Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Stamping on Shrink Plastic

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  Today is Technique Wednesday over at Pink by Design, and I'm going to show you how fun it is to stamp on shrink plastic.  You know...a.k.a. Shrinky Dinks?  This is such a fun technique that can be used in so many ways.  I'll be showing you how to use this stuff in just a minute, but first I want to share my project.  I stayed with our Tag theme for this week and created a charm for my gift tag.

I created this little tag using Pink by Design's Christmas Grams and Christmas Tags stamp sets.  The reindeer on the shrink plastic is from PBD's Beary Merry Christmas stamp set.  The tag is from Pretty Paper, Pretty Ribbons Layered Tags 1 Cutting Files (this week's freebie), and the ribbon is from 3 Girl JAM's Winter Bundle.

Okay, now here's how you do it:

First, get some shrink plastic.  Depending on what kind you get, you may have to prepare the surface a little differently.  I got white shrink plastic that can be used in an inkjet printer, and I had to lightly sand the surface of the plastic with 300-400 grit sandpaper before I could stamp on it or color it.  It sounds like a pain, but, really, it just took a minute.  Just follow the directions for your particular shrink plastic product.

Next, I brushed off the sanding residue and stamped my image using Staz On ink (just to be sure it stayed put).  Then I colored the image with colored pencils.  This is the fun part because you don't have to be an especially great colorer, and you don't have to color everything super dark and perfectly.  The colors will intensify when the image shrinks, so it's actually better to be a bit light handed.

Then, I cut out my image and punched a hole in the top so I could use it as a charm.  This is a very important step.  Shrink plasic is MUCH easier to cut and punch BEFORE it shrinks.  By the way, see...I didn't do a perfect coloring job, but it will be a-okay!

Finally, it was time to shrink...this is the REALLY FUN PART!!!  Put your image on some parchment paper on a heat-proof surface, and get out your heat tool.  Yep!  The same one you use for heat embossing and setting ink.  You may want to have some tweezers, an oven mitt, and some extra parchment paper close by.

Here are some tips for using a heat tool to shrink your plastic: Ensure even heating by alternating holding your tool closer and then farther from the project.  Don't be worried if your image starts to's supposed to do that! It will flatten out when it's done.  You can also flip the image over half-way through the process to help it stay flat (be's HOT!  Use some tweezers or something.)  If the image stops shrinking but still isn't totally flat, you can use an oven mitt and some parchment paper to gently press it down while it's still soft.  Here's what the little guy looks like after he's done...isn't he so cute and TINY???

You can also bake the shrink plastic in the oven or a toaster oven.  Just follow the directions on the package.  Now he's ready to hang on your tag, or go on a necklace or earrings for your daughter, or go on a scrapbook layout....the options are ENDLESS.  So fun!  Here he is next to the original stamp...just so you can see how the size changes.

Thank you so much for stopping by today.  Don't forget about the Pink by Design challenge this week...all you have to do is create a tag.  So easy!!!  You can link up your project below. :)  You have until Saturday night to link up., and you could win a $10 gift certificate to Pink by Design!

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