Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Shrink Plastic tutorial + Fimo tortoises & purple turtle

Shrink plastic is brilliant way to make your own charms, badges and magnets. When its baked in the oven shrink plastic becomes 7 times smaller and thicker. It's something anyone of any age can enjoy and is a good craft for children with adult supervision.

 You will need: 
  1. Some shrink plastic. (I've got crystal clear shrinkies)
  2. Something to draw on them with. You can use crayons and gel pens on the opaque ones but for the clear you need permanent markers.
  3. Some scissors. Don't use an expensive pair as the plastic is thick enough to blunt them.
  4. An Oven
  5. A heavy book (Not your favorite book!)
  6. Optional: A one hole punch
  7. Optional: an image to trace from. It could be something you've drawn or found.

I use sharpies to draw with they have a nice choice colours and are good quality pens.

Step 1
First draw the outline of your image, here I've used black but you can use any colour you want. For example you might want to use a darker shade of the colour you filling it in with. Or you might not even want to colour it in depending on the image.

Step 2
Now its time to colour them in. If your just using lines skip this step. 

 Step 3
Next cut out your image, you want to leave a bit of a gap around the edge. I find small scissors easier to use when cutting out something small. If you want to attach it to a keyring or phone charm use the punch to make a hole before cutting.

Step 4
Cover a baking tray in foil and place your image on it. If you have multiple images like me then make sure to leave about 1cm between each one. Pre heat the oven to gas mark 3, 175°C or 350°F.

Step 5
Put it in the oven and keep an eye on it. It only takes a few minuets for it to shrink, it will curl as they're shrinking. When it lays flat and its stopped moving take it out of the oven and quickly move onto step 6.

Step 6
This is where you need the book. As soon as you get it out put the image on a work top and put the book on top. If you've done a lot at once like me then you can put book on the baking tray but don't leave it on for too long as the book will get hot, around 10-15 seconds should be enough. This flattens them out and you need to do it while the plastic is still flexible.

Step 7
Enjoy the result. Now you can make into a keyring or phone charm if you punched a hole in it or you could stick it to a broach back or magnet.


One of my friends wanted me to make some tortoises out of fimo and another one who was there asked for a purple turtle.

Here they are cooking. It's been years since I've used fimo and I've been wanting to start using it in my jewellery making and this was good practice. The two smaller tortoises have holes in the middle and are going to be made into a key ring and phone charm. The biggest is around 5cm tall.

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