Using Shrink Plastic

There are several different colours available, as well as clear.  Choosing a colour is really dependent on what you want to do with it, I have some ivory coloured and it is perfect with stamped brown images and needs no further colouring.

Some will come pre-sanded and some doesn't, the pre sanded is easier to use if you are a beginner.  By it being sanded it means that you will get a better key and less chance of slipping, the colours dry better as well.  You can lightly sand it yourself, or just use it without sanding. You must only lightly sand it, with a very fine sandpaper, otherwise you will get tiny scratches on your project.

Shrink plastic is a product that shrinks to around 40% of its size once it is heated, and can be used for jewellery, fridge magnets and a variety of other things

It can be cut with scissors, a knife, big punches or die cut machines that cut through thicker card such as a Cuttlebug or a Sizzix.  If you want ti to hang make sure you punch a hole in it before heating, and you will need a bigger hole than just a hole punch as the hole shrinks too!

You can stamp with stazon, or permanent inks, but be careful some won't dry until it is heated, so needs care when cutting out so that you do not smudge. 

Once you have cut your image you can colour ir before shrinking, there are many products that work on it, and some do perform better on sanded side, here are a few ideas: Stardust Glitter pens, chalks and chalk ink pads, crayons, OHP Pens, Marvy Le Plumes.  All of the colours get more intense once they have been shrunk.  Some will dry and others will dry when it has been heated.  You can colour it after with alcohol inks and a variety of other products.

Once you have coloured and cut your piece you are ready for heating.  You can pop it in the oven on a baking sheet covered in parchment, it is not recommended to put it straight onto metal.  It will only take2 or 3 minutes -it will curl up and then flatten.  Or you can heat it with a heat gun, this is a skill that needs a little practice, but nice and quick.  I have a bamboo skewer that I use to stop it blowing away, and I have now learnt to flip it over and heat from the other side, and flip it back a few times, it seems to stop it curling and sticking to itself.  Be aware that it remains hot for a little while after heating so don't burn your fingers.

You can buy shrink plastic for ink jet printers and it should some with full instructions.

Jennie from The Artistic Stamper has made these couple of projects using Shrink Plastic.

She sells a range here

A friend of mine cut me some blank gekkos in white shrink plastic, and I already had in mind a project for 2 of them. I punched some holes in them, and shrunk them down. Here the trouble started! Because they have curls and are thin in places, they curled right up, and I could not uncurl them. Serves me right for not doing them in the oven. I had used a heat gun! Finally they behaved, and I coloured them with alcohol inks after shrinking, and used blues and yellows, which mixed to be green!

Then while adding the beads, one of the tails snapped. This is because I had punched holes in them, and the shrink doesn't take kindly to very thin pieces. So for purposes of the picture, I have very carefully pushed the tail together! Methinks, I will have to make another one!


I used some Tim Holtz stamps from my personal stash, and used one of them on shrink plastic to make a little brooch, and then attached it to the card. Here I used the swirls, which I covered in Glossy Accents, and the Harlequin background is one of the texture mats. I attached the brooch to a piece of chipboard, and distressed inked all the elements. . 

I made this watering can using a stamp on ivory shrink plastic, and a permanent brown ink pad.

Sorry the picture is a little poor!

The little flower on the ribbon is punched with the same punch as the big flower, and 'stitched' with a gelly roll pen.

  Crafts by Carolyn October 2009