I discovered shrink plastic sometime last year, via the wonderful Craftivists, and fell in love with it straight away. It’s one of those materials which is so easy to use, and if you get it right, you can make some amazing things with it – if you’re struggling wth ideas for handmade gifts, my tutorial for a DIY botanical pendant might be just what you’re looking for!
You will need:
Printable shrink plastic (I got mine from here)
A sharp craft knife and scissors
A hole punch
An old baking tray
A large bottom glass or glass jug
1. Start by choosing the image you want to use; once printed onto the plastic, it shrinks down to around 45% in size, so you need it to be fairly big to start with. I got mine from The Graphics Fairy, who have heaps of lovely botanical images for precisely zero pence.
2. Put your image into an image editor and adjust the brightness, contrast and saturation to make it look as washed out as possible – once in the oven, all colours darken, so it’s best to start as pale as possible.
3. Print your image onto the shrink plastic, and cut it out carefully.
4. Punch a hole at the top to thread the chain through – it might look huge now, but will shrink down to just the right size.
5. Preheat your oven to the temperature stated on the packet, then place your cut out image on the baking tray. Place inside, and watch as the plastic curls itself up, and then uncurls again at almost half the size – it’s like magic, I never get tired of watching it!
6. As soon as it stops moving, remove the tray from the oven, and then place the bottom of the glass on top of your pendant to flatten it out properly. You have to be quick when doing this, as the plastic hardens quite soon after it leaves the oven.
7. Thread onto a chain or leather string, then package up in a simple decorated envelope and give to your nearest or dearest!
You can also make brooches and collar clips using the same method – instead of punching a hole for the string, simply glue brooch pins to the reverse once the plastic has cooled.
This is the first of two festive posts today – I realised this morning that I’ve written more posts than there are days!