink plastic you can write and stamp on the sanded side without having to worry about writing backwards. It will be one sided so you will not see the image on the opposite side when it is finished cooking.

Here's a quick tutorial:
I cut the shrink plastic and used a corner punch to round the corners so that they aren't sharp. 
if the stamp is bigger than the plastic, i place the plastic on top of the linoleum.

I've used the Zig marker here to add a simple border

I put the image (rough side up) on parchment paper

 and put in a preheated toaster over (350 degrees)
and watch it dance....and curl.... 
and twist....and shrink....
and wait until it's flat.
Take it out of the over carefully (DISCLAIMER:  use pot holders to grab the tray)
when i take it out of the over, i use a flat metal spatula to press it down to ensure it's flat.
before and after of print on opaque white shrink plastic
(If you want a hole in it, be sure to punch the hole before putting it in the oven)

 The transparent Shrinky dinks allow for you to print on both sides giving the finished product a three-d effect. You just must be sure to write on the smooth side so that it comes out readable (or write backwards on the rough side).
Mad Crafty Magnet

 I've found the versacraft type of ink pads to work best for me. Dye based inks bleed and were a pain in my butt. Sharpie markers and zig brand markers work fabulously on either side of the plastic.

You can also use colored pencils:

Regardless of materials, try not to get: 

It definitely takes practice!
and the possibilities are endless....hair ties, pins, magnets, keychains etc...

Feel free to email me with questions and I will do my best to help!

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