I visited a fair featuring stationery and DIY crafts in Seoul recently and guess what I found there? I found the magical shrink plastic! Growing up in Singapore, I have not been exposed to this before, so imagine my surprise when I saw the plastic shrunk in a few seconds while heated up. I am so excited that I bought a few packs of the shrink plastic home to play with. I love DIY crafts! =)
I did some researching and found out that it is actually made made of #6 plastic (mineral water bottle is #1 plastic) and once it is popped into the oven for baking, it shrinks to about a quarter to half of its original size and will become harder, thicker and very durable. There are so many things that you can do with this!
After a few tries with my newfound craft, I took a big leap and made a hanging mobile (inspired by those hanging baby mobiles that we always see in baby departments) consisting of 4 pieces of shrink plastic and joined together with ball chains.
This is what I used:
- 1 letter-sized sheet of shrink plastic
- Sharpie Ultra Fine Permanent Markers
- One-hole puncher
- Ball chains
This is what I did:
- Draw and colour images on the shrink plastic. Now, remember that the plastic will shrink to about a quarter to half of its original size, so we have to make our images and words big. As the plastic shrinks, the colours will become more intense, so using lighter and brighter colours would yield better results.
- Cut the shrink plastic to shape. Punch holes at places where we intend to insert the ball chains. In my case, I have punched the holes at the bear's eats, the tip of the rocket, top of the cloud, etc.
- Now to the magical part ... To shrink the plastic, pre-heat the oven to between 175 degree Celsius and 180 degree Celsius. When the oven is heated, place the shrink plastic onto a piece of aluminium foil and place it into the oven. The side of the shrink plastic where we have coloured on should be facing upwards.
- Watch the shrink plastic while it is in the oven. It will first curl up and then flatten out. Wait until it has flatten out to remove from the oven. Once it is out of the oven and still hot and pliable, quickly place it into a flat surface and put a book on top for a few seconds to completely flatten and set it hard.
- Join the pieces up with ball chains.
In place of the oven, I found that I can also use a simple toaster if you can control the temperature.
The picture on the left above shows the size of the shrink plastic before shrinking. After shrinking, it is about quarter to half of its original size. Magic, right? =)
I really enjoy this craft. It is very easy to do and the payoff is fantastic. In our upcoming blog posts, we will share more shrink plastic ideas.
Visit our shop and check out our Shrink Plastic Kit.
Till the next blog post, make something with your hands!