If you heat it, it will shrink (279th new thing).

February 1, 2012 § 2 Comments

One of my crafty purchases on Cyber Monday was a pack of Grafix shrink film. I had seen this tutorial for a Shrinky Dink Ring and thought it would be a cool thing to try out. On Day Two Hundred Seventy-Nine I made shrink film jewelry (or at least attempted it).

I checked out a few websites for any additional tips on using the shrink plastic. I found out that permanent markers like Sharpies work well and you should lightly sand the side of the film you are going to mark up, especially if using colored pencils.

I began with a test, writing a “Merry Christmas” on a piece of film, punching a hole in the top, and cutting around the message in a circle. I thought it could be an ornament for my bare Christmas Tree. Next I stuck it in a preheated toaster oven and watched. It only took about thirty seconds for the plastic to bubble up and then flatten again. However, the finished product was a quarter the size and had turned into an unbendable white chunk. I was amazed that it worked, but also annoyed that it was white. I thought I had ordered clear. Hmmph.

Next up I tried to make a ring from the tutorial. I tested out my colored penciling skills on a lightly sanded side of the plastic. The rubbing didn’t seem to adhere very well to its surface, but I figured the colors would become more vibrant in the heating process, so I continued.

I popped the plastic sheet into the oven and waited for it to swell up and then shrink. I knew the difficult part would be coming up. After I felt like it was finished shrinking I pulled the pan out of the oven and set to work forming a ring-like shape.

It didn’t work. It turned into some strange lumpy, badly colored in piece of white plastic. I thought about trying again, but fear of burning myself led me to decide to try to make earrings or a necklace instead.

With my hole puncher, stamps, and sharpies, I was far more successful at the earring and necklace jewelry. I made a pair of green dangles with a bird stamp (putting birds on things!) and in the vein of my previous jewelry-making experiment for this blog I fashioned a shrinky dink bunting necklace.

Despite my shrink film ring failure, I was pleased with my other jewelry-making endeavors using the material.  Besides, watching plastic shrink in your oven is kind of awesome.

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§ 2 Responses to If you heat it, it will shrink (279th new thing).

  • Mike says:

    I happened upon your blog by googling ‘the idiot’s guide to being 30’…and the ‘turning 30 for dummies’.
    Your decision to try something new everyday is, for the lack of a better word, awesome.
    I just turned 30 on jan 23rd. I was recovering from hernia surgery and was bent over like an old man literally. It was a Monday, too…so nobody had cake, gifts, dinner, or anything else going for me. Even the weekend before OR after.
    I’m not a big spoiled brat who wanted cake, I just thought 30 was a big deal and I hoped my family would too. Nope.
    So I was alone and weak on my 30th, so far away from the kind of experiences you’ve made here.
    I only read a few of these, but I want to say congratulations on living life. That’s really what its all about and seeing your adventure made me feel a touch better!

    • Laura says:

      Thanks for the compliments! I’m sorry you had such a rough transition into your 30th (or is it 31st really?) year. This year has truly shown me the value of being alone, doing things alone. I love my friends and family, but I’ve also learned to appreciate the things I do flying solo. It’s an awesome lesson. Cheers to this year of your life coming in with a bomb and hopefully ending with a year of adventures!

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