UPDATE: Sad to say these rings, made with offbrand shrink plastic, didn’t work! The ink rubbed off and the rings were too brittle and broke. Boo. I have since done a project with the real deal: Shrinky Dinks. It is thicker and seems to be stronger and less brittle. Once the 30 Days of Creativity project is over, I’ll revisit this creation and if I’m happy with them, I’ll post it.
These rings are fun to make! I saw this incredible tutorial by June Gilbank and decided it was my creation for Day 5 of 30. I used Stampin’ Up’s version of shrink plastic and as June pointed out in her tutorial, each brand of shrink plastic is different, so if you want to make them, you’ll have to do some trial runs to get the sizing right.
You need to use alcohol-based permanent ink with rubber-stamps which I didn’t have but you can also draw your design on with a fine-tipped Sharpie. I did one design of flowers freehand and for another ring I traced words from a rubber stamp using a Sharpie. <<UPDATE: I wore one of my rings today and the ink came off onto my finger! Some of the colored pencil came off too. Again, I wasn’t using name brand shrinky dinks and used a Sharpie, not alcohol-based permanent ink. I hope to do more experiments in the future with shrink plastic and will note my findings!>> Some shrink plastic has one rough or frosted side which takes the ink well and can also be colored with colored pencils. Mine was not but I used a fine sanding block to rough up one side and it took the color perfectly.
Another option is to skip the ink entirely and color one side with colored pencil. That side will be matte and the other side is shiny. Decide which side you want out – I like the color showing through the shiny side, but I also like the matte side out as in my “coral” ring.
The trickiest part is shaping the ring. Once you heat the plastic and shrink it, you have to move really quickly to shape it around something before it cools and you probably have about 10 seconds or less. But you can reheat it and reshape it. You’ll need to take a ring that fits and find something in your house that your ring will fit snugly over – I’ve got big fingers and was able to find a cork that worked great. You might use the wooden handle of a spoon or a tube of lip balm.
I roll the hot plastic on the cork as fast as possible, and then hold it in place with a towel. I got a few scorched fingertips and had to reheat most of the rings to get a nice round shape. I also had one ring snap and break. The strip of plastic started around half an inch wide – the one that snapped was a quarter inch before shrinking. Instead of using the toaster oven to heat the shrink plastic, I used my heat tool and wooden chopsticks to hold the plastic in place. It curls up and looks like it is going to get stuck in an odd shape, but it flattens out.
If you’ve got some shrink plastic in a craft cupboard or desk drawer, why not pull it out and create a ring or three for yourself or a friend? Thanks for checking out Day 5 of 30 Days of Creativity.